Berry Tramel: OU's Bob Stoops not interested in baby-sitting

In his first public comments since the Jim Tressel scandal, the Sooners' coach says he won't be following his players around.
by Berry Tramel Published: June 4, 2011

Bob Stoops is not in the baby-sitting business. Constant monitoring of ballplayers? Prior restraint of a 20-year-old's behavior? Staying on top of 100 guys?

Stoops is not interested. When that becomes his job description, he says he'll go all Johnny Paycheck. Take that job and ...

“Listen, if people think that I'm going to be chasing around, following my players around, that's not happening,” Stoops said the other day in his first public comments since the Ohio State scandal cost Jim Tressel his job.

“If I have to do that, I'm gonna do your (media) job, or do someone else's job. I'm not coaching.”

Stoops and Tressel have common bonds. Stoops grew up in Youngstown, Ohio, and has had family members coach Youngstown State football. Tressel coached Youngstown State to four NCAA Division I-AA championships.

“I love Jim Tressel,” Stoops said. “I think he's a fabulous guy. He's overall been a strong example for all coaches. And I don't know all the circumstances around his situation. So it's impossible for me to comment on that.”

But Stoops did comment on how he has handled and will handle players who receive impermissible benefits.

And it differs starkly from the way Tressel dealt with his Buckeyes. Tressel learned of allegations and did not report them to his athletic director or compliance officers or the NCAA. Ultimately, that's what cost Tressel his job.

Stoops, indirectly, indicted Tressel while explaining how Oklahoma football has handled and will handle misdeeds.

“We can't follow a hundred players around,” Stoops said. “That's just not realistic and not gonna happen.

“So, at the end of the day, our players are very well educated on what's allowed and what isn't. If something isn't appropriate, it's dealt with, I like to think, appropriately and in the right way. And that's it.”

Stoops chatted Thursday night, just before the OU Caravan's Dallas event. During the program, Stoops took questions from fans and was asked about the difference in the way Tressel handled the Terrelle Pryor allegations and the way Stoops handled Rhett Bomar's excessive benefits in 2006.

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by Berry Tramel
Columnist
Berry Tramel, a lifelong Oklahoman, sports fan and newspaper reader, joined The Oklahoman in 1991 and has served as beat writer, assistant sports editor, sports editor and columnist. Tramel grew up reading four daily newspapers — The Oklahoman,...
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