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Former RBHS player disciplined at UNA

Bradley Patterson is a young man who graduated from Red Bay High School last year.

The last time he was featured on a page in The Franklin County Times was when he was named the Alabama Sports Writers Association (ASWA) 2A Lineman of the Year at the 2011 Mr. Football banquet for the state of Alabama, the very same one where T.J. Yeldon, now a star running back for the Alabama Crimson Tide, was named 2011 Mr. Football for the state.

Patterson was a standout at defensive end for the Tigers, and he had hoped to extend his playing career to the collegiate level.

He was listed as an “uninvited walk-on” for the UNA Lions football team because he joined the team of his own volition after becoming a student there last fall.

He was listed on the depth chart as a back-up long snapper but never saw the field during the 2012 season

Now it is likely he will never return to the field in any capacity for the Lions.

Sunday afternoon during the NFL game between the 49ers and Patriots a speech by President Barack Obama pre-empted coverage of the game.

Patterson responded by placing a tweet on his Twitter account that included a racial slur aimed at the president.

“I found out about the tweet Sunday evening at right around a quarter till nine,” UNA Athletic Director Mark Linder said. “This issue had been brought to my attention through various forms of media. I got a tweet on my Twitter account about it, and I got some e-mails about the incident. I normally put my phone up on Sunday afternoons because I’m spending time with my family, but right before preparing for bed I looked at my phone and I saw that we had an issue that we had to deal with.”

Less than an hour later, Patterson was no longer a member of the Lions football team because of that racial remark.

“From the time the tweet came to my attention to the time we were able to get everyone contacted on the phone and a response from was not very long,” Linder said. “I know we contacted [Patterson] around 9:30 p.m. (Sunday night), so we’re looking at a 45-minute period.”

Students at the University of North Alabama are held to certain academic and behavioral standards, and those rules and more are also in place to govern the moral conduct of student-athletes.

“We have a student-athlete code of conduct as well as a social media policy, and Mr. Patterson had violated both of those,” Linder said. “It is very, very important that we hold true to our code of conduct, and so we decided to make this decision quickly.”

That tweet has now seen Patterson removed from any ties he had with the Lions’ football team, and according to Linder, any chance of the young man returning to the team will not happen, at least “not right now.”

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