Andrew Gilman

The curious case of Ray and Trae

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The curious case of Ray and Trae
Ray Young protected his son, and any of us with children would have done the same thing.
When it comes to those things we love, we’re not objective. We don’t see clearly and are often times blinded by a number of emotions – all of which stem from love. We’re not objective, in fact, we’re quite subjective.
Ray Young protected his son when her perceived the newspaper, The Norman Transcript and columnist Clay Horning, unfairly attacked his son Trae.
But that’s not the point here, because any of us would protect the ones we love. I’m not defending Ray’s actions, or suggesting he was out of line. Both could conceivably be true in this case. The point is, when Young tweets (and later deletes) his son might not end up playing basketball at Oklahoma because of what he thinks is unfair coverage by The Transcript, he’s essentially just giving an excuse.
See, Trae is one of the top players in the nation. A rare talent on level with Blake Griffin or Xavier Henry. Basically, Young has NBA potential, so that means colleges like Kentucky and Kansas as well as Oklahoma have all offered a scholarship.
Perhaps Ray thinks his son would be better off at Kansas or Kentucky. Perhaps Ray and his son don’t like Lon Kruger at Oklahoma and the direction the Sooners are headed. All of that may be in play, but when the home-town kid decides to leave the state, he’s going to take some heat. That’s not fair, either. Leaving the state might be the best thing for Trae and his career. After all, Kevin Durant left Oklahoma and he’s not even from here, and you saw how that turned out. A “local” product turned his back on his “home.” Shameful, people said. Still say it, too.
The Transcript controversy is just a smokescreen. It’s an easy excuse for Ray and his son to use if or when a commitment is given to another school. They can point to a few lines of text and say, “See ya,” and the outcry from the public will be softened. Maybe people will even be on their side. Fair enough. A decent enough approach, too.
But what happens in Lexington or Lawrence when a local writer publishes something the Youngs don’t like? It’s bound to happen at some point, somewhere. Will Ray advise his son to transfer again?  What will be the excuse this time? Is it OK for some papers to challenge Trae and others can’t?
By blaming the paper and its coverage, Ray and his son have provided themselves an out, but ultimately it seems like a dangerous way to do it.

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