Friday, November 07, 2008

Reason #546 I Hate the University of Texas Football Program

It is no secret that I really hate Texas football. Few people outside of Lubbock were happier than me last Saturday. Here is yet another reason I hate UT football.

Apparently, Longhorn center Buck Burnette (who along with Colt McCoy have the most "Texas-y" names ever) was kicked off the team for a very offensive comment posted on his Facebook page. The Yahoo! Sports article linked above doesn't contain the comment, but this site has the alleged "Status Update" scrawl:

"all the hunters gather up, we have a #$%&er in the whitehouse"

Talk about putting the 'offensive' in the 'offensive line'. Texas football has, of late, had a lot of problems with arrests; this just adds to the tarnish on the program. But here's what really pisses me off: take a look at the Daily Texan, the student newspaper on campus. No mention of what he said or even why Burnette was removed from the team. In fact, the paper only says "The reason for Burnette's dismissal was not given by the team".

Here's Burnette's apology:

Clearly I have made a mistake and apologized for it and will pay for it. I received it as a text message from an acquaintance and immaturely put it up on facebook in the light of the election. Im not racist and apologize for offending you. I grew up on a ranch in a small town where that was a real thing and I need to grow up. I sincerely am sorry for being ignorant in thinking that it would be ok to write that publicly and apologize to you in particular. I have to be more mature than to put the reputation of my team at stake and to spread that kind of hate which I dont even believe in. Once again, I sincerely apologize.

First of all, did he text message this apology to someone? Proofreading apparently isn't taught at UT. Second, does anyone buy it? I grew up in a small town too (population 400), Buck, where lots of people are very racist (which is what I think he means by "it" [racism] being "a real thing"). That is not an excuse and I'm tired of people playing the "small town" card.

I must, however, give props to Mack Brown for doing the right thing in kicking him off the team. As a degree-holding alumnus of the University of Texas at Austin, I would be exceedingly, righteously pissed if this guy had been just slapped on the wrist.

Some people are already flapping their jaws about how he was a victim of liberal academia, etc.; I'd just like to remind everyone that he plays football. This is a privilege, not a right (even in Texas). The University has every right to ensure that the (sadly) most visible part of the institution is representing said institution well. This is not an academic or free speech case-- this is the University sending a strong message that participants in extracurricular (read: nonessential, optional, enhancement, tangential to the educational process) activities are bound to reflect the core institutional values-- diversity, inclusion, and civility being three important ones. Don't like President-Elect Obama? Fine-- post a Facebook blurb about how you fear socialism or you are crying to see Sarah Palin leave the national stage. But dropping the N-word and rather explicitly threatening race-based violence? No University should tolerate that out of their optional programs.