Turns out the Oklahoma football team has a quality punter after all. Bob Stoops punted Rhett Bomar and J.D. Quinn off the team Wednesday. And if state law permits, Stoops no doubt would like to punt a conniving, jock-sniffing OU booster across state lines as well. Quarterback and the offensive line - two positions where the Sooners could ill-afford to take a hit - just got blind-sided. Bomar and Quinn got precisely what they deserved. So don’t blame Stoops, don’t blame athletic director Joe Castiglione and don’t blame school president David Boren. Instead, you should thank them. If you want to blame somebody for the Sooners’ latest tango with trouble, blame Bomar, Quinn and a bumpkin booster. And to a certain extent, blame Kelvin Sampson. Sooner athletics remain squarely in the crosshairs of the NCAA following its recent investigation into the men’s basketball program. Wounds remain fresh for OU’s compliance department. The NCAA sniffed out Sampson’s oversized phone bills and didn’t like what it smelled. The Sampson case officially is closed, but the stench still lingers. Sampson revived the school’s renegade reputation when he and his staff combined to make 577 impermissible phone calls in a four-year span. And because sports fans love to hold grudges, that unmistakable aroma of nationwide discontent toward the Sooners is celebrating its 50th anniversary. The NCAA major infraction rap sheet has six cases against OU - Jan. 11, 1956; Jan. 11, 1960; Sept. 20, 1973; Nov. 11, 1980; Dec. 19, 1988; and May 25, 2006. In an effort to prevent a seventh entry, Bomar and Quinn wisely got booted. In the Sampson case, OU acted swiftly with self-imposed sanctions. As a result, the school managed to escape the NCAA’s dreaded “lack of institutional control” tag, which is the insult of all insults. What Castiglione and Co. did in the Sampson case was a pre-emptive strike (men’s and women’s gymnastics also were implicated). What Castiglione and Co. did Wednesday with Bomar and Quinn was preventative maintenance. If there is a problem, get rid of it. Be it player, coach or booster. And that’s precisely what OU did. Had the Sampson investigation not occurred, would Bomar and Quinn still have been kicked off the football team? Presumably yes. But since the Sampson investigation did occur, the answer unequivocally became yes. There is no wiggle room these days in the OU compliance office, which incidentally received high praise from NCAA officials for its internal handling of the Sampson affair. Until Sampson’s stumble, the school had gone 18 years without a major violation. Now thanks to Bomar and Quinn, the NCAA no doubt will soon pay a visit, if it hasn’t already. Don’t hold your breath for Bomar’s return. He’s gone. Permanently. As he should be. Ditto for Quinn. The mere thought of possibly reinstating either player would turn up the stink meter full-blast. With his partying, drinking and ill-gotten gains, Bomar is beginning to resemble Pigpen from Peanuts. A dirty cloud surrounds him. Bomar won’t be welcome at any NCAA institution - unless it’s an incredibly stupid one. Therefore, NAIA ball awaits Bomar and Quinn. In ruining their own reputations, Bomar and Quinn have sabotaged everyone else associated with OU. Those who remain true to the Sooners will now bear the brunt of jokes, snickers and innuendo. Sadly, this has been going on for 50 years. Despite Bud Wilkinson and Barry Switzer having an NCAA rap sheet, OU fans’ reverence remained unwavering. The same no doubt will hold true for Stoops. The final stop on the annual Sooner Caravan will be held at 6:30 tonight in the National Cowboy and Western History Museum. The standing ovation Stoops was going to receive anyway will last a little bit longer and sound a little bit louder. Stoops has earned that standing O. It was a helluva punt. John Rohde: 475-3314, firstname.lastname@example.org; John Rohde can be heard Monday-Friday from 6-7 p.m. on WWLS-FM 104.9 and WWLS-AM 640, and on KYAL-AM 1550 in Tulsa.
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