At Texas, Vince Young finally ran out of chances.
As first reported by the Associated Press, Young was fired from his job as a development officer in the Division of Diversity and Community Engagement on March 1 “for not demonstrating significant and sustained improvement in the performance of (his) job responsibilities and failing to maintain standards of conduct suitable and acceptable to the university.”
Originally hired in 2014 and paid just under $80,000 per year for the part-time role, Young started receiving job warnings in 2017, but continued to perform poorly, failed to communicate with his supervisors, and did not show up for work.
Young’s position was responsible for alumni relations and raising money for low-income students and first-generation college students.
The termination by his alma mater, where he was a record-setting quarterback and led Texas to the national championship in the 2006 Rose Bowl, wasn’t the only personal setback for Young recently — he was arrested and charged with driving while intoxicated outside of Houston in early February, hours after the Super Bowl.
It was the second drunk-driving arrest for Young in three years. In 2016, he was arrested and charged in Austin, eventually pleading no contest and receiving 18 months probation. Young apologized publicly and was able to keep his job at Texas, but couldn’t stop making poor decisions.
It’s not clear whether Young has actually reflected on those poor decisions and his own personal responsibility for his multiple arrests and getting fired from a job that was created specifically for him.
Yes sir!! please don't believe what u have read or seen about me I'm am not the person they portray me as. Love big guy... https://t.co/WaOvivPnP5— Vince Young (@VinceYoung10) March 9, 2019
As a star quarterback in a state that reveres football, Young faced significant obstacles growing up, but also benefited from the entitlement afforded to players with his level of talent. There’s a strong argument that his NFL career, which lasted only six seasons, was significantly derailed by the immaturity that resulted at least in part from his entitlement.
Young still has his steakhouse and his frequent mistakes can’t take away his immutable success on the field, but he is diminishing his legacy after pushing the boundaries in a job meant to highlight that legacy and allow him to help students coming from similar backgrounds.
And so, once again, Young let down Texas and let down his supporters, many of whom were willing to criticize Young’s former NFL head coach, Jeff Fisher, for Fisher’s perceived mistreatment of Young. In retrospect, it seems fair to reconsider the extent to which Young hastened his departure from the league.
The vitriol directed at Young on social media is worthy of condemnation, but acting like the victim is troubling — it suggests that Young still doesn’t get it. Despite the significant evidence suggesting otherwise, Young is apparently struggling to accept the consequences of his actions.
At 35 years old, it’s time for Young to finally grow and start making better decisions. As for the angry fans? Asking them to exercise some public restraint seems reasonable, but it’s also not always easy to see the failures of your heroes put on display.