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May 10, 2012
Stoops suspends four players, three receivers
Bob Stoops is back at it. A head coach who announced suspensions, dismissals and house cleanings back in December, just made another round of suspensions Wednesday.
The receiver suspensions are the most glaring aspect of the move by Stoops, who now has just two receivers on scholarship in Kenny Stills and true freshmen Trey Metoyer. Franks suspension is interesting as he was praised by wide receiver coach Jay Norvell and Stoops just a month ago during spring football.
"Trey Franks has made tremendous progress this spring, especially in the last week-and-a-half," said Norvell April 3. "His maturity and his focus, the little things we need, have really been good."
Franks maturity and focus were words used by Norvell because Franks was known to have problems away from the football field heading into the spring. In 2011, Franks was suspended for two games that season for violating team rules.
It was thought back in December, if a house cleaning was underway, Franks was a likely candidate to be swept up by Stoops' broom. But Franks survived, and appeared to be turning things around. But things obviously changed less than a month after completing spring football.
Jaz Reynolds's suspension comes after the junior receiver spent plenty of time in Stoops' doghouse as well. Reynolds was suspended multiple games during the 2010 season after insensitive comments directed at The University of Texas following a shooting on the Austin campus.
Then he was suspended for the Iowa State game in 2011 for a violation of team rules.
Reynolds finished the 2011 season on the sideline after he suffered a kidney injury against Oklahoma State in the final game of the regular season. It was thought he would need surgery to repair his kidney, but he had made enough progress through the spring, he was going to forgo the surgery.
Now his career at OU is in limbo as well.
Jackson might be the biggest oddity out of the bunch. Earlier this week, SoonerScoop.com first reported Jackson's desire to transfer to Texas A&M. Shortly after our report, the sophomore wide receiver announced his intentions publicly on Twitter.
But in a bizarre twist, SoonerScoop.com was able to verify Jackson had not spoken with Texas A&M administration or coaches about a potential transfer. Jackson's actions were premature. And now it appears Jackson was simply trying to run away from his troubles in Norman.
For Stoops to announce Jackson's suspension, along with three other players, could be construed as his way of publicly voicing his own displeasure over the entire Twitter fiasco.
Quentin Hayes, the other player suspended by Stoops, was a backup safety for the Sooners. Mike Stoops talked about Hayes as an up-and-comer during spring football practices who was running with the twos in practices. His suspension was as mysterious as any.
SoonerScoop.com scoured police records over the last month in Cleveland and Oklahoma counties looking for some evidence of a police matter which might explain some of these suspensions. But none of these players showed up in police reports from around the area.
As Stoops said back in December:
"You're here to go to school and to be a heck of a football player, or at least try to be," Stoops said then. "If you're not living up to those obligations, you're not earning your way. You're bringing the team down. We've had more players academically suspended or missing practice than any time here."
Back in December, Stoops was asked if those dismissals and suspensions had cleaned up the attitude of his team.
"Yeah," answered Stoops. "Because that two percent of the team isn't eating up 90 percent of my time all of a sudden, It's pretty simple."
All of these suspensions combined, shows Stoops is still dealing with major behavioral issues within his program. Once again Stoops is putting his foot down. But now that 2 percent of Stoops' team just happened to be housed in over 50 percent of Jay Norvell's receiving corps.
With Sterling Shepard, Durron Neal and Derrick Woods coming in from the high school ranks, and Courtney Gardner still battling to become eligible in the junior college ranks, this Rivals.com No. 1 rated recruiting class is needed now more than ever.
Even from afar, you'd have to think this incoming crop of receivers knows how damaging it is to be a part of the 2 percent.