Thursday, June 14, 2012
Punishments handed to Longhorn trio
By David Ubben
Texas' trio of safety Kenny Vaccaro, defensive end Alex Okafor and tight end Barrett Matthews are in the process of receiving their punishment for an incident at an Austin pizza parlor in May, but it won't include game suspensions.
That's no real surprise for what equated to very minor charges, but still produced headlines that coach Mack Brown deemed unsavory. He told reporters Wednesday that the punishment is still ongoing and will be handled internally.
Vaccaro, Okafor, Matthews and former UT player Eryon Barnett were charged on May 7 with failure to obey, a misdemeanor, after declining a police officer's orders to leave the Roppolo's Pizza restaurant at 316 East 6th Street.
All charges against the three Texas players have been dropped, Brown said, and the seniors are working to regain their status as leaders in the program.
"They are paying hard for really being disrespectful to authority figures," Brown said. "It's our job to make sure we keep the respect of the authority figures we have. Our police department has a difficult job, and if they ask you to leave you should leave, and you should leave quickly."
Okafor and Vaccaro were pulled off Texas' travel contingent for Big 12 media days next month and won't represent the team until the fall, but can still be captains.
Is Brown's punishment too strict, too lenient or just right?