All-American linebacker Brian Bosworth, banned by the NCAA from participating in the Orange Bowl on New Year's Day because of steroid use, has been kicked off the Oklahoma football team, Coach Barry Switzer said Monday.
Even before Monday's action, it was widely speculated that Bosworth, a redshirt junior who will graduate this year, would pass up his remaining year of eligibility and turn professional.
Switzer gave no reason for his decision, but his short statement followed Bosworth's latest controversial action--walking the Orange Bowl sideline before a national television audience wearing a T-shirt that, using the NCAA initials, read: "National Communists Against Athletes" and "Welcome to Russia."
In a short written statement, Switzer said: "After having discussions today with Brian Bosworth, I have decided it would be in the best interests of the University of Oklahoma football program that he forgo his senior season of eligibility in 1987.
"Brian is one of the greatest players to have ever performed for the Sooners. I am sure his future with the National Football League will parallel if not exceed his career accomplishments at the University of Oklahoma."
Bosworth also issued a statement that read in part:
"My association with the University of Oklahoma and the Oklahoma football program has been a very positive one. I truly love the University of Oklahoma, the football program, my teammates and the many loyal fans of Oklahoma football.
"At times I have acted and spoken foolishly and without regard for others. I would hope that those people I have mentioned and everybody else would accept my sincerest apology," he said.
Oklahoma Athletic Director Donnie Duncan said he discussed Bosworth's actions with Switzer after the Orange Bowl but said he did not direct Switzer to take any action concerning Bosworth.
"We had a tremendous game on the field with a tremendous group of kids. I thought that should have been the focus," Duncan said. "Obviously, Brian has his own personal views. I don't want those confused with the university's views."