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NU coach Pat Fitzgerald getting heat for aide’s tweet about Jeremy Lin

Northwestern coach PFitzgerald celebrates touchdown first quarter an NCAA college football game against Northwestern State College Pa. Saturday Nov. 6

Northwestern coach Pat Fitzgerald celebrates a touchdown in the first quarter of an NCAA college football game against Northwestern in State College, Pa., Saturday, Nov. 6, 2010. (AP Photo/Gene J. Puskar)

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Updated: March 15, 2012 8:16AM

A seemingly complimentary tweet sent from Northwestern football coach Pat Fitzgerald’s Twitter account Friday set the Twitter world abuzz with accusations that Fitzgerald disrespected the NBA.

The tweet was sent after New York Knicks guard Jeremy Lin scored 38 points Friday against the Los Angeles Lakers.

‘‘Officially on the Jeremy Lin bandwagon. There’s finally an NBA player who plays hard and says the right things off the court,’’ the tweet read.

The problem was, Fitzgerald didn’t send the tweet. Wildcats director of football operations Cody Cejda mistakenly logged on as Fitzgerald and tweeted the remark while watching the game. When Cejda realized his mistake, he deleted the tweet.

The damage was already done, though. Critics of the tweet accused Fitzgerald of disrespecting Bulls star Derrick Rose, who is known as one of the hardest-working players in the league and is accommodating with the media, and of being a
racist. Lin is Asian-American.

NU associate director of athletic communications Doug Meffley, who also is the director of social media for the athletic department, said Fitzgerald does his own tweets, as do most of the Wildcats’ coaches.

‘‘He’s pretty open about it,’’ Meffley said. ‘‘And he’s pretty proud of it.’’

But Cejda also has access to Fitzgerald’s account for compliance and recruiting purposes, and Meffley said Cejda tweets from the
account ‘‘from time to time.’’

‘‘Cody intended to tweet [about Lin] from his own account but
instead logged on as Fitz,’’ Meffley said. ‘‘The tweet was meant as a compliment to Lin and not in dis-
respect to anyone. Fitz is a huge Derrick Rose fan.’’

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