Thanks to an offseason of upheaval at the position, Oklahoma had hoped the NCAA would look favorably upon wide receiver Jalen Saunders appeal for immediate eligibility.
Unfortunately, that won’t be the case.
At his weekly press conference Monday, head coach Bob Stoops announced that the NCAA had denied Saunders’ request for a waiver that would’ve permitted him to play in 2012 instead of sitting out a transfer season as is normally required. Now, Saunders will not be eligible to suit up for the Sooners until 2013, although he’ll still be permitted to continue practicing with his teammates throughout the 2012 season.
As a sophomore in 2011, Saunders led his team in receptions (50), receiving yards (1,065), receiving touchdowns (12) and total touchdowns (14, two of them rushing). For that, he was named first-team All-WAC following the season.
Saunders’ experience and talent would’ve been a boon for an OU team that has (likely) lost three players at the position for the season that were expected to contribute in the passing game in 2012.