Report: Oklahoma Sooners Dismiss Starting Quarterback
Wednesday, August 2nd 2006, 1:14 pm
News On 6
NORMAN, Okla. (AP) _ Oklahoma starting quarterback Rhett Bomar was kicked off the team Wednesday after an investigation revealed he broke NCAA rules through his employment at a local business, according to a television report.
Oklahoma confirmed that two players had been dismissed by the team but did not identify them. The school said in a statement that the players violated NCAA rules by working at a private business and taking ``payment over an extended period of time in excess of time actually worked.''
Oklahoma City television station KWTV reported that Bomar, who set an Oklahoma freshman record with 2,018 passing yards after taking over as the Sooners' starter in the second game last season, was one of the two players who had been permanently dismissed. Oklahoma City television station KOCO reported that Bomar's roommate, offensive lineman J.D. Quinn, was the second player.
Kenny Mossman, associate athletic director for communications at OU, confirmed two players were dismissed but did not identify them. Phone messages left with Bomar's father, Jerry Bomar, weren't immediately returned.
``We spend a considerable amount of time addressing our players regarding their personal conduct and the NCAA rules,'' head coach Bob Stoops said in a statement. ``They know exactly what we expect from them. Ultimately, they have to make right decisions. The same holds true for our boosters. When they do not, the consequences are serious, and we will not tolerate this behavior.
``Our team and university actions are necessary because of the intentional participation and knowledge of the student athletes in these violations,'' Stoops said.
Players were not allowed to talk to the media after an afternoon meeting at the football complex. Security guards watched as players, among them Adrian Peterson and Paul Thompson, walked from campus football offices to a team dinner.
The dismissed players apparently worked for a Norman-based car dealership, although Jeff Atkins, an attorney for that dealership's current owner, David Hudiburg, said that it was not possible to confirm whether Bomar or Quinn worked at the dealership without previous company records, which Hudiburg _ who took over management of the dealership in April _ does not own.
``We do believe they probably did (work at the dealership),'' Atkins said. ``We have people who tell us they did.''
Atkins released a statement Wednesday that said that since Hudiburg bought the dealership, ``Big Red Sports and Imports has not employed any athletes from the University of Oklahoma. All the current allegations involve conduct under the previous ownership and management.''
He said that the dealership's current ownership has complied with all of OU's requests for information related to the situation.
``We don't know a lot, other than that we had nothing to do with it,'' Atkins said.
Atkins said the dealership's previous owner was Mike Donohue and its manager was Brad McRae.
Hudiburg told reporters that the dealership had received negative telephone calls Wednesday about the controversy.
``They're blaming us,'' he said of the callers. ``We've been there four months and we're not in any way responsible. If they're mad, they can't be mad at us.''
A top-rated recruit out of high school, Bomar redshirted his first season while 2004 Heisman Trophy winner Jason White completed his career. Bomar lost a quarterback competition to Thompson last fall, but was named the starter after the Sooners lost to TCU in the first week.
He started Oklahoma's final 11 games and completed 54 percent of his passes, while throwing 10 touchdowns and 10 interceptions. Oklahoma finished 2005 by winning six of its final seven games, including a victory against Oregon in the Holiday Bowl.
Quinn started four times at right guard last season but missed spring practice with an injury.
``I firmly believe that our program is stronger than any individual player and that a championship program cannot compromise its values,'' Stoops said in the statement.
Thompson, the only quarterback other than Bomar with experience at Oklahoma, was moved to receiver after Bomar became the starter. A backup in 2002 and 2003, Thompson played in a reserve role until he beat out Bomar last fall.
In his career, Thompson has completed 42 of 73 passes for 428 yards. He caught 11 passes for 106 yards after moving to receiver last season.
Other options would be Joey Halzle, a junior college transfer who passed for 2,077 yards and 13 touchdowns in 10 games last season at Golden West (Calif.) Community College, freshman Sam Bradford and walk-on Hays McEachern.