The Oklahoman appears to be on a mission to remove Brandon Everage from the football team.
On February 11, Everage was charged with a misdemeanor of unlawful possession of marijuana after police found a minuscule amount of marijuana seeds in his vehicle.
Shortly after his arrest, a column appeared in the paper suggesting Everage should not be allowed to remain on the team. At the time, Bob Stoops refused comment, as the policy of the University is to not comment on any legal issue until its final resolution.
In the Friday March 7 issue, the Oklahoman again chronicles the arrest and suggests that authorities would have filed more serious charges if they had been aware of a prior arrest (DWI) in Texas following the 1999-2000 Independence Bowl game with Mississippi.
The story was written by the OU beat reporter, George Schroeder along with Greg Kennedy. Schroeder, is generally known for his fair and accurate reporting, and is thought by OU coaches to be a fine journalist.
When arrested several years ago near Austin, Texas, Everage and a cousin, Robert White, were in the car. Everage's cousin was charged with possession of less than two ounces of marijuana. Everage, the driver of the vehicle, was charged with DWI. The January 2000 case finally came to trial last month where Everage pleaded ‘no contest' to the Class B misdemeanor charge. He was fined $ 500. along with court costs, and corresponding jail time of three days, (two days previously served, the third day waived).
The Oklahoman implies that Williamson County (Texas), authorities somehow mystically did not file possession charges against Everage, but instead filed DWI against him and possession charges against White. However it's logical to assume that authorities simply filed charges against the two for the offenses each was suspected of and not because of any oversight or special treatment.
The Texas charge is old news, occurring during his red-shirt freshman year, and is not a total shock as DWI is a fairly common, (yet serious), indiscretion among many college age kids.
The arrest last month is far more relevant. While the charges may not stick, as the evidence is very thin and circumstantial, they probably cost Everage a shot at the Thorpe award next year. Are they serious enough for banishment from the football team? That's a call for someone else to make.
We won't call for or against it until all the facts are known by people with authority to do so. But Everage is not the first football player at OU or OSU to be arrested on similar charges in the last 12 months. The question might be, were columns written about the other athletes? Were stories and follow-up stories printed? And if not, why?
Editor OU Insider