Student-athletes with social-media accounts would be wise to remember the story of Yuri Wright before posting without thinking of the potential recourse.
Wright, a highly ranked cornerback for Don Bosco Prep (N.J.) High School’s football team, was expelled from the school last week for vulgar content on his Twitter account, according to multiple media reports.
“He was expelled from the school for the things he had written on Twitter,” said Wright’s former coach, Greg Toal, to ESPNNewYork.com. “It was pretty simple really, what he wrote were some graphic sex things. This is a Catholic school, things like that cannot happen. It was totally inappropriate.”
Wright had the account listed as “private,” meaning that he would have to approve any follower before he or she gained access to his tweets.
He’s deleted the offending Twitter account, but a simple Google cache shows the handle @YuriWright3 having a bio that reads, “D1-Bound All-American Cornerback of the Don Bosco Prep Ironmen Follow me on the road to success.....”
We won’t be posting a link to the offending tweets (Google it, if you’re really curious), but, suffice it to say, they were rather graphic in nature.
Toal said that student-athletes at Don Bosco had been warned about potential ramifications of posting on social networks.
“We told them about 10 or 15 times to get off (Twitter) and not to be involved in it, but there is always somebody who thinks he knows better.” Toal told ESPNNewYork.com. “What he wrote was pretty bad, to be honest with you, I can’t even say what he wrote.”
Scholarship Chances in Hot Water?
As if getting expelled from high school weren’t bad enough, his tweets have jeopardized his chances at landing a college scholarship, too, according to Rivals.com recruiting analyst Mike Farrell. Michigan reportedly pulled a scholarship offer to Wright, and other schools are considering doing the same.
“This has ruined Yuri’s chance to attend the school he has labeled as his dream school in Michigan and it could cause other schools to back off as well,” Farrell said. “Hopefully, this example will send a wake-up call to high-profile prospects moving forward to watch what they put out in cyberspace.”
Farrell also said that Wright, to his knowledge, was the “highest-profile prospect to be dropped by a college program and expelled from school over Twitter.”
One school that reportedly hasn’t yet dropped Wright from consideration? Rutgers University in New Jersey. Farrell tweeted on Friday that Wright was on his official visit to the school, suggesting that it hadn’t yet dropped him from scholarship consideration.
In fact, Farrell tweeted Friday morning that two other schools had developed interest in Wright after hearing that some schools were “backing off.”
Notre Dame, meanwhile, has reportedly made no decision on offering Wright a scholarship, Farrell tweeted. Notre Dame’s Catholic identity could further complicate a scholarship offer to Wright, given that he was just kicked out of a Catholic school.
In short: Given Rutgers’ continued interest, along with the two new unnamed schools, Wright still appears likely to land a college scholarship .
A version of this news article first appeared in the Schooled in Sports blog.