The Oklahoma State cheerleader who stuck his foot onto the field in an apparent attempt to trip one of the rival team's football players over the weekend will be disciplined even though he didn’t actually make contact.
It happened at the end of the fourth quarter right after Eric Striker of the University of Oklahoma scored the game-ending touchdown, which gave the Sooners a 33-24 win over the Oklahoma State Cowboys, according to NewsOK.com.
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As Striker began a celebratory run, cheerleader Jarid Atkinson stuck out his foot as if to trip the linebacker. The move was caught on video, which quickly circulated and went viral online.
Now, Oklahoma State is speaking out about Atkinson's unsportsmanlike conduct. The student reportedly told administrators he wasn't actually trying to trip Striker and was just sticking his foot out in a joking manner.
"In response to the inquiry concerning the violation of conference rule 12-3-1, the Oklahoma State University athletics department does not condone physical or verbally abusive acts toward anyone working, attending, or competing in our athletic events," OSU deputy athletic director Dave Martin said in a statement.
"I have personally met with all the members of the OSU spirit team and verbalized our expectations for their representation of our department. I have met individually with the male student involved with the incident and he is extremely apologetic for his involvement. And he understands there will be consequences for his poor judgment and actions. At this time, I feel confident the situation has been thoroughly investigated and that consequences for the involved person are warranted and will be administered."
Many people feel the cheerleader should be permanently banned from the squad.
"'Not trying to trip the player,' give me a break," one Facebook user commented on News OK's website. "That's exactly what the worthless toad was trying to do. He should be banned from the cheer squad."
"Win or lose, a cheer squad member must be held to a higher standard than everyone else," someone else wrote. "They are representing the university and should behave as such. If he can't control his emotions then he belongs in the stands with the average fan."
But others defended Atkinson and called his actions a "mistake."
"I think he was trying to trip the player, but it's not like he would have really hurt him," another user posted. "He will be punished for his act and that should be the end of it. Sure it was low class move, but haven't we all made mistakes???"
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