Sooners Coach Responds to Loss of Defensive Ends | Athletic Business

Sooners Coach Responds to Loss of Defensive Ends

On Tuesday, head coach Bob Stoops of Oklahoma University announced that star defensive end Charles Walker has left the team to pursue his NFL ambitions. This news comes hot on the heels of the announcement that fellow defensive end Matt Dimon has also left the team. Both players were starters for the Sooners before suffering injuries on the field.

Walker has not played since sustaining a concussion October first, his second head injury in the last two years, and Dimon has been out of the game since September 17.

While head coach Stoops allows that both players’ decisions to leave stem from a combination of factors includes the severity of their individual injuries, Oklahoma defensive coordinator Mike Stoops is not so ready to make allowances. He is taking departure of Walker particularly hard, seeing it as a lack of loyalty.

 “Quitting on your teammates is hard to take, as a coach. That’s everything we stand for — our commitment to one another and, for whatever reason, that wasn’t there for him,” Mike Stoops told Yahoo! Sports, adding that Walker “thought this (the NFL) was a better avenue.”

Even though Mike Stoops feels abandoned by his players, he sees an advantage to their leaving the team if their heart wasn’t in it. The way he sees it, players with one foot out the door are a distraction.

“You can’t have guys coming and going and have a group of players committed to what they’re doing day in and day out, putting all the time and energy into it,” Stoops said. “It’s not fair to the players that are on our team if they’re not committed to the team.”

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