As if the sting of an overtime loss in the first round of the NCAA Tournament wasn't bad enough, Ohio State star E.J. Liddell's day only got worse after his Buckeyes dropped a heartbreaker to No. 15 seed Oral Roberts on Friday. The star forward received a string of vulgar and threatening messages on social media in the wake of the defeat that he shared publicly on Twitter.
"Comments don't get to me but I just wanna know why," Liddell wrote. "I've never done anything to anyone in my life to be approached like this."
The messages Liddell received, which were littered with profanity and slurs, prompted Ohio State to contact law enforcement, according to ESPN. Buckeyes coach Chris Holtmann also issued a statement backing his star sophomore.
"Recent social media comments to EJ Liddell, while not from or representative of Ohio State fans, are vile, dangerous and reflect the worst of humanity," Holtmann said. "EJ is an outstanding young man who had a tremendous sophomore season and he was instrumental in our team's success. We will take the necessary actions to address this immediately."
Liddell led Ohio State with 23 points and 14 rebounds on Friday, and averaged 16.2 points during a breakout season. His emergence as a star in the post for an undersized team is a primary reason why the Buckeyes found their way to the No. 2 seed line in the NCAA Tournament. But the latest in a string of standout performances couldn't stop the vitriol from flowing Liddell's direction after a tough defeat.
"Honestly, what did I do to deserve this?" Liddell wrote. "I'm human."