Taking Everything for Granted: Sooners Stumble on the Way to Tempe

John MossSenior Analyst IDecember 31, 2007

This is not a preview of the Oklahoma-West Virginia Fiesta Bowl.  That will be coming tomorrow. 

This is a rant.  A steaming-mad, red-hot rant—not about any action on the football field, but the actions and mindsets of players off of the field. 

Actually, I shouldn't say "players", because that's a general term and I'm speaking only about two players: Lendy Holmes and DeMarcus Granger.

Lendy Holmes will be absent from the Fiesta Bowl Thursday night. Not due to injury—I would have no problem with that—but because he did not pass his classes last semester. 

Now look, I went to school with these guys, and I understand the strain put on atheletes these days.  They practice for hours almost every day, they watch film, they run, they lift, and then they attend class. 

At least, they are supposed to attend class. 

Knowing what these guys go through, I still have no sympathy for them.  I was fortunate enough to have my family's help paying for college, but I've had plenty of friends who paid their own way through school. 

That meant working two, sometimes three jobs.  One of my friends was a bartender at night, leaving the bar around 3:30am every night, then having to be in class at 8:30 the next morning.  And guess what? He didn't fail. 

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I won't even get into all the academic help college athletes get these days, with 24-hour access to tutors at no charge.  Let's just say that if Lendy had wanted to pass his classes, if he would have been just a little bit concerned about his grades, the Oklahoma athletic department would have found a way to help him pass. 

Trust me, Bob Stoops will gladly dismiss a player from practice a few times a week, if that time off equates to his player being eligible for OU's biggest game of the season. 

But Lendy obviously didn't care as much about his grades as he did playing football and hanging out with friends.

And while I'm on the topic, I came across this breaking news headline in my inbox this morning:  Oklahoma defensive tackle DeMarcus Granger has been sent home from Arizona after being arrested Saturday night for shoplifting. 

That's right, shoplifting. 

I don't know if you are aware of this, but football players on BCS Bowl teams get enough high-end, free gifts to make any person jealous.  But Granger really wanted that jacket from Burlington Coat Factory—enough to try to steal it.

Despite what you might think, DeMarcus, you're not above the law just because you play for the Oklahoma Sooners.  And despite what you might think, Lendy, you're not above University rules, just because you play football.


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