Unfortunate situation puts bright future on hold
Published: Thursday, March 22, 2012
Updated: Thursday, March 22, 2012 11:03
Sometimes situations really suck.
This situation with redshirt freshman wide receiver J.J. Worton is one of them.
As of now, there’s a whole bunch of alleged this and alleged that, and we’re waiting for a clear account of what happened (and what will be done about it, because as of now, Worton is suspended from the team for the spring). Here’s the oversimplified version of what it sounds like happened, though: A freshman in college got drunk and did something dumb.
Gosh, that’s never happened before.
Now, in no way am I defending what Worton allegedly did. It was the kind of thing that embarrasses the school and the program.
As a college athlete, he has to learn that whatever he does will be magnified. He needs to learn that whole actions-have-consequences thing. Worton should be suspended and punished.
Removed from the program, though? Hardly. But don’t be surprised when people, especially those who don’t like UCF, are calling for that.
It’s funny, especially when it comes to intense Internet trash talking, how fans of other programs will be up in arms when a player from a different program gets arrested. There’s this outpouring of “How can programs tolerate this?”
UCF fans would do the same if it were a player from any of the other programs in-state.
The irony is that there’s all this judgement being levied on, generally, 18-21 year olds. No, they don’t get a pass because they’re talented and young. But keep it in perspective. Coaches are always playing up the media, talking about helping young men grow. Here’s an opportunity for that to happen.
Worton should not be removed from the program. He should be suspended for however long head coach George O’Leary sees fit. He should have to work his way back up the depth chart. He already will have something on his record that will follow him around for the rest of his life.
He should also consider avoiding block parties and the Plaza, at least while he is still underage.
But, at the end of the day, a freshman in college did something stupid. Hang around the Plaza — it happens on a nightly basis. The difference is it doesn’t end up in the paper, and that’s part of the trade-off of being a Division I athlete and having your education paid for.
It’s not OK, but let the one who has never had a hangover cast the first stone.
Some situations suck, but let’s hope it’s all kept in perspective.