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Sooners’ fortune tied to QB growing up

by Berry Tramel Published: June 14, 2006
TULSA Under the big top on the grounds of the OU-Tulsa campus, a fan embraced the spirit of the Sooner Caravan auction Tuesday night.

She paid $2,200 for a Rhett Bomar jersey.

There's an excellent chance she got a bargain. The Sooner quarterback, with three years eligibility remaining, has a chance to become quite the Oklahoma hero.

Part Tom Sawyer, part Tom Brady. A rascal of a quarterback. A QB who knows not caution; a QB who will try to put the ball and his body where even the brave dare not go.

But a cloud hovers over what should be not only a promising Sooner season but also a historic OU career. Since last September, Bomar twice has been cited for underage drinking and once for hosting a nuisance party.

Big deal? No big deal? All depends on the future, of course, but this much is for sure. It's big news when the incumbent OU quarterback, the state's crown prince, runs afoul of the law, even the misdemeanor side.

Is Bomar rascal or rogue? Is he just a 20-year-old who hasn't grown up, or is he a knucklehead who never will?

Bob Stoops says the former.

"He's a smart young guy, Stoops said at a press conference before the Caravan party. "Well above 3-point (in the classroom). Always does well in everything he does.

"I'm not going to condone any of that behavior. I also have a decent perspective on what it was. And easily correctable.

I don't know what Bomar needs, whether it's running steps or counseling or just holding on until July 2, when he turns the legal drinking age of 21.

But OU's athletic department stands ready to help Bomar.

OU athletic director Joe Castiglione declined to talk about Bomar but did address the total program the Sooners offer.

Education, prevention, intervention, on a variety of fronts.

OU defensive tackle Dusty Dvoracek went public with his alcoholism last year, and alcohol is the No. 1 problem on American campuses, athletes or not.

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by Berry Tramel
Berry Tramel, a lifelong Oklahoman, sports fan and newspaper reader, joined The Oklahoman in 1991 and has served as beat writer, assistant sports editor, sports editor and columnist. Tramel grew up reading four daily newspapers — The Oklahoman,...
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OU fans on Bomar

Jim Self, Broken Arrow: “I played baseball there in the ’50s. I think you’re going to have that (alcohol) from a young person. I would imagine they’d take care of it internally with the coaches. That is a worry, though. No doubt about that.”

Steve Ludwig, Tulsa: Alcohol “kind of goes along with the college atmosphere, I’d say. He could do worse. I don’t know that he’ll ever make it to the NFL; he doesn’t have the stature. But he’ll do good when he gets some experience under his belt. If he’d been given the chance (early) last year, he’d have a little more experience.”

Sandy Chalmers, Tulsa: “I think he’s got all the physical tools. Sometimes he gets a little ahead of himself. When you’re kind of young, you think you can get any ball in there. (The alcohol) doesn’t concern me at all. I went to OU, and I did it.”

Jeremy Rogers, Tulsa: “I think the potential’s there. I think he’s gotta stay focused. That’ll be the key. He’s got to lead the team, become a leader. He was young last year and did some silly things.”

Ups and downs

  • August 2004: Came to OU as the most heralded quarterback recruit since Jack Mildren. OSU coach Mike Gundy called Bomar the best high-school quarterback he had ever seen.

  • September 2005: A sluggish start to his college career. Bomar completed just 7 of 20 passes for 61 yards against TCU and Tulsa; his fumbles against TCU and UCLA led to touchdowns in tight games that OU lost.

  • Sept. 3, 2005: Cited for minor in possession of alcohol; the case was dismissed in January.

  • Sept. 17, 2005: Completed 20 of 29 passes for 241 yards against UCLA, his second college start, though OU lost 41-24.

  • Oct. 8, 2005: Played miserably in a 45-12 loss to Texas; Bomar completed 12 of 33 passes for 94 yards, with an interception.

  • October-November 2005: In a three-game stretch, completed 58 of 98 passes for 724 yards as the Sooners swept Baylor, Nebraska and Texas A&M.

  • Dec. 29, 2005: In a 17-14 Holiday Bowl victory over Oregon, Bomar completed 17 of 30 passes for 229 yards and for the third straight game was not sacked, after being sacked 17 times in OU's first nine games.

  • March 10, 2006: Cited at the Ford Center for minor in possession of alcohol; pled guilty May 31.

  • July 13, 2006: Scheduled to be arraigned for hosting a nuisance party, a misdemeanor citation.


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