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Oklahoma football notebook: Bob Stoops clarifies pay-for-play comments

by Ryan Aber and Jason Kersey Published: April 13, 2013

Oklahoma coach Bob Stoops clarified his recent comments to Sporting News about the issue of paying college football players.

The comments caused a firestorm after Stoops said players were already paid in the current system and they shouldn't be paid more.

Stoops said he favored a stipend for players in all sports, not just football.

Stoops said he could've framed his comments better.

“I was just asked about paying players to play football, and of course I went off on what they already are paid,” Stoops said. “And I probably was a little — I didn't mean to be insensitive when I talked about when the dining halls close and we've all been in that situation. We've all been a little bit hungry on a Sunday here and there. … That doesn't mean I'm not concerned about my players and want to best for them.”

Stoops took exception to questions about the amount he makes in relation to the players.

“Well, when I was 18 or 19, I wasn't making this. Right? Because I played football at Iowa is why I'm here,” Stoops said. “I don't think they'd have hired me if I didn't have a football background. I don't think I'd have had the career I've had without my football background at Iowa. And I didn't have any money. But I got my Pell Grant money, like these guys do today.

“One of my players that's 19 right now, he might be making $10 million when he's 51. I didn't just pop out of somewhere and they started paying me this. It's because of my background at Iowa. My players will have the same opportunity. And what they do get is fact, and it's significant.”


After being suspended all of last year, then moving from wide receiver to safety, Trey Franks was anxious to get back on the field.

Franks wasn't perfect Saturday but had several eye-opening plays, including a big hit near the goal line early.

“He hasn't,” linebacker Corey Nelson said of whether Franks had been hitting like that throughout the spring. “That was the first time he laid the wood. It got me excited because I'm glad that a guy of his caliber and his speed to be able to play safety contributes a lot as you could see out there today.”

Wide receiver Durron Neal has seen plenty of Franks in practice, on both sides of the ball.

“That's just him being the good athlete that he is and just being aware and using his speed,” Neal said. “You know, Trey is the fastest player on the team. He uses that speed to his advantage on defense.”


A couple of Oklahoma's promising offensive youngsters didn't play Saturday.

True freshman wide receiver Dannon Cavil strained his hamstring early in the week, coach Bob Stoops said.

Cavil, a 6-foot-5, 205-pound early enrollee from San Antonio, has impressed coaches throughout spring practices and could compete for playing time next fall.

Stoops said redshirt freshman running back Alex Ross, a former Jenks standout, “has something dinged up and wasn't able to go either.”

Neither injury is serious, and both will recover soon, Stoops added.


Former Lawton standout D.J. Ward's Sooners debut in pads came in Saturday's game, after he had to spend two practices without pads after being cleared by the NCAA earlier in the week.

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by Ryan Aber
OU Athletics Reporter
Ryan Aber has worked for The Oklahoman since 2006, covering high schools, the Oklahoma City RedHawks, the Oklahoma City Barons and OU football recruiting. An Oklahoma City native, Aber graduated from Northeastern State. Before joining The...
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by Jason Kersey
OU Sports Reporter
Jason Kersey became The Oklahoman's OU football beat writer in May 2012 after a year covering high school sports and OSU recruiting. Before joining the newspaper in November 2006 as a part-time results clerk, he covered high school football for...
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