KTVY, an Oklahoma
City TV station, aired an interview with the mother of the alleged victim.
"We want to fight because I feel this will happen again and again and
again," said the woman, who was shown only in silhouette. "[My
daughter] thought she was safe because of who they were and where they were
at.... She knew they were OU players, and she thought she would be safe with
According to one
former resident of the athletic dorms, no woman is really safe in Bud Hall:
"What happened was not an isolated kind of thing. The attitude is, We're
Sooners. This is the way we party."
resident, who knew some of the players involved, says the players' intimidating
manner is an acquired trait: "As freshmen, they're all excited and a bunch
of neat guys. As the year progresses, they change. It's real subtle. They
become more callous to discipline as they find they can get away with more. The
older guys show them around, show them the attitude."
This was not the
first time that Hall had been in trouble. On Nov. 11, 1987, the other Sooner
players had voted to suspend him for then-undisclosed disciplinary reasons.
Charges filed—and later dropped—with the university police alleged that he had
been stealing from his teammates. Switzer remembers that Hall swiped a warmup
suit, and several players claim that Hall took jewelry and some stereo
equipment from them. Most of the Sooners assumed that Hall's separation from
the team was permanent. He wouldn't be missed for the rest of the '87 season
because Keith Jackson, a senior All-America, played tight end.
But by the start
of practice in late August 1988, Jackson was gone to the pros and the two
players slotted to replace him, Billy Dykes and Duncan Parham, were sidelined
with injuries. "The tight end position—it's been devastated," Switzer
told The Oklahoma Daily on Aug. 26. "Our seniors came to me last week....
They want to reinstate [Hall]. I told them they dismissed him; if they want him
back, they can have him. Bernard Hall has to be activated for us to have a
chance to have a good player, a winning player at that position."
The Sooners voted
to welcome Hall back. A few days later, they lost him again—this time when he
was ruled academically ineligible for the season. Until his arraignment on the
rape charge. Hall was considered a likely starter in 1989.
known as a coach who's really changed lives and made them productive by giving
second chances," says Duncan, who was one of Switzer's assistants from 1973
through '78. "Over the years, there have been plusses and some minuses.
Obviously this one's a minus."
None of the three
who were charged with rape will get another chance from Switzer. "I've made
my decision," he says. "They won't play here again. And if they're
found guilty in the courts, I want them behind bars; I want them caged. I have
a 19-year-old daughter, and if somebody harmed her, I'd kill the
shooting and the alleged rape hit Switzer hard, nothing has pained him more
than Thompson's drug bust. "It destroyed me, it really destroyed me,"
says Switzer. "I had a real good relationship with Charles. I had talked to
Charles about him being drug-free, him doing the right thing, because he was a
quarterback, in the public eye. Now, I worry about Charles going the other way,
going into that culture, those associations."
After receiving a
tip during the weekend of Feb. 11-12, Switzer told Thompson on Monday that he
was under investigation. However, the FBI, which reportedly photographed its
alleged undercover transaction with Thompson, was hoping to break a much bigger
case. It wasn't ready to arrest Thompson, but Switzer's warning forced the
bureau's hand and brought an important operation to a premature end, although
Norman police did arrest three other suspects, none of them Oklahoma athletes,
in connection with the Thompson case.