Texas Longhorns Dismiss Player for Racial Slur about Obama

A Texas Longhorns team leader Monday praised the way coaches handled
the dismissal of a player who posted a racial slur on his Facebook page
about President-elect Barack Obama.


Backup center Buck Burnette left No. 4 Texas
on Wednesday for what was announced as an unspecified violation of team
rules. Burnette, a sophomore, played in seven games this season.


In
a statement to The Associated Press, Burnette apologized and said he
made a “terrible decision” to post a text message he received about
Obama’s victory that contained a racial slur.

Senior defensive end Brian Orakpo said he considered the dismissal “appropriate.”

“I
thought the coaches did a good job on handling the situation,” Orakpo
said. “My prayers are for him, but we’ve got to move on. Guys got to
make better decisions for their future.”

Orakpo said players should know their personal Web pages such as MySpace and Facebook can be sources of controversy.

“With the way the media and the Internet is evolving, everything you say can get you in trouble,” Orakpo said.

Quarterback
Colt McCoy, who counted Burnette among his good friends on the team,
said it was an emotional decision for the coaches.

“I
don’t really want to talk about it that much, but I feel super sorry
for him and I think the team does, too,” McCoy said. “I just told him
to keep his head up. Things will blow over, things will get better.
That’s a situation that’s tough.”

Coach
Mack Brown said his players are told to be careful about what they post
on personal Web pages. Brown would prefer his players didn’t have
personal Web pages, but says he can’t ban them.

“It’s
a public right they have as students,” Brown said. “We’ve told them
we’d rather they not have them, and we’ve told them they need to
obviously not be putting anything their mom wouldn’t want to see.”

The coach cut off questions about the matter when asked if he feared the racial slur could divide his team.

“Folks, I’m not going there. At all. I’m through,” he said. “We played well.”

Obama’s
election prompted at least one visible but low-key celebration by a
Texas player. Senior defensive end Henry Melton wrote “Obama” on the
black patches he wore under his eyes during Texas’ 45-21 win over
Baylor on Saturday.

Texas (9-1, 5-1 Big 12) is still in contention
for the conference and national championships. McCoy said the Longhorns
moved on soon after Brown told them what happened and Burnette sent a
letter of apology to the team. McCoy called the apology “extremely
sincere.”

“I did
not think for a second this would be a distraction,” McCoy said.
“Everybody knows Buck. With this team’s chemistry, we’re all so close.
It’s a tough deal for everybody.”

Source: MSNBC Sports

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