Oklahoma Refuses to Honor FB Scholarship

Oklahoma is refusing to honor the football scholarship offer made to Matt Beyer, a recruit who learned he had a career ending condition:

Beyer said he was born with the condition, which, according to WebMD.com, causes the spinal canal to narrow and leads to the compression of nerve roots where they leave the spinal cord.

If Beyer had continued playing, there was a chance for permanent quadriplegia down the line, he said doctors had told him.

The explanation OU gave to Beyer is that he is just a verbal commit, as opposed to Laith Harlow, who was a signee when a back injury ended his career. That makes a certain bit of logical sense, because a verbal commitment is not really a commitment on anyone’s part.

But it is not like Beyer will decommit and jump to another school. And as in similar cases, the scholarship would be a permanent medical noncounter, so it would not come out of the football team’s 85 scholarships. Seems odd that Oklahoma would not build some goodwill by honoring the scholarship.

2 Responses to “Oklahoma Refuses to Honor FB Scholarship”

  1. Sad situation, but OU should not be responsible until the player signs the letter of intent and fully commits to the university. Verbally committing nowadays has no merit, athletes are constantly flip-flopping their statuses.

  2. J.B. Bauer

    Maybe, but I think the specifics of his medical condition are important to understand. Not knowing the details, I’ll give Oklahoma the benefit of the doubt although I don’t object to your “build some goodwill by honoring the scholarship (offer)” comment.

    There are undoubtedly many football players that are on the field competing with cervical stenosis, including many both congenital & acquired. There are various paths that can be taken and different doctors will tell you different things.

    If multiple doctors have told him in no uncertain terms that playing football would be an awful, extremely dangerous decision that’s one thing… but, it’s really difficult to judge this situation without an MRI in hand and/or knowledge of the discussions between the Docs & the kid and the kid & the school.

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