Stoops can’t hide his feelings
We in the media have not talked to Bob Stoops since his three juniors have turned pro. Instead, OU has released a statement from Stoops about each player. And Stoops could not be more transparent on his feelings concerning each decision.
First, Malcolm Kelly. “We’re excited for Malcolm and his family,” Stoops said. “He was an oustanding player in our program and we appreciate all of his efforts. We look forward to watching him in the NFL. He is well-suited to professional football in many ways and we are sure that the attributes that made him such a success for us will serve him equally well on that level.”
Next, Curtis Lofton. “Curtis made a lot of big plays during his time here,” said Stoops. “We wish him all the best in the NFL.”
Finally, Reggie Smith. “Reggie was a good player for us and we wish him the best,” Stoops said.
Again, this was not media-edited quotes. These were not snippets from a press conference that were selected to prove a point. These were the totality of what Stoops had to say, provided by the professionals that work for him.
And his meter went from proud to you’ve-got-to-be-kidding. Went from “excitement” for Kelly and “looking forward” to his pro career and “well-suited” for the NFL and “sure” of a success, to Lofton “made a lot of big plays during his time here” and “we wish him all the best in the NFL,” to finally Smith, “Reggie was a good player for us and we wish him the best.”
Maybe Stoops just grew tired of losing ballplayers. But I don’t think so. It sure seems like Kelly has Stoops’ blessing to turn pro, while Lofton and Smith, not so much. Stoops’ theory is well-known: if you’re not going to be a high first-round draft pick, you should stay in school. Stoops believes players can make more money by moving up the draft the next year. No doubt Stoops is right on some players, but wrong on others.
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