Practice report (8-18-09)
Just when you think you’re going to have a low-key evening, Mike Balogun decides to go up and sue the NCAA. He is seeking at least $10,000 in damages from the NCAA in a civil lawsuit. The court issued a restraining order against the NCAA, and a court hearing has been scheduled for 2:30 p.m. Aug. 24 before a district judge.
The eligibility of OU’s senior middle linebacker is currently in question, as the NCAA investigates whether Balogun played semi-pro football, prior to coming to Norman, after his 21st birthday. If he did, Balogun would lose his final season of eligibility.
Before this, I was sure that Balogun’s days in a Sooner uniform were numbered. But reminiscent of Oklahoma State pitcher Andy Oliver’s fight with the NCAA through the court last year, I now think Balogun has a chance, however small, of rejoining the team. I’m not sure on what grounds Balogun has sued the NCAA, but my guess is that it’s either one of many things:he didn’t play semi-pro ball after turning 21 and knows he’s in the right; or, his lawyer believes that since the NCAA already certified him after an initial investigation last year, they have no right to come back and take away his senior season; to slow the NCAA’s ruling so that Balogun can continue to practice with the team. Ultimately, this could also be a way for Balogun to either retain his scholarship so he can graduate, or at least get some money so he could pay for his senior year of school, should he end up losing his scholarship.
I’m not real familiar with any precedent for this type of case, but then again, I’m not sure I know of anyone who is. Stayed tuned. This one is not over yet.
Now, on to the practice report:
* Bob Stoops conducted a 40-50 play scrimmage Tuesday. He said the offensive line did well and more than held its own against OU’s stalwart defensive line.
“I thought overall it was really competitive,” Stoops said. “I was proud of the offensive line, how they fought. They fought with a good defensive line all day, and there was good give-and-take both ways.”
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