By Matt Stevenson
March 16, 2015
Oklahoma University’s Sigma Alpha Epsilon fraternity has been closed after a video of members rehearsing racist chants went viral. After an investigation took place, the two seen in the video leading the racist song-like chant have been expelled from the University as well. However, the football program has taken a loss also as 4-star recruit, Jean Delance, de-commited last week.
Delance, a highly scouted offensive linemen, gave his verbal commitment to Oklahoma last November and was looking forward to playing for the Sooners. Then the video went viral. Delance made a statement regarding the situation and confirmed the football program and staff had nothing to do with his decision to de-commit.
“It was very disturbing. I never thought that stuff was still trendy as much as it was back then or it could keep repeating itself. It was very disturbing. I didn’t like what was going on. I’m glad the way they handled it but that’s still a bad downside to me.”
With a 4-star recruit gone, questions are now raised if this is the start of a revolutionary movement. For years recruiting has been determined on how good the school’s football program is. You go to a school that will motivate the you as a person and as a football player in order to succeed in the NFL one day. However, with the Delance decision, will recruits look at this and take a stand?
This is an interesting opportunity here, and not just from a racism perspective. The environment and personalities of the student body have personally affected Oklahoma University’s recruiting in this case. My belief is that highly recruited players will take the student body into consideration more than ever before. There is no excuse for racism, or any sort of discrimination at this point in time.
Eric Striker, senior football player at Oklahoma University posted a video of himself expressing his anger towards the fraternity. He stated later that there is a “very real divide between the predominantly black athletes and the predominantly white fraternities”.
Striker also recalled attending some of these fraternities parties with former running back, David Smith. While they welcomed the black athletes in, they would shout racial slurs and warn others that they “should watch out for Smith, because he might take a girl home and rape her” due to supposed “stereotypes” according to the members of the fraternity.
The bottom line is that while there is a larger problem at hand, the student body is now personally affecting recruiting for a sport that brings in large amounts of profit year after year. Delance made a very honorable, bold decision to de-commit from the University. Hopefully, student bodies across the United States understand that racism has no place in today’s society and learn from the inexcusable actions from these students.