Oklahoma coach Barry Switzer, after being ordered by the university president to apologize, admitted Friday that he made a "stupid mistake" when he called Lawton "the biggest drug center in the state."
"I'm very sorry, I really am," Switzer said in a telephone interview with Lawton television station KSWO. "It was a stupid mistake on my part but I hope that you understand that it's very difficult because of all the questions."Switzer has been criticized and questioned for the past week following the arrest of starting quarterback Charles Thompson on charges of selling cocaine to an undercover FBI agent. Switzer had made his comment about Lawton Wednesday night in a telephone interview with The Associated Press.
David Swank, Oklahoma's interim president, earlier had apologized to Lawton for Switzer's remarks and told the coach to do so "by phone or however he wants to do it."
Switzer read the station a letter of apology that he said he had sent to Lawton Mayor Wayne Gilley.
"Well, I think it's a fact that you have a lot of microphones and a lot of cameras stuck in your face and you're asked so many questions in so many interviews about what happened to Charles Thompson, and in my conversation I should have been more sensitive to stating something that had been stated to me by an investigative agent about what was going on," Switzer said.
In the interview with KSWO, Switzer also repeated that he would not quit and said he is going to "change things to give a more positive image to the team."
Switzer had said in the AP interview, "Obviously, I didn't know when I recruited Charles Thompson that two, three years later he'd do what he did. How do you know? He's from Lawton, where Fort Sill is, the biggest drug center in the state, and he got entrapped."
"I don't think we should be out trying to judge other cities in the state," Swank said.
Lawton and Fort Sill officials were outraged by Switzer's comment and The Lawton Constitution said in an editorial that Switzer should apologize or resign.
Meanwhile, authorities said Friday that Switzer was left in the dark about a cocaine investigation of Thompson because authorities wanted to limit the number of people who knew about it.