Jamell Fleming has his work cut out for him if he ever wants to see the field again for this Sooner Defense but there still is a slim chance that this could happen. To give everyone a little update on the situation, Fleming has been suspended for two semesters for academic misconduct not due to academics and his grades.
According to the university handbook, a suspension of this magnitude for academic misconduct comes from "willful intent, e.g. cheating from concealed notes on a midterm or final examination, altering a major assignment for re-grading, submitting all or substantial amounts of another student’s work as one’s own, or intentionally plagiarizing substantial portions of a term paper from online sources." - NewsOK
This suspension is to be served over the Spring and Summer semesters. However, this is nothing new to Fleming as he served a Spring semester suspension before causing him to miss Spring Practices. Jamell Fleming enrolled at a JUCO and later was reinstated at OU. Here is to hoping he can have a repeat performance not only on the field if he eventually makes it back there for OU but also off the field and resurrecting his college career once again!
On Sunday nights podcast, I know I was the one who said that we should consider Jamell Fleming, a 4th year junior, a lost cause for the Oklahoma Sooners and the defense. Part of that reasoning was because I believe 1) Fleming will have a lot to prove about himself before the school lets him back on campus as an enrolled student and 2) I was under the impression Fleming would miss the spring and fall semesters plus 3) Stoops might not let him see the field to make an example out of this kind of behavior. However, as mentioned above, I am just now finding out that Fleming will serve a 2 semester suspension over the spring and summer semesters. This means that, yes he will miss spring practices, but he could serve as a player with the experience and talent that Stoops will eventually have to put on the field either due to injury or lack of production assuming the university lets him back in.
I was also the one saying that we should not be worried but after having time to look back and evaluate there were some key things I forgot to take note of. Things such as the loss of Jonathan Nelson and Quinton Carter (an All-American), two DB's that could hold their own for the most part. We all saw how easy it seemed to get behind coverage in the secondary early on in the season against teams like Cincinnati and it continued throughout from time to time. After losing these players, OU is forced to switch players positions or play inexperienced young guys on a team eying the National Championship. Losing 3 starting DB's does not bode well for this secondary and only time will tell how good the replacements are as well as how much we will miss the likes of Carter, Nelson, and Fleming.
The sting of losing the Duo of Demontre Hurst and Jamell Fleming is eased by what we saw in Aaron Colvin (seven tackles against Texas and Cincinnati as well a forced fumble against Florida St.) but the question still remains...who is going to back-up Colvin as well as who is going to replace the Safeties? I am confident that Colvin will be able to defend in 1-on-1 situations and breaking up the long ball but with zone coverage, but do we get in trouble with things going over the top? Fleming was injured against Cincinnati and there is the possibility of Colvin going down. At this point I can see most teams testing the Oklahoma Secondary early and often and without Fleming, who became a ball magnet for opposing teams as well as a sure tackler, that secondary just became a little thinner.