Column: Through suspensions, Stoops shows Sooners he’s serious

By Tobi NeidyColumn

Column: Through suspensions, Stoops shows Sooners he’s serious

Oklahoma football coach Bob Stoops wasn’t finished with his own version of “spring cleaning.”

Following a season that ended with several transfers and dismissals from the locker room, Stoops and Co. said they weren’t giving out free rides anymore. But apparently receivers Trey Franks, Jaz Reynolds, Kameel Jackson and reserve safety Quentin Hayes didn’t get that memo.

If my count is correct — and I’m assuming that these players won’t be coming back — this makes 13 scholarships that have opened up since December.

While some of the exiting players weren’t starters and saw only a handful of playing minutes, this past group of exiles take with them 75 percent of OU’s starting receiving corps. That’s a big hit for a program that is trying to get back on the national title run after failing to get close to the championship game last season.

I think it was safe to assume that after the December teammate fire sale happened, we would be seeing a new Stoops team ready for battle. But now you have to wonder if Stoops is done cleaning out his closets or if there are still guys lurking on the team who are just dead weight.

What was more troubling about the quadruple-suspension announcement wasn’t that so many players got cited but how many were repeat offenders.

As a sophomore, Franks served a two-game suspension for violating team rules. So far, reports suggest the backup wide receiver has been dismissed from the team. And think that Franks won’t be missed? Besides giving starters a chance to catch their breath, Franks finished last season as the team’s leading kickoff returner, averaging 23.9 yards on 22 attempts.

Reynolds was the second repeat offender of the bunch, his third team violation. His most notable previous infraction was the malicious Twitter posts about the shooting in 2010 on Texas’ campus.

You would think these guys took their mulligan from Stoops and learned how to avoid missing games due to extracurricular activities off the field. But maybe taking such high-level recruits means there is a price to pay once they come to campus.

When three-, four- and five-star recruits are used to being men among boys at the high school level and have to learn to play as a team and hold themselves accountable for their actions, incidents like these may just be collateral damage.

I’m a college student, and you don’t have to preach the “boys will be boys” philosophy.

But whether your name is Rhett Bomar or anything else, the rules still apply to you, and Stoops doesn’t hold the names on the back of the jerseys in the same regard as the name on the front.

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