Last year, Vince Young stayed away from the media following an injury and disappearance that led his mother to call police. He is taking a different approach to the negative attention regarding an assault at a Dallas strip club Sunday.
“About a year ago when this stuff happened to me, when I got hurt, and all of that stuff was going on; I didn’t know how to handle it at first, but I’m more accustomed to it now,” Young said. “I made my mistake, I’m owning up to my mistake, and now I’m trying to move on and get ready for the season.”
Young was involved in a 4 a.m. altercation with Club Onyx employee Creiton Kinchen. Surveillance footage captured the two men arguing for a few minutes prior to a scuffle. Young was cited for assault, which is a Class C misdemeanor with a maximum fine of $500, equivalent to a traffic violation. At organized team activies Monday, Young downplayed the incident, which resulted in a cut lip for Kinchen.
“It wasn’t no punch, as a matter of fact it was just a push,” Young said. “At first I was going to lay down in my hotel and somebody talked me into it [going to strip club],” Young said. “Bad decision, bad move on my part.”
Reports said the altercation stemmed from an anti-University of Texas (Young’s alma mater) hand gesture — an upside down “Hook ‘em’ Horns.” Young said there was more to it.
“[The upside-down horns] is disrespectful but it was more than that,” he said. “I don’t really want to get all in to it, I apologize to them [teammates] and the organization. It’s past and over with and now I’m letting my legal folks take care of it.”
Young said that his teammates have been supportive following the incident. His Longhorn and Titan teammate Bo Scaife said that it “seems like nothing is wrong” with Young on the field but noted that college fires still burn.
“If it’s a [hand gesture] coming from a Sooner it’s probably a little more disrespectful than someone from the Pac-10 or something like that,” he said. “You just don’t want to get caught in a situation like that.”
Coach Jeff Fisher, though let down, doesn’t see the incident as derailing Young’s mission to be a team leader.
“I’m disappointed, but [Young’s] taken responsibility for it, and I’d like to think he’s learned a lesson,” Fisher said. “Becoming a leader is a process, you don’t just step up and just take over a team. Throughout the process, you hope there aren’t setbacks, but this may be a setback. In the long run, I don’t think it’s going to affect him.”
The NFL is looking into the incident, but there is no word on any forthcoming punishment, such as suspension. Fisher said the team would cooperate with any decision that the league makes.
“The commissioner is very strict about these types of things, and I’m sure we’ll hear from him after we get more information,” Fisher said. “He had no business making the mistake he made and obviously he’s got to deal with those consequences.”
Fisher would not comment on any disciplinary action by the team.
“I pray to God that [NFL Commissioner] Roger Goodell don’t come [down] hard on me, because I definitely want to be there for my team,” Young said. “Right now we’ve got a team goal to finish the season in Dallas with a Super Bowl.”