Thanks to a pair of arrests over the past month, the statuses of two Oklahoma players for the Sooners’ bowl game has been up in the air.
Friday evening, the Sooners clarified the availability of both in one fell swoop.
In a release, OU announced that defensive tackle Stacy McGee “will not travel to the game nor participate in any activities related to the game.” In other words, he has been suspended for the Cotton Bowl matchup with Texas A&M.
On the brighter side, wide receiver Jalen Saunders has been cleared to participate in the postseason game.
In early December, Saunders was one of two Sooner players arrested on a marijuana possession charge. Three weeks later, McGee was arrested and charged with driving under the influence. In the release on “postseason participation,” OU stated that “[t]he information and history in each of the individual matters are unique thus resulting in different participation decisions for this game.”
McGee was suspended for the first six games of the season for undisclosed violations of university policies. In February of this year, McGee was arrested on a pot possession charge. Saunders, on the other hand, transferred into the Sooners program this year from Fresno State and has no known off-field issues.
The fact that Saunders will play is likely bigger — and better — news for the Sooners.
After having his waiver for immediate eligibility approved by the NCAA Oct. 10, Saunders played in OU’s final eight games. Despite missing a third of the season, Saunders is third on the team in receptions (53) and receiving yards (766), totals which are tops on the Sooners during that eight-game stretch.
While McGee started 17 games in the three seasons prior to this year, he was merely a part of OU’s defensive line rotation after returning from the suspension and was listed as a backup at both tackle positions on the depth chart headed into the bowl game. He was credited with 14 tackles, 2.5 tackles for loss and one sack in the six games in which he played.