I'm standing while typing this, so consider it a writer's rendition of a standing ovation. Presumably, this standing "O” is for Oklahoma football coach Bob Stoops. Perhaps it should be directed at OU president David Boren, or to Stoops and Boren. Maybe athletic director Joe Castiglione is in there somewhere. Whoever is responsible for dismissing freshman wide receiver Josh Jarboe, bravo. Jarboe was allowed to keep his scholarship after felony gun charges were lowered to misdemeanors in Superior Court at DeKalb County, Ga. Jarboe pleaded guilty to bringing a gun to school and carrying a pistol without a license last March. Under Georgia's First Offenders Act, Judge Michael Hancock reduced the charges since Jarboe had no prior convictions. After escaping those potentially felonious circumstances, Jarboe inexplicably found it necessary to spew expletives in a video while rapping about guns and shooting people. Should Jarboe lose his scholarship for a misdemeanor gun possession charge? In my opinion, no. Should Jarboe lose his scholarship for making a rap video about guns and shooting people? In my opinion, no. Should Jarboe lose his scholarship for these two acts within a span of four months? In my opinion, yes. Stoops didn't appear to be headed in this direction when he told The Oklahoman's Berry Tramel, "Kick a guy off the team for what he says? We're starting to talk about everything kids say and do. Now we're in people's homes, in their private spaces.” Perhaps I misread the remark, but that tends to happen when people don't give a direct answer to a direct question. It sounded like Jarboe was headed to the OU practice field rather than headed back to Georgia. Stoops evidently had some sort of revelation between Thursday and Friday. Perhaps his wife, Carol, whispered in her husband's ear, "Would you want our children going to the same school as a Josh Jarboe?” Parents of the 28,000 or so other children enrolled at OU understandably might ask the same thing. Dismissing Jarboe got rid of all the wondering. Stoops doesn't truly know Jarboe, but how could he? With the continued increase of recruiting restrictions, coaches know less and less about their new players. When he announced Jarboe was still welcome in Norman, Stoops said in a statement, "We have personal knowledge of Josh through our recruiting contact with him and from personal references from his school and individuals of authority in his life. We feel that he will be a positive contributor to our campus. "We have already stressed to him that his citizenship is of the utmost importance. He understands that anything less than exemplary behavior will not be tolerated.” Apparently, those who stood up for Jarboe back in Georgia don't know him very well, either. Cedar Grove High School football coach Ray Bonner insisted Jarboe was a "good kid” who had made a "bad choice.” "To paint that kid as an outlaw, that's not right,” Bonner told The Oklahoman back then. "He feels like he let his family down, his teammates down, but he refuses to let any of this get the best of him. I know he's learned from this.” Cedar Grove running back Xavier Avery said of Jarboe: "He's not a gangster. He's not that type of dude. After what happened, people were saying he is a bad kid. But I know that's not true. People don't know him like I do.” Dismissing Jarboe averts a potentially disturbing third act of the Jarboe Chronicles on the OU campus. OU will be fine without Jarboe. There are plenty of players on campus who can run fast and catch a football. The Sooners can afford to lose Jarboe both on, and certainly off, the field. What OU cannot afford is another incident involving a gun-toting football player. Why take that chance? This standing "O” is over. Time to sit down and relax, and Stoops should feel free to do the same.
The impact of Jarboe's loss
Even though he was one of the top wide receiver recruits in the nation, Josh Jarboe probably would have had little impact on the outcome of this season. That's because the Sooners already have starting senior wideouts Juaquin Iglesias (left) and Manuel Johnson, and senior Quentin Chaney and redshirt freshman Ryan Broyles are also vying for playing time. But with so many receivers graduating after this season, Jarboe would have had a chance to be an impact player next year. To replace him, freshmen Jameel Owens and Dejuan Miller need to live up to their billing. By Jake Trotter