OU's Mayfield faces uncertainty following arrest
Baker Mayfield is trying his best to move on from his arrest in Arkansas last month.
The problem is the Oklahoma quarterback doesn't know what the consequences will be.
Police in Fayetteville, Arkansas, arrested the 2016 Heisman Trophy finalist in the early hours of Feb. 25. Video from the Fayetteville Police Department shows that Mayfield walked, then tried to run away before being tackled by an officer following an altercation. Mayfield was charged with disorderly conduct, public intoxication and resisting arrest .
Oklahoma coach Bob Stoops said Monday that he was disappointed Mayfield put himself in the situation and added that internal discipline for Mayfield won't be determined until the legal situation is handled completely . That left Mayfield in limbo as the team started spring practice on Tuesday.
"It's tough in that aspect," Mayfield said as he addressed the media for the first time since the incident. "That's why I've just got to put my head down and go to work right now, because we'll handle that when the time comes. But for now, I can't think about it. If you focus on the negative, then that's not good for anybody. You can only pray about it and just work on football."
The fiery Mayfield is a senior and a team leader who has been wildly successful since transferring from Texas Tech. Two years ago, he finished fourth in the Heisman Trophy balloting and led the Sooners to the College Football Playoff. Last season, he set the FBS record for passing efficiency, was third in the Heisman balloting and led the Sooners to a Sugar Bowl win over Auburn .
Two days after his arrest, Mayfield issued a public apology via social media. He said he instantly regretted what he had done and felt he had let those around him down.
"You can't do stuff like that," he said. "What I did was a mistake. I put myself in a bad position and especially, playing quarterback here, I can't do that. Some things, I can't do what a normal college kid does. That's what I signed up for. I signed up to play football here. It's a dream come true, so why would I put that in jeopardy? That's the biggest mistake."
Mayfield said his teammates have been supportive because they know him beyond the situation.
"The people around here know what type of guy I am," he said. "That's why I can genuinely say that what I did was a mistake. The position I put myself in was a bad thing for me to do. So I can honestly say that's not who I am and that's not who I will be. That's why I got voted a team captain. That's why my teammates show me that support. So I can only just get back on track and do the right thing, no matter what."
Oklahoma offensive coordinator Lincoln Riley said he's trying to help Mayfield grow following the arrest.
"It's trying to help them learn from life and the mistakes that they've made and the mistakes we've made and try to help them be better people," Riley said. "It's something we do on a daily basis. It's nothing new for us. We're always going to be there for our players."
Mayfield plans to use the incident as an example for his younger teammates.
"There's situations that you shouldn't be in," he said. "Coach Stoops talks about it all the time, and that's exactly what I didn't do. So I put myself in a bad situation. I can have that as a teaching point and it can also be a teaching point and a life lesson for some of those young guys, that you can make mistakes, but it's how you react from it and how you take action after that, and that ultimately conquers it."