Stoops says he's 'not counting on' recently suspended players
BY ERIC BAILEY World Sports Writer
Thursday, June 07, 2012
6/07/12 at 5:47 AM
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Oklahoma's Bob Stoops currently isn't depending on a quartet of Sooners - indefinitely suspended last month - to help the 2012 team.
"Several were removed from scholarship and we're not counting on any of them," Stoops said before greeting fans along with OU basketball coaches Lon Kruger and Sherri Coale at Tulsa's Sooner Caravan stop on Wednesday night. "We have many other players that are ready to play. We'll keep moving forward. What happens? We'll see."
The school announced wide receivers Jaz Reynolds, Trey Franks, Kameel Jackson and defensive back Quentin Hayes were punished for a violation of team rules on May 9.
Reynolds, Franks and Hayes have been stripped from their scholarships. Jackson is on a summer scholarship only and will have to earn his scholarship this fall.
"This program doesn't bank on any one individual in particular," Stoops said. "We have other players that are in position to move up and play. We've recruited a lot of really good players."
Stoops was defensive when asked if he was "clamping down" with the punishment.
"There isn't any clamping down. I've always clamped down," said the OU coach, who is entering his 14th season. "Overall, it's fair to say over 13 or 14 years that our track record has been pretty similar. We stick with what's proper, what's appropriate. Our team policies and university policies, we don't waver. You either abide by them or you don't."
The Sooners did get a shot of wide receiver depth when junior college transfer LaColtan Bester signed a letter of intent. Bester (6-3, 205) had 76 catches for 1,042 yards and 17 touchdowns for East Mississippi C.C., the NJCAA champion.
"LaColtan Bester is a strong, big player with size and strength," Stoops said. "He's just what we needed. We felt incredibly lucky to be in a position with him. I think he's going to do really well."
Stoops touched upon other topics during a 15-minute session with reporters.
On the new-look Big 12 Conference: "It's fair to say our conference is as strong as anybody's when you look at the ranked teams in it when you completed the season a year ago. You add West Virginia and TCU, two ranked teams, and we lost two teams (Missouri, Texas A&M) at the end of the year that weren't ranked. All we've done is strengthen our conference."
On the Big 12/SEC Bowl New Year's Day game between champions: "I think it's awesome and it's great. Anytime you pit great teams against each other, everyone wants to watch them. It's always positive."
On being reunited with brother Mike Stoops: "It's great. We have a great comfort level of working with each other and knowing what to expect of each other. Mike has great experience and great discipline with what he wants and is meticulous about how he goes about it."
Original Print Headline: Stoops emphasizes team
Eric Bailey 918-581-8391
OU fan Trevor Siever, 8, from Pryor has a football signed by OU football coach Bob Stoops. JAMES GIBBARD / Tulsa World
OU coaches Sherri Coale (left), Lon Kruger and Bob Stoops sign autographs during the Sooner Caravan stop Wednesday at OU-Tulsa. JAMES GIBBARD / Tulsa World