Barry Switzer admits covering up misdemeanor crimes for Oklahoma players
Legendary Oklahoma football coach Barry Switzer can fully understand why an NFL team might try to cover up a crime that has been committed by a player. Why? Because Switzer admitted to doing the same thing during his 16 seasons as head coach of the Sooners.
On Thursday, former Chicago Bears general manager Jerry Angelo revealed that he and other NFL executives covered up “hundreds and hundreds” of domestic violence incidents during his 30 years in the league. Switzer later told USA Today that covering up embarrassing incidents and misdemeanors was standard procedure in college football when he coached.
“I’d have local county people call me and say, ‘One of your guys is drunk and got in a fight and is jail down here,'” Switzer explained. “And I’d go down and get him out. Or I’d send an assistant coach down to get his ass out. The sheriff was a friend of the program. He didn’t want the publicity. He himself knew this was something we didn’t need to deal with in the media or anything with publicity.”
In other words, Switzer was the real-life Bud Kilmer from “Varsity Blues.” Switzer said that “most colleges” ran things the same way his program did, noting that cover-ups are nearly impossible now with social media and the internet. But don’t worry, Switzer insisted he and his staff took the law into their own hands.
“I’d get his ass up at 5 o’clock in the morning for two weeks in a row and run his ass, up and down the stairs, the stadium steps,” he said, referring to players who were guilty of a crime. “And the (assistant) coaches would be so pissed off that they had to get up and do it that they wore their ass out because they had to be the ones that run them. And a couple of the guys that were star players, I ran their asses off. So I had to be there at 5 o’clock in the morning.”
Well, that makes it all better.
It should be noted that Switzer didn’t say anything about covering up domestic violence, which is what Angelo admitted to. We all know big-time football programs cover stuff up to protect their star players. A lot of that still goes on even with cell phone cameras and Twitter. Switzer’s just more candid about it than some others would be.