Oklahoma Sooners quarterback Baker Mayfield, the current favorite to win the Heisman, has been benched for the start of his team's final regular season game of the year. That's his punishment for grabbing his dick and yelling "fuck you" at the Kansas sidelines during last week's 41-3 throttling of the Jayhawks. Mayfield has also been stripped of his captaincy for this weekend's finale against West Virginia.
On Monday, Mayfield spoke to the media about the punishment and the quarterback, who on Saturday looked like a rich-kid movie villain taunting the losers from the wrong side of town, was suddenly remorseful and emotional.
"Playing at OU is something I always dreamed of," Mayfield said between sniffles. "Not starting is what it is. But not being a team captain is something so much more. It would be hard if it were a regular game. But it being my last one here ever, it means a lot more. It's going to be tough."
Mayfield defended the decision by head coach Lincoln Riley to sit him for the start of the game though. "Doesn't matter who you are, you need to handle yourself the right way," Mayfield said. "Doesn't matter if you're the starting quarterback. If you don't act the right way, Coach Riley is going to discipline you. And that's the way it needs to be."
Riley also spoke to the media Tuesday, and like Mayfield, he was overcome with emotion.
Don't be fooled by the waterworks, Mayfield's "punishment" is nothing to get worked up about. So he's not starting against a 7-4 West Virginia team that's coming off a loss to 6-5 Texas. At most, he misses a series and the Sooners roll to the win everyone expects.
That's not to say Mayfield's emotions were inauthentic. But maybe he was crying about something else. The 22-year-old is expected to be a top pick in next year's NFL draft, and his dick grab on Saturday already has some comparing him to a guy no one wants to mentioned with—Johnny Manziel.
"There aren't as many red flags there" as there were with Manziel, an anonymous GM told The Sporting News. "But (Mayfield) is not showing what you want from a quarterback in the NFL, someone you theoretically build your franchise around. Things like this past Saturday, yeah, it's going to hurt him come the draft."
If Mayfield's antics cause him to fall in the draft then he'll have reason to cry. That seems pretty unlikely at this point, but one more Manziel-like incident and NFL GMs will be running scared.