Barnett Discusses Jimmerson Stepping Down, Commitment to OSU

Thursday, July 28th 2011, 5:31 pm
By: News On 6

Originally Published: Jan 26, 2010 2:6 PM CDT

More on Oklahoma Sports about Barnett and Jimmerson...

- Booker T. Washington Head Coach Jimmerson Resigns (1/25)
- OSU Commit Calvin Barnett Back from Arkansas Visit (1/24)
- Read the complete Booker T. Washington investigation report

Kyle Dierking
Oklahoma Sports Reporter

TULSA, Oklahoma -- Antwain Jimmerson’s resignation as head football coach and athletic director at Booker T. Washington High School has been met with mixed feelings amongst many, including former player Calvin Barnett, who spoke with Oklahoma Sports on Monday night.

Jimmerson was in the middle of serving an indefinite suspension for violating recruiting, residency and eligibility rules when he resigned on Monday afternoon. He coached the Hornets for 10 seasons, leading the Hornets to the 2008 5A State Championship – the school’s first in 24 years.

“He knows football, he knows defense – he’s a real good coach when it comes to that,” Barnett said during a phone interview. “Due to that everything that happened, I really wouldn’t want him to come back for the younger classes because I wouldn’t want them to have to go through that again because I feel like the team next year at Booker T. is going to win state.”

Barnett, who played on both the offensive and defensive line for Jimmerson from 2006-2009, says his senior season was especially tough after the team was kept out of the playoffs and was unable to defend its state title.

“He really wanted us to win, I guess,” Barnett said. “He had to of known the grades because he was the AD – he was getting everyone’s grades. He knew everyone’s address – he knew that kid was coming from Bartlesville – the coach was bringing him of course.”

More than 40 student-athletes were found ineligible in softball, volleyball cross country and football. In addition to forfeiting games in those sports, assistant athletic director Ioder “Butch” Fisher resigned his position and assistant football coach, Scott Gilkey was removed from all football and track activities for the remainder of the school year and softball coach Brian Howell was placed on probation. BTW Principal Michael Johnson stepped down and was reassigned to another position within TPS. The OSSAA accepted those penalties set forth by Tulsa Public Schools during a November board meeting.

“That’s the bad part – we know that he knows – that’s what made it real bad,” Barnett said. “If he didn’t have (any) knowledge, then it would be different, but we knew he knew. That’s what kills it.

“He had our best interest trying to let everyone play so we’ll win, but at the same time that wasn’t right.”

Barnett is considered to be one of the best defensive tackles in the country and recently surpassed Tulsa Central’s Demarco Cobbs as the top football prospect in the state of Oklahoma, according to

Despite taking a visit to Arkansas last weekend with teammate and Razorbacks commit Eric Bennett, Barnett said he is still verbally committed to Oklahoma State and is ready for signing day to be over.

“Everyone can keep talking about me taking my visit to Arkansas or whatever, but for now I’m still committed to OSU and nothing’s changed really,” Barnett said. “Everybody will see on signing day.