The college baseball player who became the wrong kind of viral Internet sensation last week has dropped out of Yavapai Community College in Arizona and returned home to California after receiving threats for his role in what some of us called the "worst cheap shot ever."
The Arizona Republic reported earlier this week that Austin O'Such had been encouraged by school administrators to leave school for his own safety. The 18-year-old had been the target of unspecified threats after a video of him blindsiding Scottsdale Community College's Jake Bamrick was viewed millions of times on the Internet. The action earned him an immediate suspension on March 29 for the rest of the season, but it wasn't until a week later that the video found its way online.
The paper even caught up with O'Such, who said he was sorry for what he had done and definitely grasped just how wide the footage of his big mistake had spread.
From the Arizona Republic:
O'Such told The Republic he was "very remorseful."
"I have no excuses for what I did," he said. "I want to be able to say how sorry I am. I just have to deal with the consequences. I want to be able to play baseball again at some point in my life."
O'Such said he has deleted his social-networking accounts, including Facebook and Twitter, because of threats he has received. He also said his family has received threats through social media.
"I feel horrible about what my parents have to go through," said O'Such, who added that he will not return to Yavapai to play baseball.
The Phoenix New Times reports the Yavapai College police department never filed any charges against O'Such and that it would have been up to Bamrick to press charges. But that doesn't seem likely with Bamrick's parents being quoted in the Republic as saying they were satisfied with the remorse shown by O'Such as well as his plans for a letter of apology.
So what do we take from all of this? Well, first, it does seem like an awfully good cautionary tale for parents and educators to use with their children and students. Our actions and bad decisions have the potential to reach a worldwide audience. Anything can go viral if a clip from a community college baseball game between two low-profile schools can.
Secondly, if the Bamrick family isn't seeking any further justice against O'Such, the rest of you Chuck Norris vigilante types need to knock it off (not that you didn't need to before.)
O'Such has apologized and is trying to move on with his life. Let's all move on with ours.