NORMAN—Sadly, former Sooner running back Roy Finch never made it back to the pros.
He had signed a contract extension in 2018 with the Calgary Stampeders after being named the Canadian Football League’s most outstanding special teams player.
“I look forward to another great season from Roy,” the team’s president said.
Then, a series of criminal charges in Oklahoma derailed his career.
Finch, 30, was sentenced the other week to four years in prison for fracturing a girlfriend’s jaw in 2020 in Norman.
“Every day when I look in the mirror it’s a constant reminder of the assault,” the victim, Liqa Alqureishi, wrote in a victim impact statement. “I see my jaw is uneven and could never be the same again.”
She wrote that the former University of Oklahoma running back assaulted her other times, even when she was pregnant with his child.
“I miscarried because of him,” she wrote. “He is a living nightmare.”
Mr. Finch pleaded guilty late last month to one felony, domestic assault and battery resulting in great bodily harm. He also pleaded guilty to two misdemeanors, preventing an emergency phone call and bail jumping.
He has been in jail since May and was scheduled to go on trial April 18. He pleaded guilty after his court-appointed attorney reached a deal on punishment with prosecutors.
Cleveland County District Judge Thad Balkman cut his court costs and other fees in half after being told he is penniless and plans to move to North Carolina after his release. The judge also said he will get credit for his time served in jail.
The guilty plea came just a mile north of where he played football at the University of Oklahoma from 2010-2013.
He played in NFL preseason games in 2014 for the New England Patriots and had a brief stint that year in the CFL with the Ottawa Redblacks.
The former Sooner returned to the CFL in 2016 with the Stampeders, where he became a key contributor returning punts, kickoffs and missed field goals.
He had three touchdowns on punt returns in 2017.
Mr. Finch in 2018 went into a treatment program instead of back to the CFL after a dashcam video of a confrontation with Edmond police was released to the media. “
I look forward to returning to my Calgary family if granted the opportunity,” he said.
The professional football player was charged over that incident with assault and battery on a police officer, possession of marijuana and resisting arrest.
He pleaded no contest in 2020 and was put on probation for three years.
He was charged in 2019 with kidnapping and domestic abuse after a woman he had been dating made a complaint to Oklahoma City police.
The case was dismissed five months later when the woman failed to show up to testify at his preliminary hearing.
Still pending is a misdemeanor drug case in Lincoln County. He is accused there of violating probation.