The arrest of Oklahoma quarterback Charles Thompson on charges of selling 17 grams of cocaine to an undercover FBI agent is only the latest in a month-long series of scandals to rock one of the nation's top football programs.
FBI spokesman Dan Vogel said Thompson, who was suspended from the Oklahoma football team earlier in the day by Sooners Coach Barry Switzer, was arrested about 9 p.m. Monday at an undisclosed location in Norman.He was taken Monday night to the Oklahoma County Jail in Oklahoma City, where he was to be arraigned before a federal magistrate Tuesday morning.
Vogel said Thompson, 21, was accused in a federal complaint of selling 17 grams of cocaine to an undercover FBI agent for $1,400 on Jan. 26, 1989.
Thompson's arrest came hours after Switzer announced he had suspended the sophomore quarterback for undisclosed reasons and ordered him to move out of the university's athletic dormitory.
The arrest came three days after three Oklahoma football players were charged with an alleged gang rape at the athletic dorm and is the latest catastrophe to befall an athletic program that some Oklahoma officials concede may be careening out of control.
"Maybe the tail is wagging the dog," one official who asked not to be identified told a Dallas newspaper earlier this month - a reference to allegations by former Oklahoma linebacker Brian Bosworth, now with the Seattle Seahawks.
In his book, which until recently was viewed as overstated, Bosworth described a dormitory atmosphere in which teammates fired Uzi machine guns from windows and threw cats from the fourth floor to see if they would land on their feet.
Players and university officials agree that the Bud Wilkinson House, which houses Oklahoma's football players, is a world apart from the rest of the university.
"They live in a separate building under separate rules and regulations," said school housing official Cyndy Feuquay. "They have their own discipline system over there."
One player told the Dallas Times Herald that a discipline system does not exist.
"We play rough, we talk rough," the player said. "It's like, `I'm going to kick your butt and you're going to kick my butt.' We play around. We want to see who is weak and who is strong."
Oklahoma was placed on probation by the NCAA in December for recruiting violations. Sanctions include reduced scholarships, and exclusion from live television and postseason play.