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Friday, August 1, 2008
Stoops makes tough call on Jarboe

By ESPN.com staff
ESPN.com

Posted by ESPN.com's Tim Griffin

Oklahoma coach Bob Stoops was facing a difficult decision when he considered what to do with freshman receiver Josh Jarboe only two days before fall practice starts.

Jarboe was already on thin ice with Stoops after being arrested last March, only a month after accepting Oklahoma's scholarship offer. He was arrested on felony charges after carrying a gun to his school in Decatur, Ga.

After being charged with weapons possession, Stoops gave him a second chance after Jarboe's plea bargain. And then, before fall training camp starts, a video of Jarboe rapping about shooting people and carrying guns surfaced on YouTube.

With the Sooners already under the NCAA microscope, Stoops knew he had little leeway. And he also knew his decision -- made after talking with Jarboe earlier in the day -- would be easier to deal with immediately than if he waited until after training camp started.

So, today, Jarboe was kicked off the team

The dismissal could hurt Oklahoma a little this year as the Sooners already were looking for a replacement for Malcolm Kelly, their prototypical tall big-play receiver who left a year early for the NFL. Receivers like Manny Johnson and Juaquin Iglesias are back for this season. Jarboe would have been an ideal replacement for Kelly and likely would have been good enough to crack the rotation and become a contributor as the season continued.

Jarboe's departure will place some emphasis on the quick development this season of freshmen like DeJuan Miller and Jameel Owens. Those players will be the future for the Sooners' receiving corps and it would behoove Stoops to get them in the rotation sooner than later.

And it could really hurt the Sooners next season, when Iglesias and Johnson both will be gone. Returning non-senior wide receivers accounted for only five receptions for Oklahoma last season.

With Stoops' decision made before the season starts, it means that Jarboe would have immediately eligibility if he chooses to go to another program. It will be interesting to see where he surfaces.

Because another coach is going to be willing to give a player with his talents another chance. Trust me.