Who better than Coach Barry Switzer to restore dignity to Oklahoma's football program, Switzer said of a team bogged down with troubles that started with an NCAA probation and ended - for now - with the arrest of quarterback Charles Thompson.
While Switzer admits he is "more embarrassed than anyone" about the three-year probation, which preceded felony charges against five players for a shooting, an alleged gang rape and Thompson's arrest Monday night on a complaint of selling cocaine to undercover FBI agents, state newspapers are calling for him to resign.But Switzer, who has the winningest percentage of active coaches, remains undaunted.
He told The Associated Press Wednesday night that he has no intention of stepping down and was "committed to restoring the image" of a good football program. "If we work at it 24 hours a day we'll do it," he said.
The latest newspaper to join the ranks against Switzer is The Daily Oklahoman, which also called for his resignation in 1982 when problems surfaced concerning the football program and Switzer's financial dealings.
On Wednesday, the Tulsa World and the university's student newspaper, The Oklahoma Daily, also suggested that Switzer resign. The Tulsa Tribune called for him to step down after NCAA sanctions were announced in December.
Meanwhile, Thompson was released in the custody of his mother Wednesday while he awaits trial on a charge of selling 17 grams of cocaine on Jan. 26. Thompson's arrest came one week after he told a group of elementary students in Norman, Okla., to avoid drugs.
No trial date has been set for Thompson.