Oklahoma Sooners’ recruit Matt Beyer, a four-star offensive tackle, told the team two weeks ago that doctor’s diagnosed him with a spinal-cord condition that will force him to quit football. Since Beyer was only a verbal commit, offensive tackles coach Bruce Kittle had to inform him on Sept. 25 that OU would no longer honor his scholarship offer.
“I was able to talk to Coach Kittle, and it was great to talk to him again,” Beyer told ESPN. “I asked about my scholarship situation. He said the decision went above his head and as much as he would love to let me keep it, it’s not possible.”
His high school coach David Wetzel has not been able to contact the OU coaching staff about the situation but said that, as a person, Beyer deserves a lot of credit.
“I’ve called OU, but I haven’t heard back,” Wetzel said. “Beyer is the best offensive lineman I’ve ever coached. Our team has missed his leadership. He is a man of great character and this hasn’t been an easy deal for him by any stretch.”
Beyer said he is now weighing his options. He said that because of the high out-of-state tuition at OU, he might not be able to afford to attend the school at all. He said he is looking at other options, such as in-state schools like Texas, Texas Tech and Texas A&M. He did admit that attending the University of Texas would be tough because of his allegiance to OU.
This situation has some history in college football.
In 2011, Matt Nader suffered a heart problem while playing a high school football game. Luckily, the personnel on hand saved his life but his football career ended on the spot. He was verbally committed to the Texas Longhorns. When he contacted them about the incident, there was no debate.
“The day that you committed to us, we committed to you, Matt,” head coach Mack Brown told Nader. The Longhorns not only honored Nader’s scholarship, but they invited him to be involved with the team.
Richy Klepal played high school football in Florida and suffered the fifth concussion of his career. An MRI showed he suffered a hemorrhage in his brain and he had to retire from competitive football or risk death.
“I just got a call from coach Weiner from coach Fisher that they are going to honor my scholarship, which is a huge weight off my shoulders,” Klepal said at the time. “That makes me happy. I am just more than gratefull.”
OU had honored scholarships in the past for players with similar situations, such as tight end Laith Harlow. However the difference is that those players were signed commits, while Beyer only verbally committed.
“That’s kind of what it came down to,” Beyer said. “It wasn’t like I was signed. I was just too far away from being able to play. It hurts, but I understand completely.”
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