Oklahoma could be without its All-Big 12 cornerback next season.
And academic misconduct committed during the fall semester is the reason, according to an OU administrator, who says Jamell Fleming has been suspended for the spring and summer semesters. Bob Stoops confirmed via statement Friday that Fleming is not enrolled at OU.
According to the university handbook, a suspension of this magnitude for academic misconduct comes from “willful intent, e.g. cheating from concealed notes on a midterm or final examination, altering a major assignment for re-grading, submitting all or substantial amounts of another student's work as one's own, or intentionally plagiarizing substantial portions of a term paper from online sources.”
Fleming, the source believes, could still return to the program for the fall semester. But he would need to take classes elsewhere between now and then to be eligible. But that's also assuming OU allows him back.
This isn't the first time Fleming has missed a spring semester. Two years ago, he had to leave OU — and missed spring practice — for academic reasons, but took classes at a junior college and was reinstated before the season.
This latest scenario, however, is far more serious, and Fleming has a long road ahead before he gets back on the field for the Sooners next season.
That's the bad news. The good news is that OU has a rising star at corner who's been waiting in the wings. And while all-Big 12 corners aren't easily replaced, Owasso native Aaron Colvin gives the Sooners reason to believe they could still be solid at corner should Fleming not make it back to campus.
As a true freshman last year, Colvin showed plenty of promise, drawing praise from the coaching staff from the opening week of camp. In the first half at Cincinnati, after Fleming sprained an ankle, Colvin came in and held his own in coverage; he also finished with seven tackles.
The following week against Texas in his first and only start, Colvin played like a veteran, and made several one-on-one tackles in the open field while again providing sturdy coverage.
Losing Fleming for the spring stings, and losing him for the year would really sting. But Colvin offers hope that Fleming's potential absence next season will be a sting the Sooners can overcome.