A battle went down the other day on a basketball court at Gregory Gym on the University of Texas – Austin campus. It’s a battle that has been fought across time and generations. It pitted a freshman defensive back from the Texas Longhorns (ranked #2 in the latest Associated Press Top 25 poll) and a UT law student (ranked #15 in the latest U.S. News law school rankings). Who hasn’t been a part of a strong kid v. smart kid fight?
The football player is freshman Kenny Vaccaro. The law student is Jonathon Fuhrman. The Austin-American Statesman takes it from here:
Fuhrman, who is identified as a UT student, told police Vaccaro and his friends were throwing basketballs at him. The affidavit said Fuhrman threw a basketball back at Vaccaro, hitting him in the head.
Fuhrman said Vaccaro then punched him in the face. The affidavit stated that Fuhrman, when he was interviewed by police, had blood coming from a cut lip.
Guys at my high school used to throw basketballs at future legal scholars all of the time. Then they would make love to all the women and be treated like gods. But now they all have multiple out-of-wedlock children and/or priors, while the future legal scholars enjoy prosperous careers and fulfilling romantic relationships. It was no big deal.
Will Vaccaro get punished for this? I’ll share some painful childhood memories, after the jump.
In fairness to Vaccaro, can you imagine what happened to the last dork that had the gall to throw a basketball at his head? I bet that kid received a lot more than a bloody lip. Arguably, Vaccaro showed some restraint here.
As for Fuhrman, you kind of have to applaud the moxie he showed by standing up to the big scary schoolboys. I too have been in the position where I’ve hurled whatever was in my grabbable area at athletically superior individuals who were taunting me. Trust me, when you throw something at a bigger, stronger kid, you are not surprised when you are bleeding ten seconds later. One time a bunch of bullies were playing keep-away with one of my 8-bit Nintendo games. I finally got it back after much taunting, and even as I tried to walk away, they kept on me. So I turned around and winged the cartridge right at the mouthiest kid. Caught him right below the eye.
I don’t remember much after that, except being vaguely impressed that the human skull was in fact much tougher than a Nintendo cartridge. But there are some things worth taking a beating for. No single punch stings more than the loss of pride.
Vaccaro, of course, claims that Fuhrman was spoiling for a fight. Does anybody believe that some law student was cruising the UT campus looking to trade fisticuffs with D-I football players? Because I don’t. And methinks a judge — i.e., a former law student — will not believe it either.
But remember, this is Texas. And in Texas justice doesn’t always apply to those that can perform on the gridiron. Longhorns coach Mack Brown is already circling the wagons:
Texas coach Mack Brown released a statement shortly after news of the arrest warrant surfaced.
“We’re aware of the situation with Kenny Vaccaro,” Brown said. “We’ve talked to Kenny and his family, and pending the completion of the legal process, we’ll do what’s best for the university, Kenny and the team. One thing we have really prided ourselves on in our program is our family atmosphere, and this will be handled within our family.”
I wonder if coach Mack will be so supportive of Vaccaro when Tim Tebow is running through him in Pasadena next year.
You know what — why involve the authorities in this at all? Life is long, just let this play out. It’s not inconceivable that one day Kenny Vaccaro and Jonathon Fuhrman will meet again — only perhaps next time Fuhrman will be called “The Honorable” Jonathon Fuhrman. We’ll see who wants to throw his balls around then.
Arrest warrant issued for Vaccaro [Austin-American Statesman]
Warrant issued after alleged fight [ESPN.com]