You Enjoy Myself
For those that are counting, that's two All-American DT's in the span of one year they've lost.
Dvoracek dismissed from team
By George Schroeder
Copyright 2004, The Oklahoman
NORMAN - Oklahoma defensive tackle Dusty Dvoracek was dismissed from the football team late Friday evening amid mounting allegations of violent behavior.
OU coach Bob Stoops announced the decision in a statement released by the school. Hours earlier, OU had announced Dvoracek had been indefinitely suspended and stripped of the title of team captain for his involvement in an altercation last Sunday morning that landed a friend in the hospital with a head injury.
But as allegations of past incidents surfaced Friday, Stoops came to a more final conclusion. "I have learned more over the course of the day and now believe there is a sufficient pattern of behavior to merit Dusty's removal from the team,'' Stoops said in the statement.
Dvoracek, a senior who was an outspoken leader and honor-roll student, was expected to be one of the Sooners' best defensive players this season. Teammates elected him captain last month [- a position typically awarded to players for their character as well as their ability. But Norman police are investigating Dvoracek's role in an incident early last Sunday morning. Sources said Dvoracek and Matt Wilde, 21, his former high school teammate, had been drinking, then argued.
There were indications the incident wasn't the first for Dvoracek. Other allegations of drinking and violence included a fight last March in Norman and in 2002 in Addison, Texas.
Stoops said in the statement OU wasn't cutting Dvoracek completely loose.
"We will continue to offer to Dusty all of the services that are available through our department and the university,'' he said in the statement.
Wilde, who was unconscious when he arrived at Norman Regional Hospital, spent five days in intensive care before he was moved to another room Thursday. A hospital spokesman said he was in "good'' condition on Friday.
Sources' accounts conflicted on whether the injuries occurred when Wilde was struck by Dvoracek or when he was pushed by Dvoracek and fell awkwardly, striking his head. Norman police and an investigator from the Cleveland County district attorney's office have separately contacted Wilde and his family and been told Wilde didn't want to press charges. But police spokesman Lt. Tom Easley said officers were continuing to pursue leads into the incident.
"Because of the injuries, I have encouraged Norman Police Department to continue their investigation whether the victim wants to (press charges) or not,'' Cleveland County district attorney Tim Kuykendall said.
In the school's statement, media relations director Kenny Mossman said OU "is cooperating fully with the appropriate authorities in their investigation.''
Last March, Dvoracek was alleged to have broken a young Norman man's nose with a punch during an argument at Bison Witches, a bar in downtown Norman. The man's mother, who asked that she and her son not to be identified, said Friday her son declined to press charges after Dvoracek apologized and agreed to pay for medical bills and because they "chalked it up to drunk college kids.''
Also Friday came allegations of an incident in Addison, Texas, in spring of 2002. Dvoracek, then a freshman at OU, and friends were alleged to have crashed a party and severely beaten three men who attempted to stop them from leaving with a keg of beer and the keg tap. Don Dugan, stepfather of two of the men, Brandon and Trenton Ballard, of Grapevine, Texas, said he contacted Kuykendall and Norman police after learning of the alleged incident involving Dvoracek last weekend.
"I told (the authorities) Dvoracek beat up my two stepboys,'' Dugan said. "They had black eyes, bloody lips and contusions. They told him he could take the keg, but not the tapper. My sons owned it.''
Requests to interview Dvoracek and OU coach Bob Stoops were declined Friday. Dallas County assistant district attorney Brandon Birmingham, who handled the 2002 case, did not return phone calls.
The Oklahoman and Kuykendall separately pursued but didn't find records of the alleged assault in Addison or Dallas County. Though Dvoracek does not have a record in Texas or national criminal databases, though it is possible the records could have been expunged. Neither Brandon Ballard nor Trenton Ballard could be reached Friday for comment. Dugan said against his wishes, his stepsons decided they didn't want to testify against Dvoracek. Dugan said he would provide court documents related to the case, but had not done so by Friday evening.
"They just wanted to (allow Dvoracek to) plea it out and pay medical bills and drop the charges, and that's what happened,'' Dugan said. "Once (the stepsons) are over 21, they can do what they want to do.
"My kids are scared of Dvoracek, I'll tell you right now. They don't want to be beaten up by him again.''
The man involved in last March's incident declined to answer questions about the incident but said, "I have received several personal apologies from Dusty Dvoracek, and I consider all matters between us to be fully resolved.''
The man's mother said Dvoracek had been drinking when he punched her son.
"(Dvoracek) was drunker than a skunk,'' she said. "He initiated some type of little scuffle with one of my son's friends.''
Later, the mother said, "My son went over to shake (Dvoracek's) hand and say it was no big deal. Dusty gave him this huge punch.''
The mother said her son's nose was fractured, his eyes were swollen shut for three days and blackened for six weeks. She said shortly after the incident, she called an OU coach who is a friend, but who she declined to name. She asked if it was Dvoracek's first incident of violent behavior and was assured it was.
The mother said Stoops called the next day and said he would support her son if he wanted to press charges. She said Dvoracek called and apologized to her son and said he didn't remember hitting him.
"We thought long and hard about (pressing charges),'' she said.
Instead, the mother said, she asked that Dvoracek undergo "professional counseling'' and "receive consequences from the school.''
"Both of those things did happen,'' the mother said. "Coach Stoops was extremely helpful. His actual words were, "I do not believe in hiding the truth. If you decide to press charges, I will support your decision.'''
In addition, the mother said Dvoracek paid medical bills of approximately $7,000. The mother said she agreed to discuss the incident with reporters only after learning of the other allegations against Dvoracek.
"I believe in giving everybody one chance,'' she said.