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Why Charlie Strong didn't release Texas DT signee Du'Vonta Lampkin from NLI

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The Longhorns head coach worried about setting up a dangerous precedent with the key member of the 2015 recruiting class.

Du'Vonta Lampkin
Du'Vonta Lampkin
Student Sports

The odd, just-finished eligibility saga of Texas Longhorns defensive tackle signee Du'Vonta Lampkin finally came to a conclusion with his recent enrollment as a member of the Oklahoma Sooners football program.

The Cypress Falls product announced that he would not join the Texas program way back at the end of May, but after the NCAA denied his appeal to receive a release from the National Letter of Intent that he signed with the Horns back in February, he still had to wait until Texas denied his enrollment to pursue other options.

Texas head coach Charlie Strong explained on Saturday why the school chose not to grant him an immediate release.

"We recruited Lampkin," Strong said. "There was so much time that we placed into Lampkin and then he understood what it took to get into school here. What I don't want to see happen is that all of a sudden that we just set this standard where if a young man says, 'Hey, I had to finish this course and I don't finish it and I can go somewhere else.' "

The potential problem is that releasing Lampkin would have created a dangerous precdent for other recruits.

"Now we're opening up the doors for other recruits for that to happen," Strong said. "So if you open up the door for one, what if it happens next year where it's another guy or it could be two guys where they're sitting there saying, 'Well, I know what the' -- you knew what the requirements were to get in here."

Lampkin was not able to pass the second two semesters of his Spanish courses in high school, leaving him unable to complete his foreign language requirements to enroll at Texas. However, because he was an academic qualifier, he was able to enroll at Oklahoma without losing any eligibility because the school requires fewer foreign language classes in high school.

As a former Oklahoma commit who immediately expressed interest in joining the Sooners program even while he was still tied to Texas through his NLI, Lampkin raised questions about whether the OU coaches tampered with him. When asked, Strong said that he did not know if that happened or not.