Unless you were living under a rock this week, you read the news out of Norman, Oklahoma. Sooner football coach announced his retirement after 18 seasons.
One of the questions on everyone’s minds is: “Is Stoops really going to permanently walk away from college football?”
After all, when coaches retire as young as Stoops has, it seems as if they almost always pop back up somewhere else after some away from the game.
Remember when Urban Meyer retired from Florida?
Of course, one of the best known examples of coaches who have retired and returned comes from the pro ranks in Bill Parcells.
So, I won’t be surprised to see Stoops return to coaching somewhere else.
There’s no doubt that Stoops’ run at Oklahoma makes him one of the best football coaches of all time. He won a BCS national championship, more conference titles than he had home losses and 65 percent of “big games.”
Those three stats alone seem to make him the anti-Mora. Speaking of Jim Mora, there’s no doubt that he is on the hot seat after last season.
Considering that Stoops is no longer at Oklahoma and Mora’s hot seat status, it’s only natural that Bruin fans could look at Stoops as a potential replacement for Jim Mora if UCLA should fail to rebound from last season, much the same way Chip Kelly is already seen as a potential replacement for Mora.
But, should Stoops really be on any list of potential replacements if Mora stumbles again?
In short, the answer is no.
For starters, I will give you a reason which should be familiar to Bruin fans: Joe Mixon.
When Mixon was deciding where to attend college, it came down to Oklahoma, Wisconsin and UCLA. In retrospect, UCLA dodged a bullet with Mixon and UCLA got Nate Starks to flip from Oklahoma after Mixon chose the Sooners.
But, I’m not here to re-hash recruiting decisions. I’m talking about Bob Stoops’ actions with respect to Joe Mixon’s arrest. Stoops allowed Mixon to remain on the Sooner football team after his arrest. He suspended him for one season and allowed him back on the team.
This week, everyone smiled and talked about Stoops going out on “his terms”. But, maybe, just maybe, it wasn’t Stoops’ decision. Could it be possible that Oklahoma allowed Stoops to “retire” about six months after the Mixon video was published to help keep Stoops from becoming the pariah that Art Briles now is after the Baylor scandal?
Of course, it could.
So, let’s dig a little deeper into Stoops’ off-the-field record before we suggest him as a potential replacement for Jim Mora.
Mixon wasn’t the first time Stoops exercised poor judgment with respect to the off-the-field activities of his players.
In 2014, Stoops recruit Doral Green-Beckham, a transfer who had gotten kicked out of Missouri after allegedly pushing a woman down stairs in a domestic violence and burglary incident. While Green-Beckham opted to enter the NFL Draft instead of ever playing a down for the Sooners, it doesn’t change the fact that Stoops was willing to give him a scholarship to Oklahoma.
In 2015, Stoops also allowed linebacker Frank Shannon to be reinstated after Shannon was found to have committed sexual misconduct by a Title IX investigation by Oklahoma.
So, while Stoops’ on-field success will certainly prove tempting, his behavior with respect to Mixon, Green-Beckham, and Shannon form a disturbing pattern of behavior by him that should disqualify him from consideration from coaching at UCLA should the job become open.
After all having one coach of a revenue sport at UCLA who is willing to excuse violence towards women is still one too many.