Norman, Okla. Oklahoma coach Bob Stoops said Thursday that the school acted quickly when it found out that starting quarterback Rhett Bomar and offensive lineman J.D. Quinn broke NCAA rules through their employment at a car dealership.
Stoops said he had not been aware that Bomar and Quinn were working at the dealership last fall until Oklahoma's compliance staff investigated the situation. Stoops said he didn't rush to a decision but considered it "fairly cut and dry."
Stoops said the players, who were dismissed from the team on Wednesday, "knowingly" broke the rules.
"Both parties were aware that their actions were in violation of NCAA rules. They did it over a long and extended period of time," Stoops said. "That's conduct that we won't tolerate here at the University of Oklahoma."
Bomar set an Oklahoma freshman record with 2,018 yards passing last season after taking over as the starter in Week 2. Quinn, Bomar's roommate, was expected to compete for a starting spot after making four starts last season at right guard.
Bomar spoke to KOCO-TV on Thursday.
"I respect the decision that Coach Stoops made and the administration above him. We have to live with that, you know, we have to move on," he said. "But I wish the best for the program. I cared about this program and I don't want anybody to think that we didn't."
Quinn also apologized, saying he wishes he "could take it back."
Stoops said players and the businesses that employ them are expected to turn in documentation of the employment.
"If people are going to, in their own choice, do something knowingly against NCAA rules, they're not going to tell you about it," Stoops said. "Once we knew or had any inkling of it, we acted on it and our compliance staff got to the end of it."
Stoops said he wasn't sure what Oklahoma could do differently to prevent similar problems in the future.
"In the end, again if somebody understands the rules and knowingly breaks them, then everybody suffers the consequences of it and they do for sure. In the end, players need to be accountable.
"We can't spend every minute with them, our compliance staff cannot spend every minute with them. When are they held accountable?"
Oklahoma started the process of moving forward by naming Paul Thompson as its new starter. Thompson served as a backup for three seasons, including his redshirt year, before beating Bomar out for the starting job last fall. Bomar claimed the starting role after Oklahoma lost to TCU in its season opener, and Thompson remained the backup despite a subsequent move to wide receiver.
"There's no question the way Paul has worked here the last four years, the players are excited about it," Stoops said. "They've got great confidence in Paul."
Saying he wasn't involved in the investigation, Stoops declined to get into details about when the offenses occurred. Stoops said the university does arrange some summer jobs, but he did not know how many players worked last summer.
"It has diminished over the years because most players - virtually all of them - are in summer school and working out," Stoops said. "Summer jobs aren't the issue they used to be back in the days when kids weren't going to summer school all year and training all year."
With former Heisman runner-up Adrian Peterson returning healthy at tailback, Oklahoma was expected to contend for the national title as it had the previous two seasons.
"It's safe to say, I know there's a lot of expectations for Rhett, what we have had to this point hasn't been anything that we can't overcome," Stoops said.