NORMAN, Okla. (AP) — Oklahoma defensive tackle Stacy McGee was suspended indefinitely Friday for what coach Bob Stoops called a violation of university policy.
McGee is the fifth Oklahoma player to be suspended during this offseason. Receiver Kameel Jackson was eventually dismissed from the team, while defensive back Quentin Hayes and receivers Jaz Reynolds and Trey Franks have been reinstated to practice but won’t be allowed to play in games.
“It’s a low blow for us. He’s a great player and he’s a brother to us because we’re all really tight right there in the middle, in the trenches,” fellow defensive tackle Jamarkus McFarland said. “We have to treat the situation like an injury. The train still rolls, even though we love him and everything. We’ve still got to fill that spot.”
McGee has started 17 games over the past three seasons. He played in 12 games last season, starting three times and recording 22 tackles and 1 1/2 sacks.
“That’s a big loss but we can always overcome anything,” defensive tackle Casey Walker said. “We’ll be all right.”
Defensive end David King said coaches approached him at his locker after practice and informed him he’d be moving into McGee’s position on a full-time basis for “the first couple games of the season.”
“I don’t mind it. I’ve played there before, so it’s nothing new to me,” King said. “I’m comfortable playing down there and I’m heavy enough where I can play there and hold my weight. We’ll see how it goes.”
Stoops said King, who filled in at tackle while McGee and Walker missed time due to injuries last season, is consistently weighing in at 275 to 280 pounds and will be able to slide inside without a problem.
“If he could treat himself to a few more cheeseburgers, he could be 285 in no time and he’s got the strength to play in there. The times he has played in there, he’s done well,” Stoops said. “So, in all likelihood, we’ll rotate him in there with those other guys.”
The Sooners’ season opener is Sept. 1 at UTEP.
Stoops has been pleased with the growing depth along the defensive line, offering positive reviews on freshmen defensive ends Charles Tapper and Mike Onuoha plus redshirt freshman Jordan Phillips at tackle. Sophomore Chuka Ndulue figures to take on a bigger role with King moving inside.
“They’re going to do great out there, and I’m just going to try and do the best I can down inside to try and fill that void that we have down there,” King said.
McGee had informed his fellow defensive linemen in recent days that he had broken the rules and punishment might be coming. It didn’t become official until Friday.
“It’s one of those things where it’s like, `I knew better.’ You know what I’m saying? So, it’s like when you’re a kid and Mom tells you not to touch the stove and you do it anyway, and you got burned,” Walker said. “It’s just one of those things. He learned his lesson and whatnot, and he’s just moving forward now. You can’t dwell in the past.”