NORMAN — Come December, the words walk-on will no longer precede Oklahoma running back Dominique Whaley's name.
Sooners coach Bob Stoops said Monday he had been planning to give the team's leading rusher a scholarship in December. That was his plan even before Whaley's season-ending ankle injury on the first play Saturday at Kansas State.
“This won't change that,” Stoops said, adding he told Whaley after the game that he intended to award him a scholarship. “I didn't want him to be worried about it.”
Whaley said on Twitter that he had surgery Sunday morning to repair the fractured left ankle, injured when a K-State defender fell into his leg. Whaley was released Monday from the hospital, Stoops said.
“He said he felt good,” Stoops said. “They'll be checking him out every day.”
Stoops said Sunday on his TV show that he expects Whaley back for the spring.
Stoops and OU's compliance director, Jason Leonard, said walk-ons are no different from scholarship players in terms of their treatment. The student-athlete is covered by his own insurance plan, if that's available. If not, then OU's insurance policy kicks in. Either way, thanks to NCAA bylaw 16.4.1, Whaley would not be stuck with the bill because of his current walk-on status.