The reaction in
Norman was swift and furious. Some 200 faculty members met and, amid loud
applause and desk banging, unanimously adopted a resolution asking the regents
to reinstate the expulsion. "I've never seen a zoo run like
[Oklahoma]," Michael Engel, an associate professor of geology, said at the
time. Several teachers called for the governor to dismiss the five board
members who had approved the lesser sentence.
Said then state
education secretary Smith Holt, "They [the regents] interjected in matters
better left alone to the faculty and administration." The Oklahoma student
congress voted to censure the regents—the kids spanked the parents—and 400
faculty and student signatures were gathered on a petition demanding that
Reynolds suffer the original penalty.
The regents turned
a deaf ear to the criticism, and the Reynolds matter was closed. Reynolds came
back to Norman last May. Through last week, he had a 16-1-1 record this season
and was ranked fifth nationally in the 142-pound division.
Reynolds's return, Horton resigned. One regent said that a "variety of
differences" between the president and the board made coexistence
impossible, but would not confirm that Horton's lack of sympathy for the
athletic department was one of them. Horton, who is now president of the
University of Toledo, will not discuss the reasons for his departure, other
than to say, "I did some things that are in my best interest."
Says one Oklahoma
faculty member, "The regents dumped him; they got rid of a perfectly good
president, a true academician. They're an embarrassment."
treatment afforded some Sooner athletes, coupled with the revered status of the
football team, has pushed some faculty members to the breaking point. "When
we go to professional meetings, we get kidded about the latest cheating in the
athletic department," says Alan Nicewander, chairman of the psychology
department. "I really resent it. The stain spreads. I don't think the
acting president has accepted that. I think he's blinded by his devotion to
essence of this thing must be changed. The problem with the wrestler was a
watershed event; it created a lot of ill will. A university ought to be
crystalline pure, more so than the community around it, because a university is
a place where morals and ethics are taught. Right now we faculty members feel a
real frustration. The problem is with the board of regents. But what can we do?
The regents claim
they are listening, and point to a set of reforms passed Feb. 10 that are
intended to restore some semblance of order to the football program. The rules
are meant to ensure accountability: If troubles continue, Switzer and Duncan
will be held directly responsible, no matter how "isolated" the
An effort is also
being made to turn Bud Hall into a more civilized place. A university police
officer now patrols the dormitory each night—standard procedure at other
Oklahoma dorms—and the coaches and cops presumably will be more watchful for
guns. Says Neal Stone, chief of the campus police, "The general attitude in
Oklahoma may be that firearms are part of life, but the institution does not
subscribe to the Wild West behavior."
have been wondering how bad things have to get before the NCAA steps in and
shuts down the Sooners' football program, but in fact, the NCAA is concerned
only with breaches of its recruiting and academic rules, not with