PARADISE VALLEY, Ariz. — Oklahoma coach Bob Stoops said here Thursday that this December has been no different than past Decembers, in terms of ridding the program of players with poor attitudes.
On the eve of the Insight Bowl against Iowa, he said the handful of defections have been magnified due to the team's 9-3 record.
“I have put my foot down every year this time of year,” Stoops said during the final news conference prior to the bowl. “There have always been guys that all of a sudden aren't back, all of a sudden they are transferring.”
The only December transfer Stoops has acknowledged has been running back Brandon Williams, who he's said is going to Texas A&M to be nearer to family.
He has said on a couple of occasions he will not talk about the others until after the bowl, but it became obvious at Monday's partially open practice who was absent.
Receivers Justin McCay and Sheldon McClain are not here with the team. Defensive tackles Josh Aladenoye and Torrea Peterson, and defensive back James Haynes, are also absent.
He didn't mention anyone by name, but said generally that the team's attitude during bowl preparation has been improved.
“Yeah. You know why?” said Stoops, who spoke passionately on the subject for a couple of minutes. “Because that 2 percent of my team isn't eating up 90 percent of my time. It's pretty simple. You feel a lot better, that's for sure.”
Each year, he said there are certain players who do not adapt well to the requirements of a football player at OU. They're asked to leave in a housecleaning of sorts.
“If you're not living up to those obligations, you're not earning your way. You're bringing the team down,” Stoops said. “I'm not saying it's all these guys, but some of them. That's what happens. It's just noticeable this year … and we've had more this year.”