When the Sooners take the field on offense for the first time on Saturday against West Virginia, Heisman front-runner Baker Mayfield will remain on the sideline. Coach Lincoln Riley announced on Monday that Mayfield has been stripped of his team captain status and will not start against the Mountaineers.
Head coach Lincoln Riley announces that QB Baker Mayfield will not start Saturday's game against West Virginia, but will play and he will not be a team captain for the contest.
— Oklahoma Football (@OU_Football) November 20, 2017
Whether or not that means Mayfield will sit for the first play or the first drive, well, we’ll have to wait and see.
The punishment is in response to Mayfield’s antics on Saturday against Kansas. The Jayhawk’s captains refused to shake Mayfield’s hand before the game, which ended up setting the tone for a chippy game.
After scoring a touchdown, Mayfield was seen grabbing his crotch and yelling obscenities towards the Kansas bench.
Baker Mayfield after last TD pass: pic.twitter.com/sirj6ZVoWt
— Bob Przybylo (@BPrzybylo) November 18, 2017
Mayfield was also seen getting into it with the fans behind the Oklahoma bench.
— Harold R. Kuntz (@HaroldRKuntz3) November 18, 2017
All of this comes a week after Mayfield was seen drilling an unsuspecting TCU player in the head guring pregame warmups, and then immediately taunting TCU as the Horned Frogs made their way to their side of the field.
Fans have come to expect this kind of behavior out of Mayfield. Earlier in the season he was seen taunting Baylor players before the game, saying he needed to remind them of who daddy is. Many appreciate his competitive nature. However, it’s clear that the majority of college football fans are simply tired of his antics and the show of poor sportsmanship.
Baker Mayfield's antics are…
— LandGrant Gauntlet (@the_LGG) November 19, 2017
Riley’s decision to not start Mayfield and to take away his captain status is frankly, perfect. A suspension would have been too harsh for any incident on its own, but when you add it all up, Riley has to show that he has control of his star player. Though, Riley did say that Mayfield’s punishment has nothing to do with the TCU incident.
The punishment should also have little to no impact on Mayfield’s Heisman chances; a race he has all but locked up.
Mayfield apologized after the game acknowledging that he needs to be a better leader and role model, and issued an apology on social media as well.
— Baker Mayfield (@bakermayfield) November 19, 2017