OU follow up


Pretty much a regular
Details of player violations are revealed in 528-page document.

The University of Oklahoma has uncovered no further NCAA violations relating to football players' employment at a Norman auto dealership, according to a 528-page report the school has filed with the NCAA.
But an NCAA investigation almost certainly looms, and it's unclear what kind of penalties the Sooners could face.
An athletic department investigation -- fueled by an anonymous e-mail to school president David Boren -- has produced two player dismissals and revealed poor record keeping at an auto dealership that employed 14 football players, according to the report.
The university report, which was obtained Tuesday through an open-records request, provides specific details about the violations that led to the dismissals of starting quarterback Rhett Bomar and offensive lineman J.D. Quinn.
Those details include how OU first learned of possible violations and how much Bomar and Quinn were paid for hours they never worked for Norman auto dealership Big Red Sports and Imports.
But, citing federal privacy laws, OU blacked out the amounts paid to Bomar and Quinn. The players' names were redacted from the report entirely -- as were the names of 12 other players previously employed by the auto dealership but not implicated in NCAA violations.
While almost entire pages are blacked out, OU revealed several details in the report:
  • OU was first notified of possible violations in an anonymous e-mail sent March 3 to Boren.
The e-mail, sent at 8:13 p.m., had a subject line of "NCAA Violation at OU". The unsigned e-mailer's user name was redacted from the report. The text included the following passage:
"This is a car dealership that prides itself on it's (sic) close ties to the University of OK. (The players) were paid by Big Red Sports and Imports for their services, however they did not have to do a minutes (sic) work either summer (2004 and '05). . .
"All of this was done as a favor to the OU football team."
The e-mail said a "payroll clerk" for Big Red Sports and Imports "has stated on numerous occasions that none of the players had to do anything to receive their money."
But in a letter to the compliance office dated April 6, the payroll clerk wrote: "I believe to the best of my knowledge that the student athletes were paid for the hours that they were working. . . . I was not aware of anyone being paid without actually working."
OU's report states that the e-mail contained inaccuracies, and the school uncovered violations as it continued its review into the matter.
Boren received the e-mail while the school was conducting a separate athletic-department investigation in February relating to the auto dealership.
Details of that investigation are blacked out of the report, but OU has acknowledged that it investigated running back Adrian Peterson's failed attempt to buy a Lexus from Big Red after test driving it for an extended period. OU determined Peterson didn't violate NCAA rules.
  • On Aug. 3 -- the day after OU announced the dismissals of Bomar and Quinn -- the university conducted interviews with coach Bob Stoops, defensive coordinator Brent Venables and Merv Johnson, who oversees the summer employment program. All said they were unaware of Bomar's and Quinn's violations.
In an interview conducted by Keith Gill, who oversees OU's compliance department, and OU vice president of university and general counsel Joseph Harroz, Stoops was asked if he had prior knowledge of any violations.
"Absolutely not," he said.
Stoops also was asked if he had heard any rumors of possible wrongdoing and replied, "Not until this incident."
  • OU's report depicts Big Red's prior ownership (the dealership was sold in April) as a business with poor record keeping and a management team that was uncooperative with the university when questions were raised during the Peterson investigation.
OU said the dealership's records for temporary summer employment were "at times incomplete or in conflict with other records they maintained on the same employee," according to the report.
OU didn't confirm that violations occurred until late July, when the school received time card reports, W-2 tax forms and payroll information for several players previously employed by Big Red. OU cross-checked that information with university information detailing schedules for classes and workouts and found discrepancies.
But before confirming violations, OU had already banned its athletes from working at Big Red. The ban started in summer 2006 and was implemented because the dealership wouldn't cooperate during the Peterson investigation in February.
According to OU's NCAA report, the ban was imposed when Stoops "learned about the initial poor and inappropriate treatment the compliance staff received when they attempted to discuss a potential NCAA issue in February 2006 with the prior management of the dealership."
OU praised Big Red's new ownership and management for its cooperation with the investigation. OU's violations occurred when Big Red had previous ownership.
  • In the report, OU singles out former Big Red employee Brad McRae, saying he was "aware and condoned" the violations. OU has previously stated that Bomar and Quinn also knowingly broke NCAA rules.
McRae's name was mentioned as one of the "parties involved" in the e-mail to Boren.
Stoops was asked about McRae during OU's internal investigation. Stoops said he knew McRae, "but do I have a personal relationship with him? No."
According to the report, Stoops said he had spoken to McRae to make sure players were "doing the right things. . . .
"I had specifically asked to make sure that, um, they're working the hours they're supposed to work, that they're getting paid as they should, that they're treating them like you would your other employees," Stoops told OU's investigators. "And he assured me that he would never jeopardize his, you know, position with the University or he had too much respect for me to not do it that way."
Other OU violations reported
By GUERIN EMIG World Sports Writer

NORMAN -- Oklahoma's compliance department has recently uncovered several NCAA secondary violations involving various OU sports.
The violations aren't related to OU's investigation into the Big Red Sports and Imports football employment situation.
OU notified Chris Strobel, NCAA director of secondary enforcement, of the following violations:
  • Dated Feb. 1, 2006: "Institution's football staff having an unarranged inadvertent impermissible on-campus contact with a senior prospective student-athlete during a dead period."
  • Dated Feb. 1, 2006: "Institution's football graduate assistant coaches had impermissible off-campus contact with a prospective student-athlete, when they provided transportation to and from the prospect's home and campus for an official visit."
  • Dated April 26, 2006: "A prospective student-athlete engaged in two telephone conversations with a former football student-athlete."
OU noted the following in a 2005-06 Reporting Form for Level II Secondary Violations to the Big 12 Conference:
  • Dated Nov. 5, 2005: "Near the end of the fall 2005 semester men's baseball student-athlete . . . asked the (academic support services) staff (if) he could check out a clicker (type of remote control device) from the athletic department."
  • Dated Jan. 6, 2006: "The compliance office discovered a concern regarding a potential impermissible tryout while monitoring media / recruiting publications."
  • Dated Feb. 6, 2006: "The compliance staff learned of a potential concern regarding male students practicing with the women's basketball team from the financial aid graduate assistant who assists with institutional squad lists."
  • Dated March 6, 2006: "Possible impermissible contact by a new assistant (baseball) coach at the site of a junior college competition . . . incidental contact with a small group of junior college prospects while their game was in progress."
  • Dated March 6, 2006: "During the second day of spring (football) practice, several student-athletes were allowed to wear 'spider pads' during a non-contact practice session in which protective gear was prohibited."
  • Dated April 6, 2006: "The institution's newly hired head basketball coach inadvertently allowed his wife to be present during an in-home visit with a prospective student-athlete."
NORMAN -- According to Oklahoma's report to the NCAA, the university was first advised of potential violations by an anonymous e-mail sent to president David Boren and the NCAA on March 3.
The e-mail's subject line read "NCAA Violation at OU", and the text included the following passages regarding players' relationships with Big Red Sports and Imports, an auto dealership in Norman:
"This is a car dealership that prides itself on it's (sic) close ties to the University of OK. (The players) were paid by Big Red Sports and Imports for their services, however they did not have to do a minutes (sic) work either summer (2004 and '05) . . .
"All of this was done as a favor to the OU football team. Ms. Stephanie Wells, payroll clerk for Big Red Sports and Imports has stated on numerous occasions that none of the players had to do anything to receive their money. She also said that she was responcible (sic) for clocking in and out the players so that it would appear that they had actually worked at the dealership. She shared this information in confidence, for fear of losing her job . . ."
In a letter to the compliance office dated April 6, Wells wrote:
"I, Stephanie http://www.cappingthegame.com/forum/L. Wells, have been employed at Big Red Sports / Imports, Inc., for 12 years in Human Resources. I have never clocked in or out nor been asked to clock in or out any student athletic (sic) for the length of my employment. I believe to the best of my knowledge that the student athletes were paid for the hours that they were working. It is not a part of Big Red's policy to pay a student athlete for time that they did not work. I was not aware of anyone being paid without actually working."
The jobs at Big Red
NORMAN -- OU said it allowed players to be employed at Big Red Sports and Imports thusly in its report to the NCAA:
"The jobs at Big Red are suitable for student-athletes because they do not require prior experience, there is a low risk of injury . . . and the hours and schedules are flexible."
According to the report, players served as lot porters, whereby they performed tasks such as moving cars between Big Red's two lots and filling gas tanks; detailers, whereby they cleaned or inspected vehicles; and / or service workers.
Players were generally paid $10 per hour or, in some instances, $70 per day over the summers of 2004 and '05.
Thanks for the news, JimmyD.

Gotta read through these later. Any word about the NCAA getting involved and taking the investigation/punishment out of OU's control?
rjurewitz said:
Thanks for the news, JimmyD.

Gotta read through these later. Any word about the NCAA getting involved and taking the investigation/punishment out of OU's control?

It's highly unlikely the NCAA will accept OU's report at face value and decide to immediately http://www.cappingthegame.com/forum/ hand down the punishment it decides fits this rule-breaking.
No, the NCAA will send its own team of investigators to town to snoop around. And going by the 528-page report OU put together, the snooping could last for months.
The best-case scenario is that the NCAA is so impressed with the work of OU's compliance office that it just double-checks the facts the school put together over a four-month investigation.
Then the NCAA must decide if it will summon Sooner officials to appear in front of its Infractions Committee. You remember that grim group, right? It's the same body that ordered OU to show up in Park City, Utah, in April to explain the 550 illegal phone calls made by former basketball coach Kelvin Sampson and his staff.
The probe into Sampson's cell phone transgressions dragged on for more than three years. The football situation certainly isn't expected to take that long, but it could last up to a year.
Kansas, for example, self-reported violations in its football program to the NCAA last summer. The Jayhawks didn't get their inquisition with the Infraction Committee until this month in Baltimore, and they are now awaiting the committee's final verdict.
The initial damage OU must deal with is the national publicity of the Bomar-Quinn scandal. Yesterday's release to the media of the preliminary report means the story will once again make national headlines, just like it did on Aug. 2 when Stoops confirmed the two players had been dismissed.
But if you think a few negative and sensationalized headlines hurt, wait until Stoops' peers get into the act. The smear campaign some coaches will unleash against OU via negative recruiting will be relentless.
Negative recruiting is a dirty game. But it isn't as dirty a little secret as some coaches would like it to be. It's a nationwide epidemic that's going to sweep through Norman in the next few months like the plague.
The NCAA may eventually decide that OU's swift and dramatic action in removing Bomar and Quinn from the team was sufficient. After all, NCAA president Myles Brand has already praised Stoops and OU when he said the school's "rapid response showed integrity."
But until the NCAA closes the Bomar-Quinn case, it's going to be open season on Stoops and the Sooners. Coaches will find a variety of crafty ways to suggest to potential recruits that they shouldn't sign with OU because the school's about to be slapped with a serious probation.
Stoops and his assistants have repeatedly demonstrated they can go head-to-head with any school and win their share of recruiting battles. Ironically, Bomar was once considered one of the top prospects the Sooners have signed since Stoops arrived in December 1998.
But the OU coaches will have to double their recruiting efforts unless the NCAA brings this situation to a quick resolution. And with the Sooners desperately in need of a big-time quarterback to fill the gaping hole left by Bomar, this is not the time to face the added burden of warding off negative recruiting.
The short-term effects have already been painful. And the Sooners' pain threshold could be severely tested if the losses start to mount during a demanding 12-game schedule that starts Sept. 2 against Alabama-Birmingham.
But it's the possible long-term ramifications in recruiting that should be of paramount concern to Stoops and the school. And the longer the NCAA lets this boiling investigation simmer, the scarier it gets for OU.
So while Bomar and Quinn are out of sight, it's a fact they certainly are not out of OU's mind.
The line is formin' in Norman

[SIZE=+1]Unit lacks depth, but its talent and dedication are promising
[SIZE=-1]12:54 AM CDT on Friday, August 25, 2006

[SIZE=-1]By BRIAN DAVIS / The Dallas Morning News [/SIZE]
NORMAN, Okla. – The offensive line was supposed to be Oklahoma's biggest question mark this season. At least, it was before the Sooners' quarterback situation went haywire.
OU's perceived problems up front were pushed out of the limelight once Rhett Bomar was dismissed from the team and Paul Thompson was named the new starter.
The unit is still relatively inexperienced and thin. But the offensive line has quietly shown some progress throughout preseason drills. All anonymity will disappear on Sept. 2 when No. 10 Oklahoma hosts Alabama-Birmingham.
"Let people think whatever they think," sophomore Duke Robinson said. "But when it's time to play, we're going to show up. We're not going to let the fact we're young affect how we play. We're going to do whatever it takes to get a W."
Colleges At OU, the line is forming
Oklahoma schedule
More OU

Tackle Chris Messner is the only player returning who started all last season. Sophomore center Jon Cooper played in seven games before breaking his ankle against Texas Tech. Robinson (guard/tackle) and Branndon Braxton (tackle) were reserves.
All four are projected starters, with junior college transfer Brandon Walker playing guard as well.
Freshmen linemen redshirt in most major Division I-A programs. OU can't afford to redshirt too many this season because of attrition. Chase Beeler is expected to see playing time early, and Curtis Bailey of Carter, Trent Williams and Cory Brandon were all rotating in with the second unit.
How these players jell is critical, for Thompson's sake and that of Adrian Peterson, whose stated goal is to rush for 2,200 yards. Offensive coordinator Kevin Wilson must determine what the line can do before determining what kind of plays he can use.
"We could use man protection, slide protection or zone schemes," said new offensive line coach James Patton, who came to OU from Northwestern. "We'll have enough in our package where we'll be pretty diverse."
In OU's only public scrimmage this month, the offensive line did not allow a sack. That impressed the coaching staff, considering the Sooners have talented defensive ends. C.J. Ah You and Calvin Thibodeaux combined for 17 sacks last year, for example.
Fans and media have not been allowed to watch practice the last three weeks. Coach Bob Stoops has consistently offered general praise for the group, although he rarely does otherwise.
"From day one of camp, there were some dropped snaps, a lot of jumping offside," Braxton said. "But up to today, things have changed. We're coming off the ball, playing a lot harder, our technique is getting a lot better, there are fewer dropped snaps and dropped balls."
E-mail brdavis@dallasnews.com

HOLDING THE LINE Oklahoma's projected starting offensive line, with comments by Staff Writer Brian Davis: Player Pos. Cl. Ht. Wt. Hometown Chris Messner T Sr. 6-6 280 Frederick, Okla. Committed only two penalties, allowed one sack last season Duke Robinson G/T So. 6-5 332 Atlanta Arrived on campus last year weighing 381 Jon Cooper C So. 6-2 278 Fort Collins, Colo. Expected to start despite lingering effects of broken ankle Brandon Walker G So. 6-3 315 Detroit Named first-team All-American in junior college in '05 Branndon Braxton T So. 6-6 318 Youngstown, Ohio Cousin is Samaki Walker, who played three seasons with Mavericks Alabama-Birmingham at No. 10 Oklahoma, 6 p.m. Sept. 2, Norman, Okla. (TBS)
Thanks, Sooner.

Do you think the OL had anything to do with Keller choosing NU over OU?
rjurewitz said:
Thanks, Sooner.

Do you think the OL had anything to do with Keller choosing NU over OU?

No. If the offensive line can survive this season, they will be better next year. Keller went to Nebraska because his dad was friends with Callahan.

Sophomore CB has become triple threat

By Mike Jones

Star-Telegram Staff Writer

NORMAN, Okla. - Reggie Smith had often joked with Oklahoma coaches that they might be missing something by not playing him as a receiver.
Last week, the joking grew serious.
A veteran of 10 starts at safety as a freshman whose move to cornerback was one of the sensations of spring training, Smith has become a triple-threat player for the Sooners as a cornerback, kick returner and, now, receiver.
"He's a special player," coach Bob Stoops said. "It makes sense to have him out there for his big-play potential."
Coaches must like what they see.
"It started out with a few plays and I got them down," Smith said this week. "But it seems like at least one more [play] gets added every day. It's getting a little steeper and steeper, but it's not that hard keeping up. We've got everything in on defense.
"It's kind of fun, getting on offense and getting the ball in my hands and making things happen."
Smith has a history of doing that.
He played receiver, running back and defensive back as a senior at Santa Fe High School in Edmond, Okla. He ran for 935 yards (122 carries) and nine touchdowns, caught 47 passes for 607 yards and eight touchdowns, and scored with two of his six interceptions.
Smith has impressed sophomore Malcolm Kelly, who many feel is destined to become OU's next great receiver.
"He's catching balls," Kelly said. "He's probably the purest athlete on the team as far as doing anything. I'm pretty sure if you put him at linebacker he would do pretty good."
Kelly said, however, he's not contemplating asking to play a little defense.
"I mean, I'm good at one thing," Kelly said. "But you put me at DB, I'd get burned all game."
Freshman possibilities
Bob Stoops expects three to six freshmen to play this season. Receivers Adron Tennell of Irving and Brandon Caleb, and center Chase Beeler appear likely to play.
Defensive lineman and prized recruit Gerald McCoy, running back Mossis Madu and offensive lineman Trent Williams of Longview "possibly" might play this season.
Specialty notes
Walk-on Derek Shaw appears to have won the deep snapper job, succeeding four-year mainstay Jacob Rice. Transfers Mike Knall and Michael Cohen are still battling for the punter's job, and Bob Stoops said that contest likely will go into next week. Both have been "pretty solid," Stoops said.
Coaches prefer that place-kicker Garrett Hartley not punt. He is resting this week because of a sore leg.

all I know is that DJ Wolfe is the most overrated CB Oklahoma has...everytime I watch that dude he gets burned...
pags, last year was his first year of playing the position after being converted from running back. You're right, and SHSUHorn I believe brought up the same complaint about him, he did get burned some last year, but so did some of the others. However, he improved thoughout the season and has been playing great in Spring and Fall camp. I think he just needed to work on some foot work and get things figured out. Coaches have been raving about him and they don't hand out praise liberally.