Tahlequah Daily Press

Sports

August 20, 2012

Sooners suspend DT Stacy McGee indefinitely

NORMAN — Oklahoma senior defensive tackle Stacy McGee has been “indefinitely suspended” from the team. OU coach Bob Stoops cited a violation of university policy as the reason when he made the announcement following Friday’s practice.

McGee started 14 games over the last two seasons, while rotating with Jamarkus McFarland and Casey Walker at the defensive tackle spots. McGee recorded 22 tackles and 1 1/2 sacks last season.

The Sooners’ contingency plan is for senior defensive end David King to slide down the defensive tackle for the Sept. 1 season opener at UTEP to bolster the Sooners’ depth. Chuka Ndule will move into a starting role at defensive end, along with R.J. Washington.

“We’ll probably move David King more in there, to the 3-technique. David is consistently weighing about 275 pounds. If he treats himself to a few more cheeseburgers, he can be 285 in no time,” Stoops said. “He’s got the strength to play in there. The times he has played in there, he’s done well. In all likelihood we’ll rotate him in there with those other guys.”

King said he found out about McGee’s suspension several days ago and was told by the coaching staff he would be moving to defensive tackle after practice.

“I’m fine with it,” King said. “I don’t mind playing inside. It’s nothing new to me. I’m comfortable playing there. I’m heavy enough I can play down there and hold my weight.”

McGee’s suspension is not expected to be permanent. During Friday’s interview session, players said they expected him to be back on the team this season. None would say what caused the suspension. McGee was also suspended for OU’s 2011 opener against Tulsa following his citation for marijuana possession the previous February.

Walker was told by McGee he would be suspended earlier this week.

“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.”

McGee’s absence could also force a pair of younger players into expanded playing time. Redshirt freshman defensive tackle Jordan Phillips had already moved into the four-man rotation at the two spots.

Sophomore Rashod Favors, who moved from linebacker to defensive end in the spring, has impressed the coaching staff throughout the preseason. He’s also expected to move up the depth chart with King sliding inside to defensive tackle.

“Who’s really been impressive is Rashod,” Bob Stoops said of the third-year sophomore who recently switched from linebacker. “Bobby Jack (Wright, OU’s defensive ends coach) has been talking about him. He keeps showing up and doing things well. He’s really strong, powerful.”

There’s a plan in place for the loss of McGee. His teammates said it’s like a starter going down to an injury.

“We’ve got to play harder and better,” Walker said. “That’s a big loss but we can always overcome anything. We’ll be all right.”

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