Stoops defends OU's academics

OU coach Bob Stoops

HBO's Real Sports brought up Oklahoma on Tuesday night as an example of universities failing student-athletes. OU coach Bob Stoops responded to the report Tuesday evening before the show aired.

After talking football and spring practice, Oklahoma coach Bob Stoops wasn't afraid to address the media about HBO's Real Sports report about NCAA student-athletes and the lengths schools go to keep players eligible.

The bulk of the HBO report was about North Carolina and Memphis, but it also talked about former OU offensive lineman Eric Mensik. He changed his major from business to multidisciplinary studies after failing a Calculus class.

Stoops, never afraid to speak his mind, did so once again Tuesday night.

"You talk to one guy out of the thousands that have been through here? Pretty simple to say," Stoops said. "Listen to what Gabe Ikard, who's just won a scholastic scholarship and has been up for the scholastic Heisman, and who is a multidisciplinary studies (major) and is going to be doctor when he's finished. And Trey Millard, one of my other captains who graduated in three or three and a half years and who has postgraduate scholarships as a psychology major. Not all bad.

"I wouldn't imagine Eric is the only 25-year-old that doesn't have the job he wants, right? I bet there are quite a few out there that are trying to get a better job.

"He's a great young man and I don't know what all is going to be (aired), but I know we're very proud about how hard we work with our guys.

"Bottom line, I was a business major. No one told me what I had to do. I did what I wanted to do. Fortunately, I ended up a business marketing major. I don't know if I've used my degree.

"I guess everyone kind of has different talents and either does really well in school or doesn't do well in school. But that's across the whole country, kids in athletics and kids outside athletics.

"Our whole student body, there's multidisciplinary studies (majors). At the end of the day, you want to be a finance major and you fail Calculus, you're going to have to find something else to do. That's just the real world, right? You have to gravitate to something you can succeed in. It's either that or fail.

"At the end of the day, everyone has different abilities, on the field and in the classroom. All of you are the same way. You have to work with that to get the best education you're able to get. Not everyone is a 4.0 and can do whatever they want to do. Sometimes you have to work within your skill and your mental ability.

"Another part of that is hard is a guy willing to work. You guys went to school with some guys that didn't work so hard and didn't probably do so well. I know I did. Then I went to school with some guys that worked really hard and did really well.

"In most things, you get about what you put into it and how hard work at it, and what your talent is, what your skill is."

Stoops left the media area only to return to address the issue some more.

"I think all kids deserve and should be in college," he said. "They're better for the experience of having done it. I believe taking a guy from a tough background who hasn't had much and you give him an opportunity to participate and have the opportunity to get your degree – they're still better for having that experience, I think.

"The whole culture of college, I believe, helps educate and build them and helps them grow. I think any young man, or any young woman that has that experience does. Having that experience is positive.

"Rather than still being in the tough streets somewhere and not having that opportunity or seeing a different way that people communicate and live – it's a totally different environment. Most kids really come and take advantage of and grow from it."

Ikard took to Twitter to vent his frustration with the report and detailed what he did with his multidisciplinary degree.

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