The start of the Mike Leach era at Mississippi State has been viewed by most as a big success as the Bulldogs managed to keep together the program’s 2020 recruiting class, Leach retained popular assistant Tony Hughes, added coveted graduate transfer KJ Costello and recently landed a commitment from four-star Texas quarterback Sawyer Robertson.

The momentum of the Mississippi State program was clearly trending up under its new coach but Leach may have halted that for the time being after posted a tweet featuring a woman joking about knitting her husband a scarf. The tweet read, “After 2 weeks of quarantine with her husband, Gertrude decided to knit him a scarf..”

The woman wasn’t knitting a scarf, she was knitting a noose.

Leach deleted the tweet and issued the following apology:

“I sincerely regret if my choice of images in my tweets were found offensive. I had no intention of offending anyone,” Leach tweeted last week.

How much will this negative effect Leach’s Mississippi State program? The way SEC Network host Paul Finebaum sees it, Leach is fortunate the coverage of the sports world has largely been put on the backburner.

Here’s what Finebaum had to say when asked about Leach’s tweet during his weekly appearance on Birmingham-based WJOX 94.5 FM show “The Roundtable” on Monday.

“Yeah, I would say that it may end up being a blip. Now, if we weren’t going through what we were currently going through, I think he would be in trouble,” Finebaum shared on the show. “Because some of the things that were said about him on national programs Friday were downright scary, but I think the audience for national sports right now is so minimized and marginalized, that I suspect that Leach will survive.

“It’s really too bad that this all happened because I mean he was off to a really good start there.”

Finebaum then noted that this is the second time Leach deleted one of his tweets since his arrival at Mississippi State, which came back during the impeachment saga in Washington.

“I’m just giving you a snapshot judgment on Monday morning, but I suspect he will probably survive and it will be a blimp,” Finebaum added.

Considering Mississippi State has already lost one player to the transfer portal following Leach’s tweet, defensive lineman Fabien Lovett entered the portal on Friday, it’s fair to say the coach’s social media behavior has hurt his program to some extent.

Regardless of how bad this tweet hurts the Mississippi State program moving forward, Leach would be wise to think twice before hitting publish on Twitter in the future. At the end of the day, Leach’s job is to make the Bulldogs competitive in the cutthroat SEC and he can’t afford to make that job any tougher based on what he posts on social media.