Oklahoma Coach Bob Stoops said he'll decide later this week whether suspended tailback Adrian Peterson will start Saturday against UCLA.

"At this point, we anticipate him playing," Stoops said yesterday. "Start or not depends on how we feel practice is going, what we feel we need to do. Depending on what further happens from here, we'll see."

Peterson, who rushed for 220 yards and three touchdowns in No. 21 Oklahoma's 31-15 victory over Tulsa on Saturday, was suspended from practice on Monday and yesterday after missing classes.

He was allowed to participate in team meetings and other activities, but was not allowed to speak to reporters.

"In the end, they're here to go to school, and it should be our job as administrators or as coaches that if they're not, we can't put you on the field," Stoops said.

Oklahoma announced the suspension in a statement sent to a limited number of news organizations following the Sooners' closed practice Monday night.

"I probably shouldn't have said [Monday], but everyone finds out anyway," Stoops said. "In fairness to him, it probably doesn't need to be me coming out and saying that. In the end, that's the situation, and it's better than all the rumors being around about it."

Peterson's suspension came nine days after the team's starting quarterback, 20-year-old Rhett Bomar, was cited for possession of alcohol by a minor.

"We're doing things discipline-wise, and everything else like we always have," Stoops said. "That doesn't mean it's right or good, and it's fair to criticize me because some teams accept it better than others and listen or are disciplined better than others."

-- From News Services