Texas Football Player Dismissed For Racial Slur On Facebook

This story was written by Brad Gray, Daily Texan
Buck Burnettes tale is a cautionary one.

Anything you put on your Facebook page can come back and bite you.

The former backup center was released from the Texas football team last Wednesday for a racial slur that he posted on his Facebook status after Barack Obama was elected president. Burnette wrote that hunters should get their guns and used an inflammatory remark about Obamas race.

The next day, head coach Mack Brown dismissed Burnette from the team.

When Brown was asked about the decision on Saturday, he quickly cut off reporters saying, No, thats closed.

But on Monday, he explained the dangers of high-profile athletes using Web sites like Facebook or MySpace. Last season, when Texas running back James Henry was arrested, his Facebook page was filled with profanities and slurs. Two years ago, the Northwestern womens soccer team faced disciplinary actions for photos that appeared online that depicted hazing activities.

Were very honest with them, were very direct with them, and I tell them to be very careful with Facebook or MySpace, Brown said. Its like the Internet when it first came out there are a lot of positive things for young people that want to have friends, and its a great way to communicate. Its public information all over the world.

Brown then went on to say players should probably not have Facebook or MySpace pages but that the team could not prohibit them from using the Web sites.

Its a public right that they have as students, Brown said. We have told them that wed rather them not have them and obviously not to put anything on there that they wouldnt want their mom to see.

When he was later asked about whether the issue would divide a team where most of the players are black, Brown quickly ended the conversation.

Folks, Im not going to go there at all, Brown said. We played well.

Quarterback Colt McCoy, Burnettes close friend off the field, said that Burnette wrote a letter to the team and apologized for his statement.

I told him to keep his head up and that things will blow over, McCoy said. Its tough; you really cant do anything. I did not for a second think that it was going to be a distraction because of the way that Buck wrote a letter and apologized and was extremely sincere. This team everybody knows Buck. When we heard the letter and coach Brown announced it, it was over.

Were not Kansas, Im not a projection screen, Im not a Longhorn chair...

If Burnettes comments were downright offensive, Roy Millers comments Monday at least lightened the mood.

Miller did not back down from the Were not Kansas statement he made two weeks ago, after Texas Tech beat the Jayhawks 63-28.

Now that the Longhorns are actually playing Kansas, Miller just gave the Jayhawks another piece of fodder for the message boards.

No, I meant what I said, Miller said. Were not Kansas, just like Im not a projection screen, or Im not a Longhorn chair or a trash can. You can make it whatever you want.

Anything I say you can make it like something else. We dont play the way Kansas defense plays. We just dont, and any defensive-minded coach would know that personnel changes everything on the field.

Cold weather in Kansas

Luckily for the Longhorns, Texas game against Kansas is scheduled at 11:30 a.m.

The temperature that night is expected to drop down into the mid-20s. At game time, the current forecast predicts temperatures hovering around 40 degrees with cloudy skies.

Linebacker Rashad Bobino remembers Texas 22-20 win at Nebraska last year, when Ryan Bailey kicked a winning field goal off f a snowy field.

I dont really worry about [the weather], Bobino said. I remember at Nebraska, my first game ever of playing in the snow. I thought I was on a video game or something. Its something you see on the game with the snowflakes going down, and youre breathing, and the cold air comes out. Plus, I like when we wear the long white socks too, so Im really looking forward to it. Its about time we had a cold game.