HUNTSVILLE, Texas -- Dismissed Oklahoma quarterback Rhett Bomar has enrolled at Division I-AA Sam Houston State, but coach Todd Whitten told ESPN's Joe Schad after practice on Monday night that he did not expect Bomar would be eligible to play before midseason at the earliest.
Whitten said he would also hold Bomar out of practice until he was given paperwork by the NCAA indicating the quarterback was cleared to work with the team.
"This is a great player, a top-five recruit coming out of high school," Whitten said. "This is a good kid and a good student who has admitted a mistake. I'm honored to give him a second chance. He is very thankful and remorseful and I don't believe he will make these mistakes again."
Under NCAA rules, Bomar does not have to sit out a year because he is not transferring between Division I-A schools, but he still must wait for eligibility clearance from the NCAA to play for the Bearkats.
Whitten said he did not reach out to any members of Oklahoma's coaching staff and that Bomar could have transferred to any one of 12 schools. On a Big 12 conference call on Monday, Sooners coach Bob Stoops said "you could speculate" that the loss of Bomar could aid the Sooners' team chemistry and added that, "Most people got caught up in what Rhett could have been."
Said Whitten: "I don't know what Coach Stoops feels, but for me, this is a clean slate. A new shot. I've tried to get to know Rhett over the last three weeks and I think he loves football. He has a passion for it and for classwork. None of us is perfect. I've reached out to Rhett and hopefully we've done our homework."
Whitten said one of the reasons the Bearkats might have been attractive to Bomar is "we throw it more than we should, probably. We go after the big plays."
Bomar and a teammate were kicked off the team at Oklahoma earlier this month for violating NCAA work rules by accepting payment for more work than they performed at a car dealership.
"This is a unique situation, and we look forward to assisting Rhett in continuing his education and athletic career," Sam Houston State athletic director Bobby Williams said in a statement. "We will begin the reinstatement process for Rhett with the NCAA as soon as possible. There is no exact timetable for how long this process will take, but we will do everything possible to expedite the procedure."
Bomar, a high school star in the Dallas suburb of Grand Prairie,
set an Oklahoma freshman record with 2,018 passing yards last
season. He has three years of eligibility remaining.
"I am excited about it," Bomar told Houston television station
KRIV. "Just the opportunity to come down here and be able to play
this year at some point."
Information from ESPN college football reporter Joe Schad and The Associated Press was used in this report.