OU Ruf-Neks Could Face Charges for Painting Bridge

Monday, October 4th 2010, 12:50 pm
By: News 9

By Gan Matthews, NEWS 9

GOLDSBY, Oklahoma -- The McClain County sheriff said pre-game hijinks by an OU spirit group may have broken the law.

Four members of OU's Ruf-Nek spirit squad are expected to be charged Tuesday with defacing public property.

Sheriff Don Hewett said late Thursday night one of his deputies discovered several members of the spirit group painting the Goldsby Bridge over Interstate 35. According to the sheriff, the members explained that every year at the start of the OU-Texas weekend they paint "Red River Raid" plus the year in red on the bridge. They had only gotten as far as the first "r" when the deputy interrupted them.

"I told them I understood it was a tradition, but it was still defacing state property and they couldn't be doing that," McClain County Sheriff's Deputy Brandon McDonald said.

The deputy told the Ruf-Neks what they were doing was illegal, took down their names and told them to leave.

Sheriff Hewett said when the deputy drove by the bridge Friday morning someone had finished painting "Red River Raid 10."

The sheriff's reports on the incident were forwarded to the district attorney for prosecution as malicious injury to property.  The accused Ruf-Nek members will be charged with misdemeanors.

OU Sports Information Director Kenny Mossman said OU would probably have no comment on the incident until charges have been filed.

The Ruf-Nek group started at OU in 1915.  Three years ago, the organization was shut down for hazing.  They were allowed to start up again the following year.