Oklahoma quarterback Baker Mayfield said he was caught up in the heat of the moment. After a chippy football game against Kansas, the Heisman Trophy front-runner apologized for his “unacceptable” and “disrespectful” actions toward the Jayhawks during the No. 4 Sooners’ 41-3 victory Saturday, ESPN reported.
During the game, Mayfield grabbed his crotch and yelled expletives toward the Kansas players. His actions were caught on camera and were criticized as “inappropiate” by broadcasters during the telecast.
“I got caught up in a competitive game, a chippy game, but what I did was unacceptable,” said Mayfield, who completed 20 of 30 passes for 257 yards and three touchdowns. “I apologize. It's disrespectful. It's not the example I want to set. It's not the legacy I want to leave at OU. I truly do apologize. Thinking about the kids that are watching this now, it's not something I want to do to the parents out there. I'm sorry.”
Mayfield also posted an apology on his Twitter account.
The tensions began before the kickoff, as Kansas linebacker Joe Dineen Jr. refused to shake hands with Mayfield before the coin toss. Mayfield scoffed and began clapping his hands as he walked back toward the Oklahoma bench.
Moments later he took a helmet-to-helmet hit from Kansas defensive end Dorance Armstrong Jr.
In the second quarter, Mayfield took a late hit to the head from Kansas cornerback Hasan Defense. Mayfield retaliated after throwing a 3-yard touchdown pass to Mark Andrews in the third quarter that gave the Sooners a 28-3 lead, grabbing his crotch and cursing at the Jayhawks, ESPN reported.
“You get caught up in the emotional stuff,” Mayfield said. “But when the coaches said something about it, that's when I realized I had really messed up. Cameras are always on me. You've got to be smart.”
Mayfield was also caught on camera turning around to a group of Kansas hecklers and apparently telling them, “You have one win! Stick to basketball,” ESPN reported.
Oklahoma coach Lincoln Riley said there was “no excuse” for Mayfield's actions and said he would consider disciplinary action after reviewing film of the game, ESPN reported.
“It was a chippy game, and it was chippy from the second their guys decided they didn't want to shake our hands at the coin toss,” Riley said. “The chippiness started there. ... Baker is a competitive guy and let his emotions get the best of him. We can't have that, he can't do that.”
“Football is a competitive game for a reason,” Mayfield said. “There's a lot of emotion. On the field, there's a lot of trash talk that goes on. Today I just took it too far.”