Editor’s note: On February 27th, the day after Indiana’s double-OT victory over Wisconsin that Romeo Langford sealed with a layup in the final seconds, we received an email with the following introductory paragraph:
Recently I’ve been struggling with some things I’ve seen about Romeo and our team on social media, and how our fan base has handled this season, and I wrote an open letter to Romeo Langford.
However, I would like to post it anonymously. Would you be willing to help me share this letter that I wrote?
I understand if you don’t do this sort of thing, but I was hoping to share my words in hopes of making our fans realize the impact they are having on our players and team by the constant negativity. I wrote this after seeing a tweet from one of Romeo’s high school coaches that Romeo retweeted regarding ‘fake people.’
After reading this fan’s letter, I replied that I would be proud to share it on our website. And I will respect the wishes of the author to keep their identity anonymous.
Below is this fan’s open letter to Romeo Langford, which I edited only slightly for clarity and readability.
An open letter to Romeo Langford:
When I first heard that you might come to Indiana, I was excited like never before. There had never been a recruit that I followed like you.
I watched your press conference live and was over the moon when I saw you put on that Indiana hat.
Fans were hopeful. You were a light for all of us.
As the season began, the pressure that was placed on your shoulders to help us hang another banner was palpable. However, you handled it with grace. You suited up and gave your best effort night in and night out.
Then things started to fall apart.
Our fan base started to turn on the team, the coach, and they even started to turn on you because you were not winning games for the team.
As I watched, I became more and more disgusted with the judgment levied against an extremely talented freshman that was giving his all.
I work on campus and I’ve had several interactions with you. Every single time you have been kind, humble, gracious, and willing to do anything for your fans.
You signed my baby’s onesie at Hoosier Hysteria, took a photo with my nephew after a game, and even thanked me for holding a door for you one day. Your entire class walked through the door I was holding, and only two kids out of the entire class said thank you: Rob Phinisee and you.
You are the type of young man that I want representing Indiana University. Period.
Win or lose, we support you Romeo.
I have never seen a kid like you come through our program and handle the pressure with such poise. I’ve watched as our losing streak continued to see if you seemed frustrated with your teammates or the coaching staff — and you haven’t for a second.
You are all in 100% for this team regardless of how fair-weather some members of our fan base can be, how tough the road has been, and knowing that you are probably leaving us in a few short games.
While I would like to remain optimistic that I will get to watch you play another season in Bloomington, I know that this is most likely an empty hope. And I find myself emotional as this season wraps up.
You chose us.
I can’t ever thank you enough for what you have brought to this team on and off the court. Watching you has been an indescribable pleasure, and I have never wanted to see a player succeed more than you.
I will follow your career after you leave IU, and I will always root for you. Not just because of the player you are — but more importantly because of the person that you are.
I’m so happy you finally got your game winning shot. You earned it!
A Loyal Hoosier Fan
Editor’s note: If you have comments, please leave them below.