Sooners recruit explains decision

ByJake Trotter ESPN logo
Tuesday, March 10, 2015

Oklahoma recruit Jean Delance said he withdrew his commitment to coach Bob Stoops after seeing a video that showed fraternity members at the school chanting racist remarks.

"Very uneducated people. I wouldn't want my son or child to go there or to anywhere like that," Delance told CBS 11 in Dallas-Fort Worth on Monday. "It was just very disturbing to me. I didn't like it."

Delance, a four-star offensive lineman who is ranked No. 272 on the ESPN Junior 300, committed to the Sooners in November and visited Norman with his mother, Altavian, last weekend.

But when they returned to their home in Mesquite, Texas, the video, in which members of Sigma Alpha Epsilon also indicated that African-Americans would never be admitted to the fraternity, prompted them to rethink the commitment.

"I've had family history in racial issues, inequality," Altavian Delance told CBS 11. "Jean knows these things are serious to us."

Oklahoma president David Boren reacted swiftly Tuesday, expelling two students he says have been identified as leading the chant.

Boren said in a statement the two were dismissed for creating a "hostile learning environment for others." The students' names were not released. Boren said he hopes the dismissal of the two students will help students realize "it is wrong to use words to hurt, threaten, and exclude other people."

Stoops and several Sooners players attended a protest, which captured the attention of national media, outside the fraternity Monday. Men's basketball coach Lon Kruger also was seen at the gathering.

"It's sad the ignorance that can still be there with some people," Stoops told the Tulsa World. "It's just appalling.

"I was here to be with my guys. We all work with beautiful young men and women of all races. It's just -- very little gets me choked up. But that hurt."

The football team canceled its scheduled Monday practice. Instead, players and coaches held a short vigil inside the practice facility. The players, wearing all black, then left, walking in rows locked arm in arm.

Sigma Alpha Epsilon has said that an investigation confirmed the contents of the video and announced it was closing the local chapter. Boren released a statement saying members had until midnight Tuesday to remove their personal belongings from the fraternity house.

"These people have acted in a way that's absolutely reprehensible and disgraceful," Boren said. "Real Sooners are not bigots, racists."

The national fraternity released a statement Sunday night saying it was "embarrassed" by the "unacceptable and racist" behavior.

Information from The Associated Press was included in this report.

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