Austin Vincent made a mistake 16 months ago that ultimately forced him to leave the University of Colorado. He also made a few trying to work his way back.

Coach Mike MacIntyre welcomed back Vincent to the Colorado football team this spring because he believes in second chances and he saw a 6-foot-2 wide receiver who might one day be able to help the program win games.

But Vincent won't be playing for MacIntyre any time soon. He is ineligible to participate in 2013 under NCAA transfer rules.

Vincent enrolled at two colleges in the year he spent away from CU. He went to Cisco College in Texas last spring and Sam Houston State last fall. If he would have attended both schools part time and not practiced with either football program, he could have returned to CU without having to sit out the mandatory transfer year under NCAA rules. But CU has been informed by both schools that Vincent attended both institutions full time and practiced with both football teams.

The earliest Vincent will be able to play at CU will be the season opener in 2014 as a fourth-year junior, and that will only happen if he is able to remain academically eligible and meet the required benchmarks for progress toward a degree.


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Vincent was originally recruited to CU by former coach Jon Embree in the 2011 class. He was from DeSoto, Texas, where he starred at DeSoto High School. Near the end of a freshman season in which he spent redshirting, he was arrested for exposing himself to a female student in the shower at Willard Hall.

He plead guilty to one count of misdemeanor indecent exposure in Boulder last June and was sentenced to five years probation and was also required to register as a sex offender.

"I learned to humble myself," Vincent said after the first scrimmage of spring drills. "I was a very arrogant kid. I came from a very good high school. I was a very good player and everything was given to me. So I came in not open-minded and very, very arrogant. I think that was a way for God to break me down.

"It has definitely been a very, very humbling experience for me and my parents."

After Vincent plead guilty last summer, Embree said he would not be welcomed back to the program. But when Colorado made a coaching change at the end of the 2012 season and hired MacIntyre, Vincent renewed his efforts to return.

MacIntyre and his assistants allowed Vincent to participate in a workout for potential walk-ons last month and offered him the chance to return to the team as a walk-on. Vincent and his parents are paying out-of-state tuition with the help of student loans. Vincent said athletic director Mike Bohn and assistant athletic director Jim Senter also have helped him work through the process of rejoining the team. He hopes to earn back his scholarship at some point in the future.

"Me and my parents, we're taking it day by day," Vincent said. "We're doing the best we can financially to support me through school. It's very hard on my parents. That's why I go so hard every day at practice and in the classroom.

"I don't have all my books for school. I don't have all the necessities to be successful in the classroom, but I try my hardest to do the best that I can."

Vincent said he thinks twice before doing anything these days and a relentlessly positive attitude fuels him to continue trying to succeed here in Boulder when he could have transferred to other schools and probably had an easier time proving himself. He is determined to write a better ending with the Buffs.

"It was some unfinished business that I didn't get to take care of," Vincent said. "I feel like I came in with these guys. I owe these guys my dedication on the football field. I owe these guys my company because they're not only my friends, they're not only my brothers, but they're my family. I care about these guys a lot.

"A lot of the freshmen that are here now, I was hosting them when they came to visit. I want to be a positive role model, and, really, I want to say, clear my name in the community and let them know that I have moved on and I have accepted what I've done. I just want to get a second chance."

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