The dust has begun to settle and it’s beginning to slowly sink in what took place in Oklahoma following Bedlam. By now, you know the story. Lincoln Riley is at USC, making the less than a day removed from the Sooners loss to Oklahoma State.
However, how it transpired is deserving of an ESPN 30 for 30 documentary.
Since Sunday, the college football world has tried to piece together and understand just what had happened. We may never know the full story. What we do know is that it caused a major ripple effect within the Oklahoma program, the current team, prospective and former players alike.
While some of the current players have rallied together,others have entered the transfer portal. Former players have been as active on social media as ever voicing their opinions and offering their perspectives and support.
One of the more recent Sooner drafts picks spoke out. Ronnie Perkins, now a defensive end with the New England Patriots said his piece on the events.
As much as Linc ahas done for me as a person/player I’ll never talk a bad about him but it was definitely a better way to handle this whole situation 💯
— Ronnie Perkins™ (@7avageszn) December 1, 2021
Perkins’ statement speak volumes and echos the sentiments of so many people. He was a major part of reshaping of Oklahoma defense under Alex Grinch. His lowest moment as a Sooner came when he and two other were suspended for failing a drug test before Oklahoma’s appearance in the 2019 Peach Bowl.
The six-game suspension would carry over into 2020 and while many thought it was a bit harsh, Lincoln Riley repeatedly went to bat in front of the media in support of Perkins and the other Sooners suspended. It’s likely that it resonated with him and meant a lot.
Perkins would come back and transform the Sooners defense in the second half of the season, leading to a top 100 selection in the 2021 NFL Draft.
Ronnie Perkins was a major leader on the field and in the locker room. He was well respected and revered by his teammates and his comments voice a level of disappointment in someone he respected and was thankful for.
For all of the outside noise about this being a business, and rightfully so, there are principles to certain situations that supersede things. Would the players and fans be upset he left? Of course. However, judging by the social media reactions from current and former players, how quickly this all took place and how it went down has left a noticeably sour taste in the mouths of those who are or were Oklahoma football players.
It remains abundantly clear that other players have also felt the same way about the Lincoln Riley fiasco as well as how other things have gone down since Sunday. Judging by social media posts, interviews, and the like the principles and etiquette required of these moments was lost in translation.
As the Oklahoma Sooners and those close to the program continue to move forward, people must never lose sight of why Riley’s move was such a major deal in the first place: Principles, principles, and more principles.