Oklahoma's Mayfield will not start vs. West Virginia, will not be team captain
A lewd gesture may have cost Baker Mayfield the last regular-season start of his college career.
Oklahoma head coach Lincoln Riley announced Monday that the senior will be held out of the starting lineup against West Virginia this week, and that he will not be taking his usual spot at midfield as team captain. The move comes two days after Mayfield grabbed his crotch and shouted obscenities at the Jayhawks bench.
Riley said the decision to remove Mayfield as starter for the contest was not easy, and was visibly emotional as he explained his reasoning.
"I think its important for everybody here, across the country to keep in perspective ... that not just Baker but all these players across the country are still young men," Riley said. "They're not adults yet. They're still learning, they're still in that phase where you're going to make mistakes and the important thing is that you learn from them and grow from them, and I think what we're setting forward here is going to provide Baker an opportunity to do that."
Despite the disciplinary act, Riley expressed his respect for his quarterback, suggesting that he may never coach another player in his career that is as special to him as Mayfield.
"He's a tremendous teammate. He's the best football player in America. He's got a great heart that people don't get the chance to see like I do and I'm proud as hell to be his coach," Riley said.
Kyler Murray is the likely replacement for Mayfield to start the game, but Riley did not specify as to how much of the game the Heisman Trophy favorite will be held out for.
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