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The verdict’s in: Bomar’s a knucklehead

by Berry Tramel Published: August 3, 2006
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I asked Bob Stoops a tough question a few weeks ago. Is Rhett Bomar rogue or rascal? Typical college kid or knucklehead?

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Stoops stuck up for his quarterback. Said Bomar’s transgressions were the product of youth. Said he expected Bomar to overcome his mistakes. Said Bomar was a smart guy.

But Bomar answered the question himself when he accepted unearned money from Big Red Sports/Imports.

The Oklahoma quarterback squandered his crown-prince status. Jeopardized his future. Relinquished his fast track to lieutenant governor or the broadcast booth or a plum coach’s office.

Knucklehead.

Harsh words for a 21-year-old, but proper. The same description doesn’t apply to J.D. Quinn, Bomar’s partner in time. Offensive linemen aren’t depended on like a starting quarterback. Offensive linemen don’t stroll down the same crimson carpet while gridironing as Sooners.

OU quarterbacks enjoy a cushy ride. They are set up often for life. To whom much is given, much is required. Bomar sacrificed his Oklahoma, and who knows what else, future, not to mention the trust of his teammates, when he took the shortcut of booster money.

Since September, Bomar twice was cited for being a minor in possession of alcohol. Once was outside his Norman home; once was in front of 19,000 Hornet fans at the Ford Center. The latter incident meant Bomar is either incredibly stupid, which I don’t think is the case, or else he believes the rules don’t apply to him. Now, I think that is the case.

That invincibility paid off for Bomar on the field. He lowered his helmet and fired passes into crowds and played football the way Tony Stewart drives. With flair and with passion and with no restraints. He followed no rules.

And it blew up on Stoops.

Stoops built the newest Sooner monster with quarterbacks remarkably similar in smarts and sense and savvy. Josh Heupel, Nate Hybl and Jason White were not studs of any kind. Physically, Heupel and White were not pro-caliber quarterbacks, and Hybl barely qualified. Arm strength and mobility were not their strengths; accuracy and decision-making were.

But Stoops’ quarterbacks 1999-2004 were solid citizens. Guys you could count on. Straight arrows. Cornerstones.

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by Berry Tramel
Columnist
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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