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Bomar, Quinn issue statements on violations

8/4/2006 - College Football

NORMAN, Okla. -- Coach Bob Stoops said Thursday that
Oklahoma acted quickly when it found out that starting quarterback
Rhett Bomar and offensive lineman J.D. Quinn broke NCAA rules
through their employment at a car dealership.

Stoops said he had not been aware that Bomar and Quinn were
working at the dealership last fall until Oklahoma's compliance
staff investigated the situation. He said he didn't rush to a
decision but considered it "fairly cut and dry."

Stoops said the players, who were dismissed from the team on
Wednesday, "knowingly" broke the rules. The university has said
the players were being paid for more work than they actually did.

"Both parties were aware that their actions were in violation
of NCAA rules. They did it over a long and extended period of
time," Stoops said. "That's conduct that we won't tolerate here
at the University of Oklahoma."

Bomar set an Oklahoma freshman record with 2,018 passing yards
last season after taking over as the starter in Week 2. Quinn,
Bomar's roommate, was expected to compete for a starting spot after
making four starts last season at right guard.

Bomar spoke to KOCO-TV on Thursday.

"I respect the decision that Coach Stoops made and the
administration above him. We have to live with that, you know, we
have to move on," he said. "But I wish the best for the program.
I cared about this program and I don't want anybody to think that
we didn't."

Quinn also apologized, saying he wishes he "could take it
back."

Stoops said players and the businesses that employ them are
expected to turn in documentation of the employment.

"If people are going to, in their own choice, do something
knowingly against NCAA rules, they're not going to tell you about
it," Stoops said. "Once we knew or had any inkling of it, we
acted on it and our compliance staff got to the end of it."

Stoops said he wasn't sure what Oklahoma could do differently to
prevent similar problems in the future.

"In the end, again if somebody understands the rules and
knowingly breaks them, then everybody suffers the consequences of
it and they do for sure. In the end, players need to be
accountable.

"We can't spend every minute with them, our compliance staff
cannot spend every minute with them. When are they held
accountable?"

NCAA president Myles Brand told reporters during a Thursday teleconference that he approved of Oklahoma's handling of the situation.

"I have been reading about it in the paper," Brand said. "It is unfortunate that a few student-athletes were involved in some payments which they did not earn. I want to compliment Coach Stoops and the University of Oklahoma in so far that they took immediate action. I believe the rapid response showed integrity."

Brand wouldn't comment on whether the NCAA would investigate the allegations at Oklahoma.

Oklahoma started the process of moving forward by naming Paul
Thompson as its new starter. Thompson served as a backup for three
seasons, including his redshirt year, before beating Bomar out for
the starting job last fall. Bomar claimed the starting role after
Oklahoma lost to TCU in its season opener, and Thompson remained
the backup despite a subsequent move to wide receiver.

"There's no question the way Paul has worked here the last four
years, the players are excited about it," Stoops said. "They've
got great confidence in Paul. We do as a staff and are looking
forward to the future with him."

Saying he wasn't involved in the investigation, Stoops declined
to get into details about when the offenses occurred. Stoops said
the university does arrange some summer jobs, but he did not know
how many players worked last summer.

"It has diminished over the years because most players --
virtually all of them -- are in summer school and working out,"
Stoops said. "Summer jobs aren't the issue they used to be back in
the days when kids weren't going to summer school all year and
training all year."

Athletic director Joe Castiglione said the dismissed players
were the only ones implicated based on "all of the information
that we have available to us at this time."

Some recruiting services rated Bomar as the nation's top
quarterback when he came out of high school, and he developed into
the team's leader over the course of his first season as starter.
Under his direction, Oklahoma won six of its last seven games,
including the Holiday Bowl against Oregon.

Bomar declined an interview, but apologized to fans, coaches and
his teammates for making "a mistake" on KOCO-TV.

"I respect the decision that Coach Stoops made and the
administration above him. We have to live with that, you know, we
have to move on," he said during the segment.

"But I wish the best for the program. I cared about this
program and I don't want anybody to think that we didn't."

Quinn also apologized, saying he wishes he "could take it
back."

"Hopefully he'll help me out and get where I need to be in my
next step," Quinn said.

With former Heisman runner-up Adrian Peterson returning healthy
at tailback, Oklahoma was expected to contend for the national
title as it had the previous two seasons.

"I don't know that I feel a whole lot different than I did
before this, meaning I don't believe Rhett had that much experience
that we're losing," Stoops said. "And so, from the end of the
year, I felt we have a lot that we need to work on for that to
happen. I don't think we were coming into the year that he was
Jason White coming back from his Heisman Trophy year the year
before.

"It's safe to say, I know there's a lot of expectations for
Rhett, what we have had to this point hasn't been anything that we
can't overcome."