That's one appeal the Sooners could win. That's a penalty against fans and historians who count up records and wins. Maybe that's an intended shot at Bob Stoops, and maybe Stoops cares about his overall win-loss record, but whether he's got 78 victories or 86, he's not going to catch Bobby Bowden or Joe Paterno in this lifetime, so what does it matter? You can't turn back the clock. You can't rewrite history. "Above all, we do not believe that erasing the 2005 season from the record books is fair to the over 100 student athletes and coaches who played by the rules and worked their hearts out for a successful season that year,” said OU president David Boren. Trouble is, Boren doesn't have a lot of credibility on this appeal. After the dubious officiating at Oregon in September, Boren asked the Pac-10 to vacate OU's loss to the Ducks. Now he's on the other side, saying the result of eight games should stand, even though the Sooners used a quarterback technically ineligible. You can't have it both ways. Truth is, that attitude permeated OU's reaction Wednesday. The Sooners didn't show much conciliation in the press-release comments of Boren and Stoops. There was a trace of defiance from Boren — "It is appropriate that the action taken today by the NCAA does not limit the ability of our football team to succeed in the upcoming or future seasons” — and Stoops said ditto, almost literally. Falling on your sword often is the way to go, even when you don't feel like it. Yes, it's embarrassing. But that's what OU football is today. Embarrassed. The NCAA sanctions do not mean the Sooners will have to build back their roster. The sanctions mean the Sooners will have to build back their reputation.
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