Former OU Coach Barry Switzer Speaks Out On SI OSU Investigation - - Oklahoma City, OK - News, Weather, Video and Sports |

Former OU Coach Barry Switzer Speaks Out On SI OSU Investigation

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We know that drug users are likely to appear on any college campus, so how are college football coaches supposed to handle athletes who break the rules?

Former OU Football coach Barry Switzer knows firsthand that getting a hold of a college football program where players have been arrested for drug use is not an easy task. He dealt with it in 1989 and says coaches can only do so much.

"We have drug policies at every program. Our medical staff runs that. We have nothing to do with that," Switzer said. "When you have felonies created as I did, it's out of my hands. It's in the jurisdiction of our law. They proceed with it. It's out of my hands. They're off the team. They're going to go to jail."

Switzer says he doesn't think OSU Football coaches turned a blind eye to rampant drug use as is alleged the Sports Illustrated story "The Dirty Game."

"I don't believe that at all. I know that good players will make good decisions and bad players will make some bad choices and pay a penalty."

Switzer says college coaches aren't really prepared to address drugs with their team.

9/12/2013 Related Story: SI Calls Out Alleged Drug Use By OSU Football Players

"I never thought I'd have to put in my playbook: do not rape, do not shoot someone and do not sell drugs," he said. "I just never thought about that. I don't think coaches do that. They don't put that in their playbooks. They think the players are taught a better value system in home somewhere along the way."

Switzer has strong words for the former OSU players, who said they used to be drug dealers.

"They ought to be in jail. They ought to not still be on the street talking to you," Switzer said. "That's the way I look at it. If they were dealers, they're thugs and bums."

Former NCAA investigator Brent Clark has worked on similar cases and says a big part NCAA's investigation into OSU could focus on if players were properly drug tested and eligible before 2012's Fiesta Bowl.

"The investigator will spend months gathering information, testing the veracity of the witnesses and putting the university's interests in the most favorable light with the NCAA," Clark said.

Clark says the NCAA would prefer programs to self-police any drug issues, but officials get involved if a team shows lack of institutional control. Oftentimes, former drug users are allowed back on the team, and Switzer says that's not always a bad thing.

"I look back on that and say ‘Well, did I make a mistake?' And I'm talking to my team then, saying 'Maybe I shouldn't have given one or two of those guys second chance,'" Switzer said. "And I had a kid in that back of the room stand up and say, ‘No coach, they didn't take advantage of it. You gave me a second chance.'"

OSU told SI reporters that 18 players were randomly drug tested by the NCAA before last year's Fiesta Bowl game, and only one player tested positive and was suspended.

Full Sports Illustrated Article Part 3: The Drugs

9/10/13 Related Story: Sports Illustrated Releases First OSU Football Article

9/11/13 Related Story: Sports Illustrated's Second Report: The Academics

9/11/13 Related Story: OSU Players, Affiliates Sound Off About SI's Article

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