As fall camp opened on Monday, August 4 the question that Utah Utes quarterback Travis Wilson would have preferred to answer was about overcoming the brain injury that prevented him from playing part of last season. Many believed Wilson wouldn't return as Utah's signal caller--or even to football.
Instead, Wilson spent a good portion of his time Monday answering questions about the ticket for underage drinking he received last month while he and his buddies attended a Tim McGraw concert at USANA Amphitheatre in West Valley City.
Anyone who knows kids knows they're bound to do stupid things--this was no exception. Wilson was reportedly caught drinking a beer at a public concert with his buddies. With his citation, Wilson joins BYU running back Jamaal Williams in the recent not-so-pantheon of high-profile athletes who were busted for drinking and other alcohol-related offenses when they were under the legal age of 21.
Wilson was called to appear at West Valley City Justice Court after he was cited. Before that, police released Wilson on his own recognizance (read: he wasn't very drunk) and the matter was further handled internally by the Utes football staff. (read: nothing else happened.)
So that's it, huh? No one-game suspension--which is what happened to BYU's Williams? Just a slap on the hand on the Hill? Apparently so, because that's as far as this story went.
“He’s a great leader. It was obviously something that was a mistake but his leadership is very good," Utah head coach Kyle Whittingham said in an interview with the Deseret News.
Parents who are considering having their kids play at the University of Utah might disagree with Whit's frank and rather sunny assessment. In the past month, the Utes head coach is now 0-for-2 in predictions, by the way--he misread Harvey Langi's intention to transfer to BYU, too.
Is Whit losing touch with the media? It appears he may have already lost his own team. Not many four-star recruits committed to Pac-12 Utah in the signing period--and even fewer in-state recruits decided to play for the Utes.
As far as Wilson's on-the-field leadership is concerned, Ute fans will have wait and see on that one--because the verdict is out on Wilson and his ability following a 1,827 yard passing year in nine games in 2013 with 16 touchdowns against 16 interceptions.
As you all know by now, an intra-cranial brain injury sidelined Wilson for Utah's three most important games last season--or the last three--and so the team's play worsened without Wilson at the controls, hereby eliminating the Utes from bowl contention.
So the 6-foot-7, 235-pound part-wrecking ball, part-gazelle of a QB--or Wilson--is obviously seeking a fresh start this year. But this citation was poor judgment on Wilson's part and not the kind of thing you want to do when you're trying to win the confidence of your teammates and keep your starting job.
And it is not good to do this sort of thing--especially when you have competition in the form of Oklahoma transfer Kendal Thompson, a son of a college football legend, breathing down your neck at the same position.