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Wednesday, August 02, 2006

Sooners Lose Two Players!

Oklahoma starting quarterback Rhett Bomar will not play for the Sooners this season following an investigation by the team, sources told ESPN's Joe Schad and ESPN.com's Mark Schlabach on Wednesday.

Sooners' QB depth chart

With Rhett Bomar kicked off the team, the Sooners' depth chart at quarterback looks like this:
• Joey Halzle: From Huntington Beach, Calif. Transferred from Golden West CC where he threw for 2,077 yards and 13 TDs in 10 games.
• Paul Thompson: Began the 2005 season as the starting QB, but was later moved to WR. Could potentially be moved back under center where he was just 11-26 for 109 yards and an INT last year. In his career, he is 42-73, 428 yards, 4 TDs, 3 INT.
• Sam Bradford: True freshman from Oklahoma City. Top 20 QB recruit last year.
• Hays McEachern: Walk-on.

-- ESPN Research

Sophomore J.D. Quinn, who was expected to start at guard, was also dismissed.

Oklahoma said that two players had been dismissed by the team but did not identify them. The school said in a statement that the players violated NCAA rules by working at a private business and taking "payment over an extended period of time in excess of time actually worked."

Bomar apparently filed for 40-hour work weeks at a Norman, Okla., auto dealership, making up to $18,000, when he only worked 5 hours a week, Schad reported.

The car dealership in question is Big Red Sports/Imports in Norman, Okla., reports Schlabach. When contacted by phone, the person answering referred requests to attorney Jeffrey Atkins of Oklahoma City. The dealership is part of the Sooner Schooner Car Program, which supplies vehicles to coaches and athletic department officials.

Atkins said during a telephone interview Wednesday that Bomar or "any other OU athlete" hadn't worked at the dealership since March. The dealership was sold by former owners Mike Donahue and Brad McRae in April to David Hudiburg, whose family owns several car dealerships in the Oklahoma City area.

"Not a single OU athlete has been employed by the new ownership," Atkins said. "Unfortunately, we're catching the brunt of the criticism and we have none of the documents or information. We're in a bad situation."

Atkins said he didn't know what Bomar's job duties were at the dealership.

In April, Oklahoma cleared standout running back Adrian Peterson, who purchased a vehicle from the dealership before securing financing, drove it for several weeks and then returned the car. Oklahoma investigated the situation, but ruled Peterson did not violate rules because the dealership said it was normal business practice.

"We spend a considerable amount of time addressing our players regarding their personal conduct and the NCAA rules," head coach Bob Stoops said in a statement. "They know exactly what we expect from them. Ultimately, they have to make right decisions. The same holds true for our boosters. When they do not, the consequences are serious, and we will not tolerate this behavior.

"Our team and university actions are necessary because of the intentional participation and knowledge of the student athletes in these violations," Stoops said.

A top-rated recruit out of high school, Bomar redshirted his first season while 2004 Heisman Trophy winner Jason White completed his career. Bomar lost a quarterback competition to Paul Thompson last fall, but was named the starter after the Sooners lost to TCU in the first week.

Bomar set an Oklahoma freshman record with 2,018 passing yards. He started Oklahoma's final 11 games and completed 54 percent of his passes, while throwing 10 touchdowns and 10 interceptions. Oklahoma finished 2005 by winning six of its final seven games, including a victory against Oregon in the Holiday Bowl.

Quinn, who was Bomar's roommate, started four times at right guard last season but missed spring practice with an injury.

"I firmly believe that our program is stronger than any individual player and that a championship program cannot compromise its values," Stoops said in the statement.

Thompson, the only quarterback other than Bomar with experience at Oklahoma, was moved to receiver after Bomar became the starter. A backup in 2002 and 2003, Thompson played in a reserve role until he beat out Bomar last fall.

In his career, Thompson has completed 42 of 73 passes for 428 yards. He caught 11 passes for 106 yards after moving to receiver last season.

Other options would be Joey Halzle, a junior transfer who passed for 2,077 yards and 13 touchdowns in 10 games last season at Golden West (Calif.) Community College, freshman Sam Bradford and walk-on Hays McEachern.

The Associated Press contributed to this report. Mark Schlabach covers college football and men's college basketball for ESPN.com. Joe Schad covers college football for ESPN.


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