Saturday was a wild day around the football program for a number of reasons, namely the unfounded rumors about Mark Stoops that spread like wildfire in the fan base. The rumors dominated conversations at the game and on social media, popping up on message boards, now defunct blogs, and Twitter, making it nearly impossible to focus on the game itself. For fans, that is. During today’s press conference, Mark Stoops did not address the rumors directly, but said he was proud of the way his team was able to focus despite all of the distractions.
“I was proud of the team and proud of their focus and the way they executed this past week. You know, when the season doesn’t start the way you want it to, there’s going to be a lot of outside noise and distraction. I was very proud of the team and coaching staff for focusing in on the task at hand. We know who we are and what we’re capable of, and putting our heads down and going to work. I was proud of the outcome.”
After the game, several players said they wanted to win the game for Stoops, support which he says he appreciates. He used the unfortunate situation as a teachable moment, telling his players in the locker room afterwards to never flinch amid distractions.
“I love and respect those players, as they do me. We know what goes on in our locker room. I told them, ‘Don’t ever worry about me. I’m never gonna flinch.’ And they can’t either.“
Later on, Stoops was asked what he thought of Les Miles’ termination at LSU. After expressing his disappointment over his friend’s firing, Stoops delivered this comment, which is rich with double meaning.
“News travels fast on social media, I hear.”
Unfortunately, it does.