Bosworth: '87 Orange Bowl act 'selfish'

Almost 30 years later, Brian Bosworth regrets his actions after his NCAA suspension from the 1987 Orange Bowl.

Bosworth, a two-time All-American linebacker and Butkus Award winner at Oklahoma, was ruled ineligible for the Orange Bowl in Miami against Arkansas after testing positive for steroids.

At the game, in which Oklahoma routed Arkansas 42-8, Bosworth wore a T-shirt that mocked the NCAA, referring to the organization as "National Communists Against Athletes" and had a phrase "Welcome to Russia" on it as well.

Bosworth, now 51, spoke to the Little Rock Touchdown Club on Monday at the Embassy Suites and told the crowd the suspension was all about him, referring to his "Boz" persona in the 1980s.

"It took away immediately everything good that had happened building my relationship with Oklahoma -- the school, the coaches, my teammates, the fans -- because of a selfish decision," an emotional Bosworth said. "Sometimes you don't understand the impact of your decision. You think it's funny at the time. It's not that big of a deal, but it was. That one came out across the United States.

"It breaks my heart that I burned that bridge at that time so unnecessarily. It didn't matter. That game would have come and gone and we would have moved on. It would have been forgotten. But I had to make a big deal out of it because it was about me."

Bosworth was then dismissed from Oklahoma and declared himself eligible for the NFL supplemental draft and was selected by the Seattle Seahawks in 1987.

One of Bosworth's career highlights was the Sooners beating Texas in 1985 en route to winning the national championship. It came one year after Oklahoma had tied Texas 15-15, so beating the Longhorns was a big deal for Bosworth, who recalled an interview he had after the 1984 game.

"We got robbed. I was mad," Bosworth said. "I was dumb in those days. I didn't know I had to be politically correct. So the guy asked me if I was a Texas boy. I said, 'No, I'm an Oklahoma boy.' I don't like Texas. That burnt orange makes me want to puke. I can't stand it."

Bosworth became a born-again Christian in 2013 and said when the Boz became bigger than himself, he had to make a change in his life.

"Everybody's journey is different, but it's very unique in the fact that it all ends the same," Bosworth said. "It all ends with us asking for Jesus Christ to come into our hearts and save us and guide us, to give us the instructions that we need for us to stop fighting ourselves and be better people."

Bosworth's NFL career was cut short in 1989 after two seasons because of a shoulder injury. He's known for one of the most talked-about plays in NFL history when he was run over by Los Angeles Raiders running back Bo Jackson for a touchdown during a Monday night game at Seattle in 1987.

Both Jackson and Bosworth were recently featured in a Kia commercial together depicting the play. Bosworth has come to terms with the play and calls Jackson a friend today.

"He's a great guy," Bosworth said. "That's the thing about the brotherhood of being football players. We can agree to disagree for 60 minutes and hate each other for 60 minutes. Then we can come back afterwards and be great friends because we know the sacrifices that we're making. We're pounding our bodies against each other. We're doing it because of the pride, the loyalty we have to our schools, the colors we're wearing and the number we have on our chest."

Sports on 09/27/2016