As seen in recent past, it's well known that Stoops is willing to give his players a second chance. A simple look at players, such as Ryan Broyles, Jaz Reynolds, and Kenny Stills validates this idea. I'm sure there are other players who've benefitted from a second chance, but these are three that really stick out in my mind.
As many of you know, another player has been confirmed to getting a second chance. Austin Haywood has been working his way back onto the team. What really happened with Haywood? Why did he decide to transfer in the first place when a starting position for next year was extremely likely? What caused him to work his way back on the team? And how long will he be out?I've seen a few recurring posts and comments about the idea that Venables is at the heart of the problem with our team and that he needs to adapt the defensive scheme or even possibly be fired. While this may have some validity to it, there's a different problem altogether that hasn't really been addressed as it isn't well known. It's the very reason that Haywood wanted to transfer in the first place.
Frankly, the players just don't get along. This could be seen a little during the Baylor game when Travis Lewis and Javon Harris were bickering on the sideline. This lack of unity has been a serious problem all season and has led to several practices lacking the intensity needed. As a result, the intensity has really only been there for the biggest games, in which the players set aside their difference and worked to prove themselves. There are no quotes on the internet to back this statement up as the information was sent via text rather than interview, but Haywood specifically said he hated the way some players treated others and did not feel much like a team. In fact, this problem still hasn't been resolved. I overheard Patrick O'Hara in a class yesterday telling a buddy that many players were just standing around during workouts, causing a few players to get angry. The arguments escalated, and most everyone just simply left without having done much at all.
So why has Austin Haywood suddenly changed his mind, even though the problem still hasn't been fixed? The main reason is his high school football coach, as well as family and friends. Most everyone told him that he was making a mistake and should work through it. Haywood needed his high school coach to sign his transfer request to another school, and the coach refused. Eventually, everyone got through to Haywood that OU is the best place for him to be.
However, Haywood's return wasn't as simple as just immediately getting his playing time back. Like many other players who made a mistake, Stoops suspended him for 2 games. The two games Haywood is suspended for? Baylor and Iowa State. This means that Haywood will return to play against OSU, a much needed return with the injuries of so many players. Of course, Haywood's return comes with one stipulation: never again will he make the coaches feel like he'll no longer be a part of the team. If he does so again, he's used up his last chance and will most certainly be transferring.