WKU running back Andrews suspended following Twitter rant


Brad Stephens

Social media statements have cost sophomore running back Antonio Andrews a chance to play against Florida Atlantic Saturday.

Head Coach Willie Taggart said Monday that Andrews will sit against the Owls after criticizing the WKU fan base Saturday afternoon.

Andrews, who missed the Toppers’ 36-33 win over Middle Tennessee State Thursday with an ankle injury, tweeted from his personal account: 

  • One thing I can say bout #UKfans is they loyal. No matter how sorry they team is they always support them. Can’t say that bout #WKUfans smh.
  • Same ppl who said we suck and will never win a game are the same mf trying party wit us and saying we knew y’all could do it! #FallBack
  • Mike jones back then should be our theme songs.
  • Why would I say something bad about my team? Only thing there is to say we ain’t reached our peak yet! #BOW

When asked about Andrews’ comments, Taggart said, “we don’t do that at WKU.”

“I’m sure he didn’t mean that in a way that was put out there, but regardless, he put it out there,” Taggart said. “That’s rule No. 1, and he violated our rule. We don’t do that.”

Andrews later tweeted that the earlier comments were intended at just one person, not the entire fan base, and offered an apology to WKU fans.

Taggart said Andrews explained to him the context of the statements.

“We talked about some times people perceive something you say in a different way no matter if you meant it that way or not,” Taggart said. “If he had just listened to Coach T then these things wouldn’t happen.”

Andrews is one of several WKU football players with Twitter accounts.

Other notable Topper tweeters include junior defensive tackles Rammell Lewis (@mel_chase_mills) and Jamarcus Allen (@Uncle_Elroy407) and senior running back Bobby Rainey (@Rainey300).

Head coaches Chris Petersen (Boise State) Steve Spurrier (South Carolina) and Turner Gill (Kansas) have all banned their players from using Twitter.

Taggart, who has his own account (@CoachTaggart) said he doesn’t plan on making such bans.

“My policy is don’t do anything that’s going to bring a negative perspective on our football team,” he said. “I don’t mind those guys using (Twitter), but use it in a positive way, and if you can’t then those guys won’t be on our football team anymore.

“Use it to motivate or pick one of your teammates up. But don’t use it in a negative way on our football team.”

Andrews has been used primarily in the return game this season.

The former Fort Campbell High School standout has returned 12 kicks for 351 yards, a 29.2 yards per return average.

Andrews also has three punt returns for 27 yards and nine carries for 10 yards offensively.

Freshman running back John Evans returned a fourth quarter kickoff 90 yards for a touchdown against MTSU while filling in for Andrews.

Taggart said that physically, Andrews likely would have been able to play this Saturday had he not been suspended.

But Taggart said from judging Evans’ performance against the Blue Raiders he’s not concerned about making up Andrews’ lost production.

“We had some other guys step up and actually a guy run one back all the way,” he said. “So we’ll be fine.”