COLUMBUS — Following Ohio State’s upset loss on Friday afternoon, Buckeyes forward E.J. Liddell received threatening messages on social media.
Lettermen Row has confirmed that the athletic department forwarded information to local authorities and helped Liddell file a report with university police.
On Friday night, Liddell shared screenshots on Twitter of two separate messages he received from fans following the historic loss, including one that threatened physically attack him.
Another fan called Liddell “a f—— disgrace” and wished death upon the sophomore.
Liddell captioned the screenshots with a brief message: “Honestly, what did I do to deserve this? I’m human.”
Buckeyes athletic director Gene Smith sent a tweet out on Saturday morning, supporting Liddell and stating behavior from fans wouldn’t be allowed in the Ohio State community.
“To the few of you who have chosen to inappropriately rail against our players on social media, stop,” he wrote. “Hate and derision have no place in Buckeye nation or civil society.”
Chris Holtmann also took to Twitter on Saturday morning, issuing a statement on the situation.
“EJ is an outstanding young man who had a tremendous sophomore season, and he was instrumental in our team’s success,” the Ohio State coach said. “We will take the necessary actions to address this immediately.”
Ohio State lost in the opening round of the NCAA Tournament on Friday afternoon to No. 15 seed Oral Roberts. The 75-72 overtime loss marks only the ninth time in NCAA history that a No. 2 seed has lost to the No. 15 seed.
The Buckeyes were 16.5-point favorites entering the game.
Liddell finished the game with 23 points and 14 rebounds. He was a first-team All-Big Ten selection, finishing the season averaging 15.9 points and 6.4 rebounds per game. Ohio State made a run in the Big Ten Tournament, winning three games in three days to reach the conference tourney championship game.
This is a developing news story. Lettermen Row will have more details as they become available to the public.