Bob's Blog: Letting Leitao In
Back in July of 2009, then-Rangers manager Ron Washington tested positive for cocaine. As Wash told Rangers management about the incident, he told them he had never used cocaine prior and hadn't used cocaine since that one time he did it in Anaheim as an aid for his anxiety. He owned up to it on his own, told the Rangers he would resign and apologized profusely. When the news became public in spring training the following year, no one could really wrap their head around the fact that a middle-aged man just randomly turned to cocaine one random night and never did it again. But the Rangers believed in him and he proved to them it didn't define him.
Texas is taking a very similar chance with signee Reese Leitao. Leitao showed up at his high school in Tulsa with 20 Xanax pills and $1300 dollars. When caught, he admitted he had the intent to sell. Maybe it wasn't a one-time thing for Leitao, maybe it was. But it's certainly the only huge mistake Texas will allow him to make. Like Wash - UT will give Leitao a chance to prove it's not who he is, and it doesn't define his future. He's apologized and as UT A.D Mike Perrin put it: he was contrite, sincere and accountable.
Tuesday’s decision to admit a star football player into the school is viewed in one of two ways: either Tom Herman and Mike Perrin are super lenient as they try to revive a downtrodden football program and that's their number one goal – and people will roast the duo for it. Or, Tom Herman and Mike Perrin are willing to give a high school kid that made a mistake a chance to make things right. To benefit them, sure, but also to help a young man learn and grow with a brighter future.
Either way - like Wash, Leitao has a long way to go to prove what defines him. No matter who believes in him.
One week following a plea that reduced his drug charge from a felony to a misdemeanor - with conditions - Leitao learns Texas will admit him despite the arrest. Perrin released a statement saying he's reviewed the case and calls Leitao a good student, highly-regarded teammate and leader, and says he met with Reese and his parents recently.