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August 9, 2013

What did Sumlin think about Bomar?

NORMAN — Oklahoma passed the test.

Joe Castiglione and Bob Stoops passed the test. And now, isn’t it interesting to wonder what Kevin Sumlin was thinking back on Aug. 2, 2006, the day the Sooners said goodbye to Rhett Bomar.

It was Chuck Long’s offense and, of all the coaches, he was most affected by Bomar and offensive lineman J.D. Quinn’s dismissals from the roster for being ghost employees at a Norman auto dealership.

But Sumlin was affected, too.

He was co-offensive coordinator and receivers coach. He was Jay Norvell before Jay Norvell.

What did Sumlin think about the reigning Holiday Bowl MVP quarterback being shown the door? 

Was he tempted to ride it out, hoping an institutionally imposed suspension might quell a potential NCAA uproar and leave the Sooners with their star quarterback in time for conference play? 

Malcolm Kelly, Juaquine Iglesias and Manny Johnson played under Sumlin’s charge. Those guys might have thought the world of Paul Thompson, yet they had to be sad to see the guy they’d finally developed chemistry alongside go.

Could Sumlin have even hoped for no action on OU’s part? Could he have hoped it would all go away?

They’re interesting questions considering where Sumlin finds himself now, as head coach of resurgent take-the-SEC-by-storm Texas A&M, the program Heisman Trophy winning quarterback Johnny Manziel appears intent to drag through scandalous mud.

Because it sure looks like Manziel’s been caught dead to rights selling his signature to autograph merchants, that segment of the labor market between freelance scalpers and street agents.

And, while we wonder what Sumlin might have been thinking way back when, the only time scandal has threatened to haunt the Stoops era, it’s also a good time to recognize that it only threatened to haunt the Stoops era because it was dealt with so swiftly and completely. 

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