The Norman Transcript

Sports

November 25, 2013

Off the wagon: OU football program officially releases D. Williams

NORMAN — Oklahoma running back Damien Williams has been dismissed from the program. OU coach Bob Stoops confirmed Monday at his weekly press conference.

“Damien Williams has been removed from the football team. He’s no longer a member of the team,” Stoops said.

Williams, a senior, was suspended for the Tulsa game earlier this season and suspended prior to the Saturday’s game at Kansas State.

He will miss the Dec. 7 game against Oklahoma State and whatever bowl game the Sooners play in.

Williams rushed for 533 yards this season and seven touchdowns. He ends his two-season career with 1,499 rushing yards and seven touchdowns.

Stoops said senior wide receiver Lacoltan Bester, who was suspended for the Kansas State game, was scheduled to return to practice Monday and will play against the Cowboys.

The Sooners didn’t appear to miss either player in the 41-31 win over the Wildcats. OU rushed for 301 yards and quarterback Trevor Knight threw for another 171 yards.

No starter named: OU coach Bob Stoops deflected questions on whether Knight would start the Bedlam game. Blake Bell did not play against Kansas State due to a concussion he suffered the previous week.

Stoops said he wanted to wait until Bell was cleared to return to practice next week before announcing his decision.

Why the ruse?: Bell was fully dressed and even threw some passes while OU warmed up against Kansas State. Clearly, it was a ploy to convince the Wildcats he was going to play.

Stoops said that was OU offensive coordinator Josh Heupel’s decision.

“I told him not to, but I guess Coach Heupel wanted him to,” Stoops said about the ruse. “I said we got to Saturday, just get warm. Then I looked and he was going out for warmups. It was no big deal.”

Evans gets another year: Offensive lineman Tyler Evans hasn’t played since the 2011 season due to knee injuries, but the fifth-year senior did not go through senior day festivities Nov. 16. Stoops said that is because Evans has been granted a sixth-year of eligibility and will play next season.

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