The opinions represented in this article do not necessarily represent those of the staff of CUIndependent.com nor any of its sponsors.
Tuesday morning, it was announced that CU had finally grabbed one of the highest touted recruits in the nation, and their second four star recruit in less than a week: cornerback Yuri Wright. Wright is ranked the seventh best cornerback on the recruiting website Rivals and 85th overall best in the 2012 class and 40th on the ESPNU 150. He was being recruited by Rutgers, Notre Dame and Michigan. He will bring much needed talent to a position that was lacking during the 2011 football season.
The Twitter home page. Yuri Wright, a CU football recruit, was expelled from his high school for posting tweets that were racially and sexually explicit. (CU Independent/Robert R. Denton)
Yet, with all the advantages Wright will to bring to the field, a cloud of controversy will surround him even before his career as a Buffalo begins.
Wright was recently expelled from Don Bosco High School in New Jersey, after sending tweets that included racial slurs and sexually graphic material.
In reaction, the University of Michigan dropped Wright’s scholarship offer, citing that his behavior was not good enough for any athlete in their program, and giving the Buffaloes the chance to sweep in and get Wright’s commitment.
He (Mark McNeillie) said:
Some might think the the Buffs should have followed Michigan’s lead, and revoked Wright’s offer, but in the end, the Buffs made the right choice in supporting a talented young man, even if he may have a lot of things to learn during his time in Boulder.
To punish Wright for his tweets would be hypocrisy for CU head coach Jon Embree and his staff, as many current football players, as well as athletes involved in several other sports, have used the same language in their tweets, and have largely avoided any punishment whatsoever.
To be fair to Wright, as horrible as his tweets were, nothing in them was any worse than lyrics that can be heard in many of today’s popular hip-hop songs.
Colorado head coach Jon Embree upset about a call made during the first half of the Sep. 17 Rocky Mountain Showdown. Embree recruited Yuri Wright, who has verbally committed to become a Buff. (CU Independent/James Bradbury)
Instead of taking away the future of an 18-year-old boy, the entire athletic department can use this opportunity to teach their young men and women that what they say on social media isn’t as private as they may think. Any slip up can have bigger consequences than people realize, so they must watch what they say.
Embree and his staff should also keep a tight leash on Wright, and let him know that if he slips up again, the punishment may be far more severe. One might think that there are few worse punishments than being expelled from high school, and I hope Wright gets that message. Until he proves to the staff that he can be more mature off the field, the coaches need to keep watch over the young cornerback.
Wright can bring a lot to the rebuilding Buffs. If he can shape up off the field and perform on the field, he will earn the undying love of Buffs Nation, and may even find himself in the NFL when his college career is over.
But, let’s be fair, no one will be thinking about Wright’s tweets the first time he runs an interception back for a touchdown in the Black and Gold.
She (Marlee Horn) said:
I constantly struggle with the question of how a player’s personal life impacts who they are on the field or court. In some cases, fans can and should forgive players for their real-life transgressions.
I’m already very hesitant to forgive Yuri Wright.
The more I look at his tweets, the more disgusted I get. What he said was reprehensible.
Some might see them as the foolish, yet mostly innocent, ramblings of an 18-year-old male. His age is no excuse.
Those tweets are representative of the young man’s personality – it’s as simple as that. Are there things I’ve said and done (especially on Twitter) that I regret? Of course there are. There are things from a few years, even a few months ago, that I probably wish I hadn’t sent to the interwebs.
But everyone has to face the consequences of their actions. Wright’s already done that, but that doesn’t make him above the court of public opinion.
People have reason to worry about him.
I fully believe that the way an athlete behaves in everyday life says something about how he’ll act in the locker room, on the sideline and in the game.
I respect coach Embree, and I have to respect his decisions, but I’m still baffled by how the same coach who suspended four players (three of them cornerbacks) is willing to take a risk on Wright.
Only time will tell.
Contact CU Independent Sports Editor Marlee Horn at Marlee.firstname.lastname@example.org or CU Independent Staff Writer Mark McNeillie at Mark.mcNeillie@colorado.edu.
- Sometimes compromise isn’t the best choice
- AIDS awareness is a choice
- CU studies word choice and personality
- Opinion: Being informed isn’t a choice
- UCSU reacts to choice of Benson as presidential candidate