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Goofy scholarship mismanagement costing OU football team

Columnist Berry Tramel: Oklahoma football coach Bob Stoops has four kickers on scholarship this year and another promised for next year. It's no wonder the Sooners are having problems with depth at defensive tackle and they can't give a scholarship to feel-good story Trent Ratterree.
by Berry Tramel Modified: November 19, 2010 at 9:33 am •  Published: November 18, 2010

Tight end Trent Ratterree doesn't have an OU football scholarship.

Even though he started four games last season and three this season. Even though he had a 38-yard catch against Stanford in the Sun Bowl, which set up a touchdown in a game OU won 31-27. Even though he scored a touchdown against Florida State in September by running over three Seminoles.

Consider Ratterree just more collateral damage from the Sooners' kicking odyssey.

Bob Stoops has granted scholarships to four kickers, with a fifth promised to yet another kicker.

I can hear the jokes now. How many scholarships does it take to screw in a field goal?

But it's true. Jimmy Stevens, Patrick O'Hara, Tress Way and Bryce Easley have scholarships, and Michael Hunnicutt has been promised one next year. None of the five are seniors.

So when the Sooners are running short of defensive tackles, or there's no scholarship available for a feel-good-story, hard-working kid like Ratterree, you know why.

Throwing good money after bad.

Stoops, who is more frustrated than anyone with OU's field goal fiascos the last three seasons, has reached the point where he's handing out kicking scholarships to everyone this side of Charlie Brown.

That kind of thinking is what got America in all this credit card debt.

Two scholarships to kickers (Stevens and O'Hara) who keep the position in chaos, two scholarships to guys (Hunnicutt and Easley) who can't beat out the first two and one scholarship to Way, who actually is a very good punter and a passable kickoff man. Guilt by association.

Hey, I know that scholarship distribution is a tough call for a head coach even with a dependable kicker, much less a coach who has to make casting calls.

And the easiest solution — revoking scholarships and starting from scratch — is not humane or even recommended, no matter how tempting.

Tramel: Ratterree living the dream

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by Berry Tramel
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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