Perhaps the person most damaged by Charles Thompson's 1989 arrest for selling cocaine other than Thompson himself, of course was Barry Switzer. The incident might have been the biggest blow in a series of events that forced Switzer's resignation from OU in June 1989. But 10 years later, former coach and player reconciled and Switzer made the first move. At the funeral of former Sooner Derrick Shepard, Switzer pulled Thompson aside. They huddled for a few minutes of conversation. And bygones, they said, were bygones. "I owed him an apology, and he probably owed me one," Switzer said. "It was the first time I'd ever had the opportunity to go off and visit about an incident I felt badly about." Switzer was referring to the 1989 theft of 25 championship rings and other memorabilia from his Norman residence. Otha Armstrong, a Lawton High School graduate and one-time friend of Thompson, was convicted of the crime. Armstrong initially told police Thompson was an accomplice a charge Switzer says was later exposed as false. But in Switzer's 1990 book, "Bootlegger's Boy," he repeated Armstrong's accusation against Thompson. "I wrote it as a fact, and it wasn't," Switzer said. "I felt badly about that. Charles had nothing to do with stealing my rings. I told him I was sorry for how I portrayed him and that it was wrong." Switzer and Thompson said they did not discuss and still have not the events of 1989 and their subsequent war of words. In his book, "Down and Dirty: The life and crimes of Oklahoma football," Thompson portrayed Switzer as a renegade who routinely broke NCAA rules. And at the time, Switzer referred to Thompson in an interview as "scum of the earth," a "criminal" and "sociopath." "We've moved on," Thompson said. "That's part of history. You can't change it, so why relive it? It's not even relevant in terms of the relationship we have now. It still feels like that coach-quarterback relationship. We all make mistakes, but you can't go through life blaming other people for your actions and your mistakes. "I don't blame anyone for mine, and I don't think he blames anyone for his."
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