Posted November 13th, 2008 by Brian
Filed under: Football, Media

Feel free to have your own opinion of what Buck Burnette’s punishment should have been and whether a mistake that destroys a team is worse than other criminal offenses, but at least don’t base it on “facts” that you made up yourself.

Read the story below from SI.com, no link because they don’t deserve it:

Crime and punishment at Texas
Bill Trocchi

Sorry if I’m late on this topic, but let me get this straight.

Texas linebacker [tag]Sergio Kindle[/tag] was arrested for driving while intoxicated in the summer of 2007 and got a three-game suspension.

Texas defensive end [tag]Henry Melton[/tag] was arrested for driving while intoxicated in the summer of 2007 and got a three-game suspension.

Texas defensive tackle [tag]Lamarr Houston[/tag] was arrested for driving while intoxicated in September and got a one-game suspension. Here’s a link on all three arrests.

Texas center Buck Burnette posted a text message he received from a friend that contained a racial slur directed at Barack Obama on his Facebook page and was dismissed from the team.

Huh?

Ah, now I see. Look at the depth chart. Kindle, Melton and Houston all start. Burnette was a backup. Hmmmm.

Clearly, discipline needed to be handed out in all four cases. But the Facebook incident is by far the least punishable. Offensive? Yes. Stupid? Yes. Endangering the lives of others? No.

You can’t suspend a guy for one game after a DWI arrest and dismiss another for a Facebook racial slur. It is an insincere attempt to show you run such a clean and virtuous a program that you boot (backup) players when they post stupid, racially insensitive remarks on a Facebook page.

And then you hope nobody notices you start three drunk drivers on defense.

Let’s review those facts…

  • Melton, Kindle, and Houston received lighter punishments because they’re starters. – Actually only Houston was a starter at the time of his arrest. Kindle was a second stringer who mainly saw time on special teams while Melton was buried on the depth chart after switching to defense from running back.
  • “The Facebook incident is by far the least punishable.” – Actually, threatening the life of the President is a federal offense, but it doesn’t sound like he knew what Burnette actually said. Just today a Spring man was sentenced to 30 months in jail for threatening George W. Bush and another man faces up to 35 years in jail for threats he made on Internet message boards. Sounds pretty serious to me. The first DWI offense in Texas is punishable with up to 180 days in jail.
  • Backups don’t matter so it’s okay to punish them. – With the injury this week to starting center [tag]Chris Hall[/tag] the importance of backups is even more clear. Texas will be starting a true freshman at center against [tag]Kansas[/tag] instead of Burnette.

I can see that he’s easily confused.

I’m not sure what fact checking Sports Illustrated does of their FanNation blog, but this article should have never gone up. Despite repeated corrections to the article being posted by commenters the original story still hasn’t been updated or corrected.

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2 Comments

  1. reply to  #1

    JC

    I was under the impression that this was a 3rd infraction for Buck Burnette–3 strikes and your out!! Is this correct?

  2. reply to  #2

    Brian

    If Buck had two previous strikes they weren’t public ones.

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