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.”
FRANKS SHOWS OUT ON DEFENSE
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.”
CAVIL, ROSS SIT
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.
WARD MAKES PADS DEBUT
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.
“It was good for him,” defensive coordinator Mike Stoops said. “I was trying to watch him and couldn't watch him. I'm sure he's a little tentative.”
Stoops said he still hoped Ward could be in the rotation at defensive end this season.
Ward did not play as a senior after transferring first from Lawton to Douglass, where he was granted eligibility, and then from Douglass to Southmoore, where he was denied a waiver to play.
TOP RECRUITS MAKE IT TO NORMAN
A large group of recruits, including the Sooners' newest commit, Edmond Santa Fe quarterback Justice Hansen, was in attendance for the spring game.
Hansen said one of the players he most looked forward to talking with was Jenks' safety Steven Parker.
Parker, the No. 2 player on The Oklahoman's Super 30 list of the state's top recruits for 2014, was in attendance and was seen talking with Bob Stoops before the game.
Parker has an OU offer among many others, including Alabama, Michigan, Ohio State, Nebraska, Texas A&M and Wisconsin.
Also in attendance was Lawton offensive lineman Jalin Barnett, one of the state's top prospects in the 2015 class.
FAVORS NOT INJURED
In Bob Stoops' post-game press conference, he said he was happy they made it through the spring game without any injuries.
However, for the 20,000-plus fans in attendance, they saw defensive end Rashod Favors go down in the third corner near the visitor's sideline and kneel with his head facing the turf for a few minutes.
“He's OK,” Stoops said when asked about the injury. “He had air knocked out of him. I think he got hit in the throat. I think he was having trouble catching his breath.”
No other player was injured during the game, although offensive coordinator Josh Heupel said Taylor McNamara hasn't been full-go this spring due to lingering injuries.
DAVID SMITH TURNS HEADS
David Smith is a running back fans are probably going to want to know about.
Smith had an unofficial 10 receptions for 31 yards and one reception for three yards. Smith is from Midlothian, Ill., a small town of about 15,000 south of Chicago. He's also known as a team-first kind of guy.
AUSTIN WOODS FEELS “100 PERCENT”
After spending his junior year battling Hodgkin's lymphoma, Austin Woods is cancer free.
He also said his strength is back to “100 percent.”
“It feels really good,” Woods, a deep snapper, said. “I'm not battling chemo. I'm not battling my health anymore. ... I haven't felt that way in a long time. Luckily I was able to work out through the whole deal but I really feel back to normal and back to 100 percent I felt like I make some good strides this offseason.”
WALK ONS WALK ALL OVER OWEN FIELD
When senior Don Caudill scored a touchdown in his final spring game, all his player page consisted of were the basics. His name, his year, his height and weight (6-1, 186), his hometown and high school (Muldrow) and his position (wide receiver)
Caudill wasn't available for interviews, but the walk-on made noise in the fourth quarter when he got a two-yard touchdown pass from Trevor Knight. He ended the game with three catches for 27 yards.
He's known around the locker room as a pretty quiet guy who works hard.
“It was good to see him catching the ball and catching a touchdown today,” Woods said. “It was just good to see him do it on the big stage. He's a good guy. Nice guy to hang around. He's just a good kid.”
Then there was walk-on Terence Olds, who transferred from Rose State College. The former Star Spencer standout carried the ball six times for 19 yards.