Four-star cornerback Yuri Wright was expelled from Don Bosco Prep (Ramsey, N.J.) Thursday for messages on his Twitter account dating back to the summer.
The “tweets,” which many were of a sexual and vulgar nature, were deemed offensive, and led to his expulsion from school.
“Don Bosco Prep had to do what Don Bosco Prep had to do,” Ironmen coach Greg Toal said Thursday afternoon when reached via cell phone. Toal later told numerous media outlets Wright was warned repeatedly to tone down his tweeting.
Don Bosco athletic director Brian McAleer declined comment and calls to Wright’s cell phone and home were not answered.
“Yuri is the first impactful high school kid that’s seen anything happen like this,” Scout.com national recruiting analyst Bob Lichtenfels said. “He’s certainly not the only one. He’s getting the attention, but any of us who follow this industry can certainly name a lot of kids that probably say a lot worse stuff than Yuri Wright.”
Wright, who is Scout.com’s 10th-rated cornerback in the 2012 class, narrowed his list to Notre Dame, Rutgers and Colorado before his tweets hit the main stream after being profiled by chatsports.com.
The report, citing no sources, said Michigan stopped recruiting Wright because of inappropriate and offensive messages on his twitter account. It wrote “the Michigan coaching staff took a deeper look into the prospect after a concerned alumnus sent the school verbatim tweets” from Wrights account.
NCAA rules prohibit college coaches from discussing specific recruits until they sign binding national letters of intent, and the first day to do that is Feb. 1.
After the report surfaced, Don Bosco’s administration moved quickly to expel Wright. The “tweets” cited on Wright’s account began July 25 and ran through Jan. 7. He played throughout the season and helped the Ironmen, No. 2 in Scout.com’s final rankings, win the North Jersey Non-Public state title for the sixth straight season.
“I think the mistake kids make is they don’t think that people pay attention to what is written on social networks,” Lichtenfels said. “These college coaches are all over Twitter.”
The report Michigan dropped Wright because of messages on his Twitter account shows the growing trend in which college coaches closely monitor social networks. Schools regularly keep track of prospects via twitter and Facebook, whose messaging feature is a staple in recruiting since NCAA rules allow contact via the social network.
“The people that can look at that are potential employers, and places like the NFL,” Lichtenfels said. “When you go the NFL and general managers are trying to make decisions based on the smallest, most minute things, they looking at things written on Facebook and Twitter and things like that. When you write it on the world wide web, it’s for everyone to see. Kids don’t think coaches are reading it, but they are.”
Wright lives in Spring Valley, N.Y., and is looking to enroll in a new school.
In the wake of the scandal, Wright deleted his twitter account Thursday. By Friday evening, he began a new account.
“ima get through all this but ima new God to help me through,” Wright’s first post on his new account read. Within three hours he had 500 followers.