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May 25, 2012

Sooners Golfer in 1st

FRANKLIN, Tenn. - Oklahoma sophomore Chirapat "Ja" Jao-Javanil lifted the Sooners' women's golf team four spots into a tie for ninth place Thursday after three rounds of the NCAA Championships at the Vanderbilt Legends Club in Franklin, Tenn.

The Sooners shot a 295 (+7), the second-best third-round score of the tournament's 24 teams, behind a 2-under-par 70 from Jao-Javanil. The Thailand native is tied for first place with a career-best-tying 54-hole score of 212 (-4) alongside Arizona State's Giulia Molinaro.

With 18 holes remaining, Jao-Javanil and Molinaro lead third-place Brooke Pancake of Alabama and Tessa Teachman of LSU by one stroke.

Oklahoma, which entered the day in a tie for 13th place and 22 strokes out of first, is now only nine shots behind leader Alabama and just five strokes out of the top three with its three-round 888 (+24). The Crimson Tide carded a 306 (+18) in the third round, lessening its lead over second-place USC to two strokes.

"We're really close to where we need to be," said OU head coach Veronique Drouin-Luttrell. "The last few holes have been tough for us to finish rounds, but we have tomorrow's 18 holes to move up on the board and see what happens. I'm especially proud of Ja and Taylor [Schmidt], who played really solid rounds today."

Jao-Javanil, ranked No. 59 in the Golfstat rankings, entered the round in a tie for sixth place with four golfers, four strokes behind then-leader Pancake. Jao-Javanil recorded four birdies Thursday, including three within a five-hole stretch, to move into first place in the field of 126 competitors and put herself in contention for a national title.

"I had a good round today," said Jao-Javanil, who already has two tournament wins to her credit this year. "I stuck to my game plan and kept calm. I hit a lot of good shots that set up some easy birdies and pars. I think I also paced myself well mentally throughout the round and didn't feel rushed."

If Jao-Javanil is able to pull out the victory, she will become the first women's golfer in OU history to win an NCAA title. Although a national championship is on her mind, the sophomore said she is happy just to be in contention.

"It's an honor to be in a run for this big of a title," said Jao-Javanil. "Winning the NCAA Championship is the greatest award in college golf. I'm glad I'm in a spot where I have an opportunity to pursue the title. I'm going to go out there tomorrow and play one shot at a time."

This is the second postseason tournament in a row that the Sooners have found new life in the third round. Less than two weeks ago, the Sooners began the third round of the NCAA West Regional in 14th place before fighting back on the final day to claim eighth place and qualify for their first national championships appearance since 2002.

OU's comeback round on Thursday was also fueled by a 1-over 73 from Schmidt. The junior from Ontario birdied three holes and posted her lowest score of the tournament, bouncing from 53rd place to a tie for 27th.

Sophomore Anne-Catherine Tanguay shot a 76 (+4) after a rough final six holes. Tanguay was 1 under par thru 12 holes before scoring 5-over the remainder of her round. The Quebec native is in a tie for 23rd place with a three-round total of 221 (+5).

Junior Jacki Marshall is in a tie for 111th place after shooting a third-round 76 (+4) and sophomore Emily Colins is tied for 107th after firing a 77 (+5). Marshall's and Collins' third-round performances marked their best of the event.

Oklahoma will tee off from the No. 1 tee in Friday's final round beginning at 11:53 a.m. CT. The Sooners will be paired with golfers from Duke and UCLA. Live scoring is available at NCAA.com.

/// Sooner Sports PR

Tennis: Huet and Richie Eliminated from NCAA Doubles

ATHENS, Ga. – Senior Marie-Pier Huet and sophomore Whitney Ritchie of Oklahoma women’s tennis lost in the first round of the NCAA Doubles Championship Thursday to Vanderbilt’s Lauren Mira and Jackie Wu, 6-4, 7-5, at the Dan Magill Tennis Complex in Athens, Ga.

“Our execution really let us down today,” OU head coach David Mullins said. “We played from behind most of the time and fought hard but just could not get it going. A couple of key points didn’t go our way and that was the difference.”

Huet and Ritchie advanced to the NCAA Doubles Championship after placing third in the Big 12 at the No. 1 doubles spot with an overall record of 16-6 and 7-3 in conference play.

“It doesn’t take away from the great year they have had,” Mullins added. “It was great that Marie-Pier could end her career here and it was a learning experience for Whitney.”

The duo started the year by winning the ITA Central Region Doubles Championship during the fall season, and advanced to the round of 16 at the 2011 ITA National Indoor Championships.



/// Sooner Sports PR

Baseball: OU Defeats Top-Seeded Baylor in Big 12 Tourny

OKLAHOMA CITY -- Another Big 12 Championship game ended in walk-off fashion on Thursday for the No. 25 Sooners as Evan Mistich legged out an infield single to score Erik Ross in the ninth inning of a 3-2 win over No. 3 ranked Baylor.

I was just trying to hit it hard somewhere, just put it in play,” said Mistich.  “I was just trying to get down the line as quick as aI could and beat the throw.”

Erik Ross started the late-inning magic with a double that found the gap in shallow left-center field.  The one-out hit was followed by an intentional walk issued to Cody Reine, who homered to right field in the seventh inning to tie the game at two runs apiece.  A groundout by Max White followed and that brought Mistich to the plate, who connected on the infield single for his second walk-off hit of the year (against Kansas State).

“What I’m thinking of right now is the movie Groundhog Day,” said OU Head Coach Sunny Golloway.  “We were in here yesterday talking about the same type of ball game. I am really proud of our club, I’d like to complement our opponent, Baylor, what a terrific season they are having and what a terrific team they have.”

The Sooners are 4-0 this season against the Bears, who are also the tournament’s top seed. The win keeps OU (37-21) in the winners’ bracket to play again at 9 a.m. on Saturday. Baylor (43-13) will play Kansas State (27-30) tomorrow at 3:15 p.m. and the winner of that game will face the Sooners on Saturday.
Baylor struck first with a pair of RBI singles in the top of the fourth inning off OU starter Jordan John.

The 2-0 lead was short lived as Oklahoma used the bottom of the fourth inning to cut the deficit in half with a run scored on a double play turned on Hunter Lockwood.

The Sooners had three of their 10 hits on the afternoon in the fourth inning and could have broken the game open if it weren’t for a solid double play turned by the Baylor defense.

John settled down after giving up three of his six hits allowed in the fourth and lasted seven innings with five strikeouts.  Steven Okert came out of the Sooner bullpen for the second straight day and got the win with two shutout innings.

Okert entered the game in the top of the eighth after Reine hit his fifth homer of the year an inning earlier to tie the game up at two runs apiece off Baylor starter Trent Blank.  Blank lasted six innings and gave up seven hits and two walks.
“We know once Cody (Reine) hit the bomb we were going to go to (Steven) Okert,” said Golloway. “We’ve got two other guys getting loose, and a quality bullpen, but Okert is the leader out of that bullpen.”

The homer marked the 19th of Reine’s career, and the eighth that tied the game or provided a go-ahead run for the Sooners in the last three years, including three this year (at New Mexico and against Texas). 

“They are stressful, I guess from a certain standpoint, but they are also very exciting to be able to win,” said Reine on the late-inning wins.  “It shows how tough we are as a team and we never give up.  We know we can win games (late).”

Reine finished with two hits and was joined by Caleb Bushyhead who also had two base knocks.

Okert (8-6) figured into his fifth straight appearance with the win.  Okert is now 3-0 with two saves in his last five outings.  Baylor reliever Dillon Newman took the loss with one run allowed off two hits and a walk in the final 2 1/3 innings.


1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 R H E
 Baylor 0 0 0 2 0 0 0 0 0 2 6 0
 Oklahoma 0 0 0 1 0 0 1 0 0 3 10 3


/// Sooners Sports PR

May 23, 2012

Baseball: Early Bedlam Start Time 'Not Ideal'

Today's Bedlam baseball game to start at 9 a.m.: When the Big 12 Tournament bracket was released, revealing a first-round Bedlam clash at 9 a.m., heads dropped all around, particularly in camps of Oklahoma and Oklahoma State fans. And at the All Sports Association. “That's just the way the bracket is set up,” said Tim Brassfield, executive director of the All Sports Association. “We don't set the times, we host the event and we run the event. “Of course, it is not ideal. It's unfortunate for the fans who can't come out.” Sources told The Oklahoman that there were conversations about moving the Bedlam game into a more prominent time slot, but a compromise couldn't be reached. (More at NewsOK.com)

Wrestling: Sooners Pick Up Pair of All-Americans

NORMAN, Okla. - Coach Mark Cody and the Oklahoma wrestling program added two outstanding wrestlers to the Sooners' 2012-13 roster as three-time All-American and former National Champion Andrew Howe and All-American Travis Rutt became Sooners Tuesday after transferring from the University of Wisconsin.

"Howe and Rutt are great additions to what I feel is already a very solid recruiting class," Cody said. "They have both proven that they can compete at a high level and I believe they can give this program a great jumpstart towards what we are trying to accomplish here at the University of Oklahoma. This is great for our program and I look forward to coaching these great young men."

Howe, the 2010 NCAA national champion and three-time All-American, holds a career record of 95-8 and was the NCAA runner-up as a freshman in 2009. The Cedar Lake, Minn. product finished third at NCAAs in 2011, despite suffering from an injury.

At the 2012 U.S. Olympic Wrestling Trials in April, Howe defeated former Sooner Tyler Caldwell in the semifinals of the 74 kg bracket, before falling to Jordan Burroughs in the finals.

Rutt, a product of New Prague, Minn., accumulated 60 wins to only 32 losses and finished seventh at NCAAs in 2011 to earn All-America honors for the first time of his career.

Howe and Rutt both wrestled at the University of Wisconsin from 2008-11 and will be eligible immediately after taking an Olympic redshirt year in 2011-12.

/// SoonerSports PR

Golf: Women's Team Tees Off at NCAA Championship

OU women's golf begins competition at NCAA Championship: Oklahoma, the 2012 Big 12 Champion, is making its fifth appearance in the NCAA Championship, qualifying for the second time since 1995. The No. 28 Sooners will compete in a field of 24 of the nation's top teams in the four-round championship.  "It's a great honor and accomplishment for our program to make the national championship," said OU head coach Veronique Drouin-Luttrell. (More at Tulsa World)

May 22, 2012

Florida DB Ahmad Thomas Commits to OU

Miami Central safety Ahmad Thomas verbally commits to the Sooners: Oklahoma dipped back into Florida's talent pool for its latest football commitment Tuesday, as Internet recruiting services reported Miami Central safety Ahmad Thomas pledged to the Sooners.

"They are a great football experience. They have produced a lot of NFL players," Thomas, a three-star recruit, told Rivals.com. "I think that is a great thing for me. I feel it is a place I can better myself as a player and as a scholar."

Thomas, a 6-2, 200-pounder ranked as the nation's No. 53 high school safety by Scout, received a scholarship offer from OU defensive coordinator Mike Stoops last week. He had drawn interest from the likes of USC, Florida State, Notre Dame and Auburn.

But Stoops apparently commanded his attention.

"I just felt a great connection with him," Thomas told Rivals. "I did my homework and I feel like he relates to me. I feel the energy in his voice when he talks and that is the type of thing that hypes me up. I feel loyalty in talking to him. He was a straight shooter with me. There was no hesitation when I asked him questions." (More at Tulsa World)

Baseball: Five Sooners Honored In Big 12 Postseason Awards

NORMAN, Okla. -- The No. 25 Oklahoma baseball team had five honorees on the All-Big 12 teams announced on Tuesday, including first team member Max White (utility), who ranks in the top 10 in the league in several offensive categories after starting in left field, center field, third base and first base in 2012.

Senior Erik Ross (outfield) and redshirt sophomore Jordan John (starting pitcher) were named to the second team while sophomore Dillon Overton (starting pitcher) was named honorable mention and Hunter Lockwood (1B/C) was voted to the all-freshman team.

It marks the fourth straight season that at least five Sooners were selected by the league's coaches.

White was Big 12 honorable mention in 2010 when he was also named a Freshman All-American. In 2012, he leads the team with 24 multi-hit games (third in Big 12) and 17 multi-RBI games (first in Big 12). His team-best 52 RBI is a career high and also ranks second in the Big 12 Conference. White also ranks third in the league in hits (75), fourth in batting average (.355) and doubles (16), and seventh in total bases (101). He has hit safely in 39 of the last 49 games, including an impressive career-high 11-game hitting streak that included eight straight multi-hit games and 19 RBI.

John collected his second league honor (2011 all-freshman team) as he ranks second in the Big 12 with four complete games, including three in conference play (Big 12 best). John also ranks third in the league with eight wins, fourth with 102.2 innings pitched, sixth in strikeouts (92), seventh in ERA (2.28) and seventh in saves (4). John has lasted at least seven innings in all eight of his starts since moving from the bullpen to the rotation and had a streak of three straight complete games end with 8 2/3 innings against Baylor (no-decision) on May 12.

Ross earned his first honor and leads OU with 15 stolen bases despite missing seven games due to injury. He returned for the Kansas State series with four hits and hit a team-best .347 in Big 12 play (fifth in the conference). Ross has reached base safely in 42 of the 49 games played and hit safely in 37 of those contests.

Overton was also named honorable mention last season and repeated with that same honor in 2012. The lefty is fourth in the Big 12 in strikeouts (94) and 31st in the nation. He also ranks sixth in the Big 12 in innings pitched (96.2) and fourth in complete games after going the distance against West Virginia, Texas Tech and TCU.

Lockwood is tied for the Big 12 lead with 11 home runs after smacking two in the season finale on Saturday, his second two-homer game of the season. He started 48 of his 51 games played at four different positions, primarily at first base. Lockwood is second among all Sooners with 11 multi-RBI games and second with 14 multi-hit games.

The Sooners, seeded fourth, will battle No. 5 seed Oklahoma State on Wednesday at 9 a.m. in the first game of the 2012 Phillips 66 Big 12 Championship at Chickasaw Bricktown Ballpark in downtown Oklahoma City.

OU ended the regular season at 35-21 and won five of the eight Big 12 series to finish fourth in the Big 12 standings with a 13-10 record. The Sooners won 20 of the last 27 games, including 13 of the last 19 conference games to finish in the top four in the league standings for the fourth straight year (second in 2009 and 2010 and third in 2011).

The Big 12 Championship returns to the double-elimination format for the second straight year. From 2005-2010, the conference's postseason tournament was operating under a two-division, pool play format in each of the past five seasons.

/// Sooners PR

May 21, 2012

OU Track and Field: Men's, Women's Teams Ranked in Top 25 Nationally

NORMAN, Okla. – The University of Oklahoma men’s and women’s track and field teams maintained top 25 rankings in the latest rankings released Monday by the United States Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association. OU’s women are No. 16, while OU’s men are No. 22 nationally entering this weekend’s NCAA West Preliminary in Austin. The computer rankings were based on entries into each of the two national preliminary sites.

The Sooners have 30 athletes scheduled to compete in the NCAA Championship qualifier this weekend. Among those competing are three athletes with the top marks in the nation in their respective events.

Tia Brooks extended her program record in the women's shot put on April 25 with the best mark in the nation this year. Brooks won the event at the Drake Relays in Des Moines, Iowa, lengthening her record to 60 feet, seven and a quarter inches on her final attempt. The mark set a Drake Relays record. She met the Olympic A standard with the throw and defended her 2011 title at the meet.

The mark is the third best by an American this year and 11th best throw in the world. It’s the 10th best throw ever by a collegian and she ranks sixth on the NCAA all-time list in the event with the mark.

Brittany Borman overtook the No. 1 spot in the javelin after her win in the women's javelin throw at the Sun Angel Classic on April 5. Borman's mark of 194-11 is an Oklahoma program record. The NCAA-leading throw set a Sun Angel Stadium facility and meet record. The throw is the second best by an American this year and ranks 26th on the world list this year.

The mark ranks Borman sixth on the United States all-time outdoor list and ranks her seventh on the collegiate list. Amongst American collegiate women, Borman is fifth. The throw also meets the Olympic B standard for the event.

Luke Bryant took over the top spot in the men's discus throw with a collegiate best throw of 202-4 on April 14 at the John Jacobs Invitational. All three individuals won the Big 12 title in their events.

Others scheduled to compete for OU on the women’s side include Bailey Wagner (shot put, discus), Lauren Guerrieri (discus), Alex Acker (pole vault), Kristen Rice (high jump), Whitney Johnson (triple jump),Ti’Anca Mock (long jump), Kelsey Brown (1500), Molly Ferguson (1500), Shawna Anderson (100),Sherine Wells (100, 200), Shakeeri Cole (800) and Natalie Crain (800).

Men’s competitors for the Sooners include Alex Madkins (long jump), Holden Mitchell (hammer), Tre Lathan (110 hurdles), Wayne Walls (triple jump), Jamel Wood (400), Evan Pierson (100), Eric Cray(400 hurdles), Patrick Casey (1500), Eric Harasyn (1500), Riley Masters (1500), George Alex (5000),Kevin Williams (5000), Bill Kogel (10000), Ryan Poland (1000) and Aaron Sherf (10000).

Former OU Golfer Anthony Kim Out Remainder of Year

(Credit: Darren Carroll/Getty Images North America)
Anthony Kim will miss remainder of PGA Tour season to treat chronic tendinitis: Anthony Kim will miss the rest of the FedEx Cup season to treat chronic tendinitis in his left arm.  Kim has made only two cuts this year and has withdrawn from his last three tournaments. Along with nagging pain in his left forearm, Kim hurt his right elbow when his club struck a rock while he was trying to hit out of a bush at the Texas Open. He decided to take time off after seeing the same Cleveland doctor who operated on his left thumb two years ago. (The Oklahoman)

It's Official: Cortez Johnson Transfers to OU

NORMAN, Okla. -- The Oklahoma football program added its second transfer in a week Monday as former Arizona defensive back Cortez Johnson made the move to Norman.

"Cortez is a player that is familiar with the system run by Mike Stoops and Tim Kish from their time together at Arizona," said OU Head Coach Bob Stoops. "He's got good size for a corner and we feel that he's the type of player that can provide strength in our defensive scheme."

The 6-2, 196-pound cornerback from New Orleans played one season at Arizona, starting two games while playing in eight as a freshman for the Wildcats in 2011. Johnson finished the year with 16 tackles and one pass broken up, earning starts against Washington and Colorado. He had a career-high seven tackles against Washington.

Prior to his lone season with Arizona, Johnson was named to the 2010 Louisiana Sports Writers Association All-State Team after his senior season at O. Perry Walker High School. Johnson was also named to the New Orleans Times-Picayune All-Metro Team and played in the Darren Sharper Lake Pontchartrain All-Star Classic.

// PR

May 20, 2012

Golf: Sooners Advance to Championship

Oklahoma will compete for the NCAA Championship: While the men's golf teams at Oklahoma and Tulsa qualified for the NCAA Championship, Oklahoma State's amazing tournament run is over.

OU earned its NCAA berth Saturday by beating Georgia Tech by 12 strokes, good enough for fifth place in a regional tournament at Norman. It's the second consecutive championship appearance for the Sooners and 33rd overall.

OU's Michael Gellerman shot a 1-under 71 to capture fifth place.

Washington took team honors at the regional with a three-round 860 and was followed by Texas. Florida State and Illinois shared third place. (More The Oklahoman)

Sooners Sign JUCO WR

East Mississippi Community College WR LaColtan Bester signs LOI: Oklahoma's situation at wide receiver got even more interesting Saturday, when East Mississippi Community College's LaColtan Bester signed a letter of intent with the Sooners.

Bester will join OU and be eligible to play this fall. His signing was first reported by ESPN.com.

Bester (6-foot-3, 205 pounds) had 76 catches for 1,042 yards and 17 touchdowns last season for East Mississippi, which won the NJCAA championship last season. (The Oklahoman)

May 19, 2012

Softball: Sooners Roll Lehigh, 19-3

Sooners advance to the second round of NCAA regional: It didn’t take Oklahoma long to quash any and all doubt that the Sooners would suffer a letdown after wrapping up the Big 12 title a week ago. It took just three batters for Oklahoma to get on the board with a two-run home run by Lauren Chamberlain, but that was just the beginning.

It was in the second frame that the Sooners really got rolling. And, 13 runs later, the Sooners had completed a rout that took just two innings to create on their way to a 19-3 victory over Lehigh in the opening round of the NCAA regional.

Seventeen batters stepped to the plate for Oklahoma in the second, and two of them took pitches over the fence. Katie Norris hit a deep home run to left to put Oklahoma on top 4-0, and Keilani Ricketts topped her later in the inning when she blasted a grand slam to put Oklahoma up 8-0.

But the Sooners weren’t done yet. They continued to put runners on the bases, and with help from several Mountain Hawk mistakes, Oklahoma pushed through seven more runs to complete its most dominant inning of the season.

“They were just anxious to come out and unload,” coach Patty Gasso said. “This is what they’re capable of when they’re hitting on all cylinders.” (More at Norman Transcript)

Baseball: Sooners Even Series Against Samford

Sooners beat Samford 6-2 to even series: Oklahoma is so familiar with playing must-win games the pressure seems to bring comfort. It was the case Friday night with the Sooners’ 6-2 victory over Samford at L. Dale Mitchell Park.

The victory snapped the Sooners’ two-game losing streak and evened the series they believe they have to win to bolster their NCAA Tournament chances.

“We dig ourselves our own holes,” said OU rightfielder Cody Reine. “We had the same opportunities last night. We didn’t execute. Tonight we did. When we execute, we’re going to win a lot of the time.”

Execution was the difference between Friday’s victory and Thursday’s 4-2 loss to the Bulldogs. The Sooners (34-21) had nine hits — three less than the series opener. Three of those hits came with runners in scoring position, and all drove in runs. (More Norman Transcript)

May 18, 2012

Connor Choate Named First Recipient of the Box Memorial Scholarship

Connor Choate is first recipient of the Austin Box Memorial Scholarship: Connor Choate grew up in Enid idolizing Austin Box. This week, Choate became the first recipient of the Austin Box Memorial Scholarship. “I really looked up to him, like every other kid around here did,” said Choate, a senior at Enid High School who will attend the University of Oklahoma in the fall. “In Enid, he was absolutely iconic.” Box, who was Oklahoma’s starting middle linebacker, passed away last May after ingesting a lethal combination of prescription drugs. Earlier this year, the Box family established the Austin Box “12” Foundation. The first move the foundation made was to annually award a one-time $3,000 college scholarship to an outgoing senior at Enid, Box’s high school alma mater.  “We were looking for somebody that exemplified Austin’s best characteristics and embodied who he was,” said Box’s older sister, Whitney, an OU graduate who works in Enid's city planning department. “Connor was the perfect candidate.” (More at ESPN.com)

Baseball: Sooners Lose Series Opener Against Samford

Sooners lose second consecutive game:  The OU baseball team lost to Samford 4-2 in the first game of the Sooners' final series of the year. After the Bulldogs scored on in the top of the fist inning, the Sooners were able to respond in the fourth to tie it up. Samford took the lead again in the top of the fifth, but again OU answered in the bottom of the inning, tying the game at two. Samford's next two runs however, one in the sixth and another in the ninth, went unanswered and the Sooners were saddled with their second straight loss. (Oklahoma Daily)

Big 12, SEC Champions To Meet In Postseason Bowl Game

The Big 12 and Southeastern Conferences have announced a five-year agreement for their football champions to meet in a postseason bowl game following the 2014 season.

The champions of the two conferences will be in the matchup unless one or both are selected to play in the new four-team model to determine the national championship. Should that occur, another deserving team from the conference(s) would be selected for the game.

"A new January bowl tradition is born," said SEC Commissioner Mike Slive. "This new game will provide a great matchup between the two most successful conferences in the BCS era and will complement the exciting postseason atmosphere created by the new four-team model. Most importantly, it will provide our student-athletes, coaches and fans with an outstanding bowl experience."

"Our goal is to provide the fans across the country with a New Year's Day prime-time tradition," commented acting Big 12 Conference Commissioner Chuck Neinas. "This is a landmark agreement between two of the most successful football conferences during the BCS era to stage a postseason event. The creation of this game featuring the champions of the Big 12 and SEC will have tremendous resonance in college football."

"I am very excited by the prospects for a game between our champion and the champion of the Southeastern Conference," added incoming Big 12 Conference Commissioner Bob Bowlsby.

During the 14-year history of the Bowl Championship Series, the Big 12 and SEC lead the nation with 11 seasons in which each conference has had at least one team ranked in the top four of the final BCS standings. Both conferences share the top spot all-time with 14 teams each that have finished in the top four of the final BCS standings. The two conferences have combined for 16 appearances in the BCS National Championship Game, with the Big 12 ranking second behind the SEC's nine appearances with seven trips to the National Championship Game.

The two league champions have met twice in BCS bowl games since 1998, both in BCS National Championship Games. In 2010, Alabama defeated Texas, 37-21, in Pasadena, Calif., and in 2009, Florida defeated Oklahoma, 24-14, in Miami, Fla.

Specific details, including host site(s), will be announced at a later date.


/// Big 12 PR

May 17, 2012

Texas QB Cody Thomas Verbally Commits to Oklahoma

Four-star Texas QB Cody Thomas commits to OU: After Max Browne committed to USC in April. Oklahoma set its sights on four-star quarterback Cody Thomas of Colleyville (Texas) Heritage.

Thomas’ commitment to the Sooners became public Thursday after he received an offer from OU earlier in the week. Thomas’ father, Pete Thomas, confirmed the commitment to ESPN.com.

Pete Thomas told the site his son had committed to OU quarterbacks coach Josh Heupel on Tuesday but had kept it quiet so he could inform the other teams that were recruiting him. Thomas’ other offers included Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, LSU, Notre Dame, Oklahoma State, Oregon and TCU.

Thomas (6-foot-5, 220 pounds) could have a decision to make even after he signs. Thomas is highly touted baseball prospect who figured to be drafted next summer. (More at The Oklahoman)

WR Kameel Jackson Will Remain at OU

WR Kameel Jackson will remain at OU after tweeting he plans to transfer: Kameel Jackson says he’s staying at Oklahoma after all.

The sophomore-to-be wide receiver tweeted early last week he planned to transfer to Texas A&M. A few days later, OU coach Bob Stoops announced in a release that Jackson was one of four Sooners suspended indefinitely for violating team rules.

Early Thursday morning, though, Jackson tweeted, announcing he’s “decided to stay at OU.”

He followed that up with more tweets to “silence all rumors” about his suspension. “My suspension came from my failure to meet my class attendance policy,” he tweeted. “Nothing more; nothing less.” (The Oklahoman)

Previous Post:
Four Sooners Suspended for Violating Team Rules
Sooners WR Kameel Jackson to transfer to Texas A&M

Tennis: OU Signs Two International Stars

NORMAN, Okla. – OU men’s tennis head coach John Roddick announced today that Axel Alvarez and Leonard Stakhovsky have signed letters of intent to become Oklahoma Sooners and will join the program in the fall of 2012.

“We couldn’t have had things go any better than we did with our recruiting class this spring,” John Roddick said. “I know these two guys are going to do a lot for the program over the four years they are here, both on the courts in the classroom.”

Alvarez (Asturias Spain) is currently ranked 1074 by the Association of Tennis Professionals (ATP) and is 992 in doubles. In juniors action, Alvarez posted a 42-18 career singles record and went 46-9 in doubles. The Spaniard advanced to the quarterfinals of the prestigious Juniors Wimbledon tournament and Australian Open Junior Championships.

“We are excited to get a player of Axel’s level coming to OU,” Roddick said. “He has been one of the top juniors in Spain for the last four or five years. I was able to see him play at Wimbledon and I know where his level is. He is going to be a big contributor to our team.”

Stakhovsky (Ukraine) reached a career-high ATP ranking of 840 in singles and 814 in doubles. The Ukranian native advanced to the round of 16 at the Australian Open Junior Championships and ITF Junior Open in 2010.

“We are very excited to have Leo [Leonard] in this class,” Roddick said. “We have actually known his family for quite a few years. We are very familiar with him and I think he is going to be a great fit. Academically he is very excited about coming to OU.”

/// PR

May 16, 2012

Softball: Sooners Take Home Half Big 12 Yearly Awards

NORMAN, Okla. -- Oklahoma took three of the five Big 12 yearly awards the conference announced on Tuesday as junior pitcher Keilani Ricketts was named the unanimous Big 12 Player of the Year, Lauren Chamberlain the unanimous Big 12 Freshman of the Year and Patty Gasso was named the Big 12 Coach of the Year for the fifth time in her career.

Ricketts is the eighth player in Oklahoma history to earn the Big 12 Player of the Year award while Chamberlain is the third to earn the Big 12 Freshman of the Year award. Gasso had previously been named the Big 12 Coach of the Year in 1996, 1999, 2000 and 2009. OU had previously won all three awards in the same year once in 1999 as Lynette Velazquez (Player), Jennifer Stewart (Freshman) and Gasso all reaped Big 12 awards.

In addition to the three awards, the Sooners placed four athletes on the All-Big 12 first team as freshman Georgia Casey and junior Jessica Shults joined Ricketts and Chamberlain on the team. Sophomore outfielder Destinee Martinez was named All-Big 12 second team. For Ricketts, its the third consecutive year to earn first team honors while Shults earned her second first team honor, having been named to the team in 2010. Martinez earned All-Big 12 honors for the second consecutive year after earning first-team honors in 2011. Casey and Chamberlain were the only freshmen named to the team.

Ricketts earned Tuesday's honor as the most dominant player in the Big 12, both at the plate and in the circle. At the plate, the junior led the league with an on-base percentage of .561 while finishing second in batting average (.400), slugging percentage (.823) and walks (46). In the circle, she led the league in wins (28), strikeouts (344) and opposing batting average (.152) while ranking second in earned run average with an ERA of 1.10, a number that ranks sixth nationally.

Quickly making a mark on the record books with her bat, Chamberlain broke the Big 12 single season record for home runs last weekend as she hit three shots against Iowa State to up her season total to 25, a number that currently ranks second nationally. Chamberlain also led the Big 12 in slugging percentage (.888), runs scored (54), runs batted in (63) and total bases (142). The freshman ranks eighth nationally in both slugging percentage and runs batted in and was named the Big 12 Player of the Week on Monday, becoming the first freshman in Big 12 history to earn the honor three times in a season.

In her 18th year at the helm of the Oklahoma program, Gasso received her first Big 12 Coach of the Year honor since 2009 as her five accolades overall are the most by any league coach. Gasso now owns a career record of 1,022-338-3 while owning a record of 862-277-2 at OU.

Ricketts and Chamberlain are also finalists for the USA Softball Collegiate Player of the Year award and join Casey and Shults on the first team All-Big 12 list.

Shults is ninth in the league with a batting average of .360 while ranking fourth in slugging at a clip of .713. The junior catcher is second in the Big 12 with 117 total bases and is third with 16 home runs and 59 hits while ranking fourth with 48 runs batted in. Defensively, Shults leads the Big 12 with 497 putouts and has gunned down 10 runners attempting to steal a base while picking off five others.

After missing the first 14 games of the year due to an injury, Casey quickly became a vital contributor to the Oklahoma lineup as she finished second on the team with a batting average of .392, ranking fifth in the Big 12. The freshman ranks third in the league with an on-base percentage of .480 and and a slugging percentage of .735. Casey finished the season with nine home runs and a fielding percentage of .953.

OU's lone second-team selection, Martinez was fifth on the Oklahoma squad with a batting average of .333. The speedy junior who started 38 of Oklahoma's 53 games in the leadoff spot, is tied for third in the Big 12 with 59 hits and leads OU with 16 stolen bases. The centerfielder holds a fielding percentage of .977 on the year.

Baseball: TCU defeats OU, 1-0

TCU sweeps OU this season: After winning eight straight games over TCU, the Oklahoma Sooners have now lost the last two thanks to a 1-0 shutout of OU on its home field Monday night. TCU starter Brandon Finnegan held the Sooners scoreless until the bottom of the seventh when he gave up a single to OU's Caleb Bushyhead. Justin Scharf came in relief of Finnegan who dealt seven innings allowing just one hit while striking out seven. The lone run of the game was scored by TCU in the top of the first. Josh Elander, the second batter of the game, reached on an error by the Sooners, then Jason coats connected on an RBI double to score Elander and give the Horned Frogs a 1-0 advantage they would hold on to the remainder of the game. (Newson6.com)

May 15, 2012

It's Official: Jalen Saunders Transfers to OU

NORMAN, Okla. -- Jalen Saunders, a first-team All-WAC selection at Fresno State, has transferred to the Oklahoma football program, OU Head Coach Bob Stoops announced Tuesday.

"We are excited to add an explosive player in Jalen to our program," Stoops said. "He has great speed as evidenced by his yards-per-catch average and is someone who can contribute to our program in a number of ways."

The 5-9, 160-pound wide receiver registered the ninth 1,000-yard receving season in Fresno State history in 2011 as he finished the year with 1,065 receiving yards on 50 receptions. Saunders' 21.4 yards-per-catch average was second nationally as he caught 10 passes that were 44 yards or longer and led the WAC with 12 touchdown receptions. Six of Saunders' 12 touchdown receptions covered 50 yards or longer as the Elk Grove, Calif., native had five games with at least 100 yards receiving.

Saunders was also Fresno State's second-leading rusher in 2011, finishing the season with 91 yards on eight carries as he reached the end zone with either a receiving or rushing touchdown in 10 of 13 games.

Saunders was third on Fresno State's team in receiving as a freshman in 2010 with 27 catches for 441 yards and three touchdowns. His first year of collegiate action also saw him finish with 109 rushing yards on 14 carries.

/// PR

May 10, 2012

Softball: Five Sooners Earn Postseason Honors

NORMAN, Okla. — Four members of the Oklahoma softball program were named to the Academic All-Big 12 first team while one earned second team honors the conference announced Thursday. Kirsten Allen, Michelle Gascoigne, Javen Henson and Brianna Turang all earned first team honors while Ali Vandever was named to the second team.

Thursday’s announcement marked both Allen and Gascoigne’s second career honors after Allen received a second team honor in 2010 and Gascoigne did the same in 2011. It marked the first of such honors for Henson, Turang and Vandever.

Nominated by each institution’s director of student-athlete support services, the Academic All-Big 12 Softball Team consists of 49 first team members combined with six on the second team. First team members consist of those who have maintained a 3.20 or better GPA, and the second team are those who have a 3.00 to 3.19 GPA.

To qualify student-athletes must maintain a 3.00 GPA or higher either cumulative or the two previous semesters and must have participated in 60 percent of their team’s scheduled contests. Freshmen and transfers are not eligible in their first year of academic residence. Senior student-athletes who have participated for a minimum of two years and meet all the criteria except percent of participation are also eligible.

///PR

May 9, 2012

Four Sooners Suspended for Violating Team Rules

Jaz Reynolds and Kameel Jackson
(AP Photo/Tony Gutierrez)


Coach Stoops confirms the suspension of four Sooners: Oklahoma coach Bob Stoops announced late Wednesday night that four players had been “suspended indefinitely for violation of team rules.”

The players are: wide receivers Jaz Reynolds, Trey Franks, Kameel Jackson and defensive back Quentin Hayes.

OU officials did not say why the players have been suspended. (More at Norman Transcript)

Related: OU Receivers Franks, Reynolds Both Suspended

Report: OU Receivers Franks, Reynolds Both Suspended

Jaz Reynolds (AP Photo/Sue Ogrocki)
Oklahoma WRs Trey Franks, Jaz Reynolds suspended for violating team rules:  Junior receivers Trey Franks and Jaz Reynolds have been suspended from the team for violating team rules, OUInsider.com reported late Wednesday.

Franks' suspension is for the entire season, the website reported, while Reynolds is out for seven games.

Both receivers have been suspended before. Reynolds was out three games in 2010, when he tweeted insensitive comments about a gunman at the University of Texas during OU/Texas week, and redshirted that season.

Franks was suspended two games last season for violating unspecified team rules. (More at The Oklahoman)

UPDATED: Coach Stoops confirms the suspensions of Quentin Hayes, Trey Franks, Kameel Jackson and Jaz Reynolds for violation of team rules. All four have been suspended indefinitely.

RELATED:
Sooners WR Kameel Jackson to transfer to Texas A&M
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Golf: Sooners Women's Team To Compete in NCAA West Regional

NORMAN, Okla. – Coming off of winning the 2012 Big 12 Championship, the 28th-ranked Oklahoma women’s golf team is set to compete in the NCAA West Regional May 10-12 (Thursday-Saturday) at the par-72, 6,757 yard Colorado National Golf Course in Erie, Colo.

Oklahoma, the NCAA West Regional’s No. 9 seed, will compete to earn its first NCAA Championship appearance since 2002. The top eight teams from each regional will qualify for the 2012 NCAA Women’s Golf Championship.

The Sooners will be competing in NCAA postseason play for the 10th time in program history and for their second-straight season.

“We are excited to be playing in Colorado for the NCAA Regional,” said OU head coach Veronique Drouin-Luttrell. “We have been preparing all year for this event and I feel that the girls are ready for the tournament to start.”

Drouin-Luttrell's squad recently claimed the program’s first Big 12 title since 2000. Oklahoma has won a total of three tournaments this season and finished in the top-two of five events.

OU will be led at the No. 1 position by Chirapat Jao-Javanil. The sophomore’s second-place finish at the Big 12 Championship was her fifth top-10 finish in her nine events this year. Last week, Jao-Javanil was named to the 2012 All-Big 12 team for the second year in a row.

Sophomore Anne-Catherine Tanguay will start at the No. 2 position. Her fourth-place finish at the Big 12 Championship marked her fourth career top-10 finish and her third of the year.

Taylor Schmidt will start in the Sooners’ No. 3 spot. Schmidt recorded her second top-20 career finish at the Big 12 Championship by finishing in a tie for 16th place with fellow junior Jacki Marshall. Marshall will play out of the No. 4 position for the regional tournament.

Emily Collins, who participated in the NCAA West Regional last year, will compete for the Sooners in the No. 5 position.

The format for the NCAA Regionals will be a three-day 54-hole stroke play where the top eight teams and two individuals will earn bids to the 2012 NCAA Women’s Golf Championship, May 22-25 at the Vanderbilt Legends Club in Franklin, Tenn.

The Sooners will be paired with No. 26 Pepperdine and No. 29 UC Davis and will tee off Thursday at 9:30 a.m. CT. Live stats will be available at Golfstat.com and on NCAA.com.



The NCAA West Regional Field (Golfweek/Sagarin Ranking)
1. UCLA (1)
2. LSU (6)
3. North Carolina (7)
4. Colorado (11)
5. California (9)
6. Baylor (18)
7. Pepperdine (26)
8. UC Davis (29)
9. Oklahoma (28)
10. Texas Tech (32)
11. Tulsa (39)
12. TCU (40)
13. Iowa State (37)
14. Stanford (38)
15. Denver (43)
16. UNLV (46)
17. New Mexico (50)
18. Oregon State (53)
19. Illinois (58)
20. Kennesaw State (61)
21. San Jose State (60)
22. Missouri State (97)
23. Northern Colorado (174)
24. Jackson State (230)

Individuals:
Kayla Mortellaro, Idaho
Ally McDonald, Mississippi
Amy Anderson, North Dakota State
Maggie Yuan, BYU
Brianna Espinoza, Colorado State
Demi Mark, New Mexico State

/// SoonerSports PR

Tennis: OU's John Roddick Named Big 12 Coach of the Year; Paval Named Player of the Year

IRVING, Texas – The Sooners nearly swept the 2012 All-Big 12 men’s tennis postseason awards as head coach John Roddick secured the Coach of the Year accolade, while Costin Paval was honored as the Player of the Year and Guillermo Alcorta garnered the Newcomer of the Year award.

The three conference accolades are firsts for a Sooner program that earned its first regular season and postseason conference titles in the Big 12 era.

“We’re honored to earn these awards as it is a testament of just how far we have come as a program,” John Roddick said. “Costin and Willie [Guillermo Alcorta] are both very disserving of these awards. They were a huge reason why we were able to go undefeated as a team [in conference play]. As for the coach of the year honor, it reflects how well our team has played this year. It has been a great effort and I appreciate all of their hard work.”

This season, Roddick guided the Sooners to a perfect 5-0 mark in Big 12 play to cement their first conference title. The third-year head coach currently has OU ranked No. 10 in the country, and later this week the Sooners will host the first and second rounds of the NCAA Championship for a third straight year. Roddick becomes the first Oklahoma men's tennis coach to win the Big 12's Coach of the Year honor following his Sooners 18-3 season.

Paval followed in the footsteps of his coach by breaking new ground for the OU program, becoming the first Sooner to score the league's Player of the Year award. The junior has produced 15 wins to only three losses this season for Oklahoma at the No. 1 position that includes a 4-1 mark in conference action. Paval won the Big 12's Freshman of the Year in 2010 and was selected as the Big 12's Player of the Week twice this season. He is currently the highest ranked Big 12 player in the ITA singles listings at No. 14, earning the league's automatic bid into the NCAA singles and doubles championships at the end of the month.

After redshirting in 2011, Alcorta burst onto the scene for Oklahoma to record a 16-4 combined record at the No. 2 and 3 positions. Against conference competition, the sophomore was 5-0 to help lead the Sooners to both conference crowns. He is currently ranked No. 63 by the ITA. Like Roddick and Paval, Alcorta becomes the first Sooner to be named the league's Newcomer of the Year.

Additionally, Peerakit Siributwong and Dane Webb made the All-Big 12 singles team, while two tandems earned spots on the doubles team. Siributwong and Tsvetan Mihov joined Paval and Webb as unanimous selections to the doubles team.

“All-in-all we are excited that our top players are getting these awards,” Roddick said.

The Sooners open the 2012 NCAA First and Second Rounds on Friday, May 11 when they take on UMKC in the first round at 2 p.m. The winner will advance to the second round and will play the winner of Tulsa vs. Minnesota on Saturday, May 12 at 2 p.m.

/// PR

Tennis: OU's Huet, Ritchie Named to 2012 All-Big 12 Team

NORMAN, Okla. - Oklahoma's Marie-Pier Huet and Whitney Ritchie were named to the 2012 All-big 12 team, announced by the conference Tuesday.

Ritchie was a unanimous selection for singles and also made the doubles list with partner Huet, both were first-time honorees.

"Whitney really found her form and a comfort level playing number one singles by the time we got to Big 12 play," OU head coach David Mullins said. "She showed that she can be one of the top Big 12 players in the years to come and I have no doubt that she will embrace that challenge."

Ritchie led the team in singles with a 16-6 record at the No. 1 position. The sophomore finished third in the Big 12 at the No. 1 spot with a 7-3 conference record.

"Marie has won a lot of doubles matches in the last four years," Mullins added. "I am so happy that she has been honored in this way at the end of her career. I look forward to seeing her compete one last time in Athens."

The duo was chosen as one of 32 doubles pairs that will compete in the 2012 NCAA Women's Tennis Championships, May 23-28 at Dan Magill Tennis Complex in Athens, Ga.

Huet and Ritchie have been ranked in the top 40 nationally this entire season and held a team-best record of 16-6 at the No. 1 doubles position. The pair finished third in the Big 12 at the No. 1 position.

Huet and Ritchie ended the team's dual season with a doubles win over Baylor's 13th-ranked pair of Ema Burgic and Nina Secerbegovic in the second round of the Big 12 Championship, 8-5.

/// SoonerSports PR

Tulsa Union's Rodriguez Commits to OU

Sooners pick up third in-state commitment: Tulsa Union's Dalton Rodriguez committed to the Sooners at a ceremony in Tulsa on Saturday afternoon. “It just felt right,” Rodriguez said on 97.1 FM in Tulsa. “It felt like the right thing to do.” Rodriguez (6-foot-6, 258 pounds) is the No. 10 player on The Oklahoman's Super 30 list of the state's top prospects from the 2013 class. He has played primarily on the defensive line for Union but figures to wind up at offensive tackle with the Sooners. Rodriguez picked the Sooners over Oklahoma State, Tulsa and Arizona State. (The Oklahoman)

May 8, 2012

Caption This... Bob Stoops and Mack Brown

(AP Photo/Mike Fuentes)
(AP Photo/Mike Fuentes)

How would you caption this photo of Oklahoma coach Bob Stoops, right, and Mack Brown?

POST BELOW

OU Track and Field: Men's, Women's Teams Ranked in Top 20 Nationally

NORMAN, Okla. – The University of Oklahoma women’s track and field team moved up two spots to No. 13 in the latest rankings released Tuesday by the United States Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association. The men’s team maintained its No. 20 ranking nationally and No. 2 ranking in the Midwest region. OU’s women also held at No. 5 in the Midwest region.

Tia Brooks extended her program record in the women's shot put on April 25 with the best mark in the nation this year. Brooks won the event at the Drake Relays in Des Moines, Iowa, lengthening her record to 60 feet, seven and a quarter inches on her final attempt. The mark set a Drake Relays record. She met the Olympic A standard with the throw and defended her 2011 title at the meet. The mark is the third best by an American this year and 11th best throw in the world. It’s the 10th best throw ever by a collegian and she ranks sixth on the NCAA all-time list in the event with the mark.

Brittany Borman overtook the No. 1 spot in the javelin after her win in the women's javelin throw at the Sun Angel Classic on April 5. Borman's mark of 194-11 is an Oklahoma program record. The NCAA-leading throw set a Sun Angel Stadium facility and meet record. The throw is the second best by an American this year and ranks 25th on the world list this year. The mark ranks Borman sixth on the United States all-time outdoor list and ranks her seventh on the collegiate list. Amongst American collegiate women, Borman is fifth. The throw also meets the Olympic B standard for the event. Borman is also seventh in the discus with her best mark of 183-0 coming on April 14 at the John Jacobs Invitational.

Alex Acker moved into the top 10 nationally in the pole vault with her performance on May 4. Acker took third over at the Arkansas Twilight, extending her program record to 14-1.25. The mark is tied for the seventh best in the nation this year. Ti'Anca Mock is seventh in the women's long jump with a season's best wind-aided mark of 21-6 on March 28 at the Texas Relays.

Bill Kogel made history at the Stanford Invitational on April 6 with his sixth-place finish in the men's 10,000-meter run. Kogel ran a collegiate-best 28 minutes, 39.54 seconds to set a new Oklahoma program record in the event. Kogel's time is the ninth best in the nation this year. George Alex lowered his program record in the men's 5,000-meter run to 13:35.27, the 10th fastest time in the nation this year.

Luke Bryant took over the top spot in the men's discus throw with a collegiate best throw of 202-4 on April 14 at the John Jacobs Invitational.

/// SoonerSports PR

Golf: OU Men Hosting NCAA Regional

NORMAN, Okla. -- The NCAA Division I Men's Golf Committee has selected the teams and individuals to participate in the 2012 NCAA Golf Championships, including the 14 squads and five individuals who will compete in the Norman Regional May 17-19.

Ranked No. 30 nationally, the University of Oklahoma will be the No. 5 seed in Norman next week when competition begins at the 7,387-yard, par-72 Jimmie Austin OU Golf Club.

"We are excited to bring a great field to Norman and to the Jimmie Austin OU Golf Club," said OU head coach Ryan Hybl. "We have been working for a long time for next week to happen and I can't wait for it to get here."

The Norman Regional is one of six 54-hole regional events that will serve as a preliminary round for the NCAA Championships finals. The low five teams and individuals not on advancing teams from each regional will advance to the finals, to be held May 29-June 3 at The Riviera Country Club in Pacific Palisades, Calif.

NCAA regional events will also be held in Greensboro, N.C., Athens, Ga., Bowling Green, Ky., Ann Arbor, Mich., and Stanford, Calif.

Hybl's squad is coming off of a fourth-place finish at the Big 12 Championship in Trinity, Texas. It was the team's eighth top-five finish of the season and OU's best conference championship performance since winning in 2006.

"Our guys are fired up," said Hybl, "and it will be a challenge for us next week, for sure. Our goal is to keep a normal schedule like we do on the road. The key will be to not get too amped up during the week in order to keep emotions level."

Last season, the No. 24-ranked Sooners finished third at the NCAA East Regional in Radford, Va., earning the program's 32nd NCAA Championships appearance. OU advanced with ease, finishing 22 shots clear of sixth-place Virginia Tech. Then-sophomore Abraham Ancer earned medalist honors at the event, finishing with a 6-under-par 210. The Sooners went on to finish 28th at the NCAA finals in Stillwater, Okla.

The NCAA Norman Regional Field (Golfweek/Sagarin Ranking)
1. Texas (1)
2. Georgia Tech (9)
3. Washington (13)
4. Florida State (24)
5. Oklahoma (30)
6. St. Mary's (Calif.) (34)
7. Illinois (32)
8. Middle Tennessee (47)
9. South Carolina (53)
10. San Diego (61)
11. Arizona (60)
12. Sacramento State (84)
13. Indiana/Purdue-Indianapolis (113)
14. Loyola Chicago (220)

Individuals:
1. Martin Simonsen, UTEP
2. Kevin Lucas, Nevada
3. Mitchell McLeroy, Stephen F. Austin
4. Scott Willman, Nebraska
5. Alfred Kerstis, UALR

/// SoonerSports PR

Arizona Defensive Back Cortez Johnson Will Transfer to Oklahoma

Former Wildcats DB Cortez Johnson will transfer to OU: When defensive back Cortez Johnson was trying to decide which school to choose as a member of the 2011 class, the University of Arizona didn't stand out to the New Orleans native. But then-Arizona head coach Mike Stoops and his coaching staff made a big impression on the defensive back. Johnson said he connected immediately with Stoops and could tell Stoops cared about him as a lot more than just a football player.

Stoops also kept his word when he said Johnson, 6-foot-2 and 196 pounds, would get his chance to play as a freshman. Johnson played in eight games and started two, registering 16 tackles. He had a season-high seven stops against Washington.

But Johnson didn't feel right after Wildcats coaches Stoops, Tim Kish and Ryan Walters left Arizona for Oklahoma. So he decided to join them. After visiting the OU campus over the weekend, Johnson confirmed Saturday night that he will transfer to Oklahoma, enrolling at the school this summer.

“I just wanted to get back with Coach Stoops and be closer to home,” Johnson said. “Oklahoma – it just felt right. Everything went great and fell right in place.”  (More at ESPN.com)

Previous Stories:
Sooners WR Kameel Jackson to transfer to Texas A&M
Fresno State WR Saunders to Transfer to Oklahoma

May 7, 2012

Sooners WR Kameel Jackson to transfer to Texas A&M

Sophomore WR Kameel Jackson to transfer to Texas A&M: Oklahoma wide receiver Kameel Jackson announced Sunday evening on Twitter that he intends to transfer to Texas A&M.

“Embracing my last week as a Sooner; as I’ve chose to transfer and further my education and football career at Texas A&M,” he tweeted.

But, according to a report, the interest from Texas A&M isn’t mutual. The Rivals network site SoonerScoop.com reported Texas A&M and coach Kevin Sumlin were unaware of Jackson’s intent to transfer.

A source told the website that A&M would not be interested in bringing Jackson in because of its “current situation at the wide receiver position.”

Also, a source told the website Jackson has not filed the proper paperwork to facilitate a transfer from OU to Texas A&M. (More at The Oklahoman)

Fresno State WR Saunders to Transfer to Oklahoma

Fresno State WR Jalen Sauders to transfer to Oklahoma: Jalen Saunders has found a new football home.

The receiver out of Pleasant Grove High School in Elk Grove who played two seasons at Fresno State has committed to the Oklahoma Sooners after a weekend visit to the Norman campus.

Saunders, a sophomore known for his speed, also had visits with Texas A&M and Washington, and he considered Sacramento State, where he could have played right away this fall.

Saunders will have to sit out a year, per NCAA Division I transfer rules. At Oklahoma, Saunders will join former Sierra College All-American receiver Courtney Gardner, who signed with the Sooners after giving an earlier commitment to Arkansas. (More at Sacramento Bee)

Related Stories:

Sooners WR Kameel Jackson to transfer to Texas A&M

Arizona Defensive Back Cortez Johnson Will Transfer to Oklahoma

May 6, 2012

Softball: OU Dominates Texas, 9-3

Sooners defeat Longhorns: Keilani Ricketts went 2 for 3 with a triple, home run and five RBIs and also earned a save as the fourth-ranked Oklahoma softball team defeated No. 8 Texas 9-3 on Saturday. The Sooners (42-7, 16-4 Big 12) used a six-run third inning after the Longhorns (40-10, 14-8) had built a 2-0 lead. Courtney Craig had a double, home run and two RBIs for Texas. Rachel Fox (12-1) suffered her first loss of the season for the Longhorns, getting out of bases-loaded jams in the first and second innings before Oklahoma knocked her out in the third inning. (Austin American-Statesman)

May 4, 2012

Baseball: Future Bedlam Games Could Be Up for Bid

Report: Oklahoma City and Tulsa will bid for future Bedlam baseball games: Starting in 2014, Oklahoma and Oklahoma State will open up their annual three-game Big 12 Conference series to a bid between Tulsa and Oklahoma City, multiple sources tell the Tulsa World. That means Tulsa could get two games and Oklahoma City could get one. The Bedlam series has played one game a year in Tulsa since 1991. Since the Big 12 Conference formed in 1996-97 and instituted three-game series for league games, it's been one game in Tulsa and two in Oklahoma City.  The schools wanted to open the bidding process for 2013, but Big 12 realignment put a halt to those talks. That plan seems farfetched, however, because of the revenue generated by having three games at the minor league parks. Ticket sale alone generate some $100,000-$125,000 per team each year, sources said. (More at Tulsa World)

Red River Rivalry to be Played at Cotton Bowl Through 2020

October 7, 2011 - Source: Wesley Hitt/Getty Images North America
OU and Texas formally agree to keep Red River Rivalry game at Cotton Bowl: The University of Oklahoma has agreed to keep playing the University of Texas at the Cotton Bowl through 2020. “They’ve both indicated we’ve got a deal, I’m just waiting to get them signed up,” says former Schepps Dairy President Pete Schenkel.

“There are still several steps; Texas has to go through their Board of Regents. But verbally DeLoss [Dodds, UT's athletics director] has agreed; same goes with Joe [Castiglione, athletics director] at Oklahoma.” 

As our Rudy Bush has noted in recent weeks, the city is about to spend $25.5 million on rehabbing the Cotton Bowl, yet again, in an effort to keep the Red River Rivalry in Dallas. Rudy recently wrote that “Mayor Mike Rawlings and top officials with the State Fair of Texas have all but promised that, if the city takes on the renovations, the universities of Texas and Oklahoma will continue to meet in Dallas through 2020.” UT and OU’s current deal with the State Fair of Texas expires in 2015, and way back in September, officials with the city and the schools said this needed to be done or else the city risked losing the game. State Fair President Errol McKoy and Schenkel have been leading the effort to get the schools to commit through 2020. OU football spokesman Pete Moris and UT athletics spokesman Nick Voinis say they can’t confirm the status of contract talks. (Dallas Morning News)

May 3, 2012

Bob Bowlsby Named Big 12 Conference Commissioner

Big 12 Conference Board of Directors Chairman Burns Hargis has announced the unanimous selection of Bob Bowlsby as Commissioner of the Big 12 Conference. Bowlsby is recognized as one of the most respected athletic administrators in the nation, having spent the last six years as director of athletics at Stanford University.

"The institutions of the Big 12 wanted a Commissioner that could take us to the next era as a conference with the addition of TCU and WVU, and we unanimously agreed Bob is that leader," said Hargis, who is president of Oklahoma State University. "The search committee looked for a candidate that has a vision for the next generation of college athletics, and his credentials and ideas exceeded this. He understands enhancing athletic competition among conference schools, the challenge of balancing academics and athletics for our student-athletes, and working with our broadcast and bowl partners."

In accepting the offer to become the fourth Commissioner of the Big 12, Bowlsby stated, "I am proud to have been selected to lead the Big 12 Conference as its Commissioner. The member institutions represent the best in competitive intercollegiate athletics and they occupy a prominent place in the history of sports in America. I am excited to work with a very talented and committed group of Presidents and Chancellors to advance the Conference on the national sports landscape. Additionally, the directors of athletics, senior woman's administrators, faculty athletics representatives, coaches and conference office staff are among the very best in the country. The future is exceedingly bright and I look forward to engaging with my colleagues to achieve great things in the years ahead."

Bowlsby will begin his duties June 15, succeeding Acting Commissioner Chuck Neinas. "All of the institutions of the Big 12 want to recognize Chuck's great contributions as acting commissioner, helping us during a challenging time and providing a stabilizing force to lead us to today's announcement," said President Hargis. "We cannot thank him enough for his efforts."

Since 2006, Bowlsby, a Waterloo, Iowa-native, has directed a Stanford University athletics department that sponsors 35 varsity sports and has claimed an unprecedented 17 consecutive Learfield Sports Directors Cups, emblematic of the top overall athletics program in the country.

Throughout his career, Bowlsby has emerged as a national leader in intercollegiate and amateur athletics. He was appointed to the United States Olympic Committee Board of Directors in 2007. In 2002, President George W. Bush chose Bowlsby to be a member of the Commission on Opportunities in Athletics.

Bowlsby has previously served as president of the NCAA Division I-A Athletics Directors' Association, chair of the NCAA Division I Men's Basketball Committee, and chaired the NCAA Management Council. In addition, he has also chaired the NCAA Wrestling Committee, served on NCAA committees on Financial Aid and Amateurism, the Special Committee to Review Amateurism Issues, and the Special Committee to Review Financial Conditions in Athletics.

In 1991, Bowlsby was named athletics director at the University of Iowa, a post he held until moving to Stanford. Prior to his stint overseeing the Hawkeye athletic department he served the same role for seven years at the University of Northern Iowa.

Big 12 Commissioners
1995-97 - Steve Hatchell
1998 - Dave Martin (Interim)
1998-07 - Kevin Weiberg
2007-11 - Dan Beebe
2011-12 - Chuck Neinas (Interim)

/// Big 12 Sports PR

OU Golf: Pair of Sooners Earn Postseason Honors

NORMAN, Okla. -- Four days after leading Oklahoma to a Big 12 Women’s Golf Championship crown, head coach Veronique Drouin-Luttrell and sophomore Chirapat Jao-Javanil have earned conference honors. Drouin-Luttrell was voted Big 12 Coach of the Year on Thursday while Jao-Javanil was named to the all-conference team.

Drouin-Luttrell joins former head coach Carol Ludvigson (2001) as the only OU coaches to earn thehonor, and Jao-Javanil’s All-Big 12 accolade was the second straight for the sophomore. The coach-of-the-year award was voted upon by the league’s head coaches, while the 10-member All-Big 12 team was selected automatically based on the most recent Golfweek/Sagarin individual ratings.

"This is such an honor to receive this award," said Drouin-Luttrell. "I'm speechless. Thank you to all the girls on the team for believing in my vision here at the University of Oklahoma and to continue working hard to accomplish our goals.”

This past weekend, Drouin-Luttrell, who is in her third season at OU, directed the Sooners to their first Big 12 Championship in 12 years. Of the team’s nine tournaments thus far this season, OU has claimed three titles (Big 12 Championship, Golfweek Conference Challenge and Susie Maxwell Berning Classic) and three other top-five finishes, including a pair of second-place showings. The five top-two finishes have tied a single-season school record.

Jao-Javanil, who ranks No. 47 nationally, has recorded seven top-20 finishes this year, five of them in the top 10. She posted wins at the Golfweek Conference Challenge in the fall and the Central District Invitational this spring, and also finished second at the Big 12 Championship (one shot behind the winner). From Hua Hin, Thailand, Jao-Javanil owns a 73.93 stroke average this year, third best in school history. Last year she averaged a school-record 73.82 strokes per round.

For her career, Jao-Javanil has posted 16 top-20 finishes out of the 20 total tournaments in which she has competed.

The 28th-ranked Sooners are the No. 9 seed in the NCAA West Regional that will take place May 10-12 in Erie, Colo.



All-Big 12 Team
Chelsey Cothran, Baylor
Hayley Davis, Baylor
Chirapat Jao-Javanil, Oklahoma
Jayde Panos, Oklahoma State
Kelsey Vines, Oklahoma State
Nicole Vandermade, Texas
Mary Michael Maggio, Texas A&M
Katerina Ruzickova, Texas A&M
Gabriella Dominguez, Texas Tech
Kimberly Kaufman, Texas Tech

Coach of the Year
Veronique Drouin-Luttrell, Oklahoma

Player of the Year
Kelsey Vines, Oklahoma State

Newcomer of the Year
Kelsey Vines, Oklahoma State


/// SoonerSports PR

Sam Bradford to Host Camp in Norman

Sam Bradford replaces Adrian Peterson as camp host in Norman:  Sam Bradford is replacing Adrian Peterson as the host of a summer football camp at the University of Oklahoma. The Sam Bradford Football ProCamp presented by Chesapeake Energy and in partnership with The Oklahoman will be held July 10-11 at the OU Intramural Fields.

Bradford, the 2008 Heisman Trophy winner and No. 1 overall pick in the 2010 NFL Draft by the St. Louis Rams, will attend the entire camp to direct camp activities and provide instruction. He will work with high school and college coaches from the Norman area.

The camp is open to boys and girls ages 7 to 14 and focuses on team concepts and fundamentals. Camp organizers said groups will be small to ensure that each camper gets personalized instruction. Bradford, the Rams quarterback, will also give daily talks highlighting the finer points of the game of football and beyond. Campers receive an autographed camp team photo with Bradford, camp T-shirt, goodie bag and the opportunity to win additional prizes. Cost is $199. Registration is available at www.sambradfordcamp.com or calling 888-389-CAMP (2267). (The Oklahoman)



For more information visit ProCamps.com/SamBradford

Details:
Dates Jul 10 - 11, 2012
Times 09:00 AM - 12:30 PM
Location University of Oklahoma Intramural Fields
Costs* $199
Ages Boys & Girls Ages 7 to 14




NCAA Denies McCay's Appeal

Former Sooner Justin McCay denied waiver appeal: The NCAA has denied an eligibility waiver filed on behalf of Kansas wide receiver Justin McCay that would have allowed him to play during the 2012 season. McCay transferred from Oklahoma at the semester break so that he could be closer to family in suburban Kansas City. The initial waiver was declined, and McCay appealed to the NCAA subcommittee for legislative relief, which ruled Wednesday that the former top recruit must sit out the upcoming season. (NewsOK.com)

OU Football: Student Season Tickets Now on Sale

NORMAN, Okla. -- Student season tickets for the 2012 University of Oklahoma football season are on sale now to any currently (Spring 2012) enrolled OU student at the Norman, HSC or Tulsa campuses who will also be a full-time student in the fall of 2012.

Internet ordering is available at SoonerSports.com. Ticket sales are on a first-come, first-served basis, while supplies last. Tickets may also be purchased in person at the OU Athletics Ticket Office, located on the west side of Gaylord Family - Oklahoma Memorial Stadium. The OU Athletics Ticket Office will continue sales every business day from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. until availability is exhausted or through May 18.

Student season tickets are $175 each and all charges will be made to the student's bursar account. There is a non-refundable $15 processing fee for all orders.

Students are encouraged to purchase their season tickets before the 5 p.m. deadline on May 18 to be eligible to purchase Oklahoma vs. Texas football tickets that go on sale on Aug. 28.

Only full-time OU students at the Norman, Health Science and Tulsa campuses will be eligible to purchase student tickets. A student must be enrolled in at least 12 hours of undergrad or nine hours of graduate school. Failure to stay enrolled as a full-time student throughout the Fall 2012 semester could result in the forfeiture of remaining tickets.

For more detailed information including ordering instructions, student categories and other important student ticket policies, please visit the SoonerSports.com.

In addition to OU Football season tickets, students also have the opportunity to purchase the new Student Combo Pack, giving season-long access to OU football and men's basketball, as well as attending additional OU athletic events throughout the 2012-13 academic year.

The Student Combo Pack is a season ticket to OU football and men's basketball for only $199. Students are also encouraged to follow @Sooners2012 on Twitter for exclusive opportunities to engage with OU Athletics and win great prizes throughout the year.

Student Combo Packs are on sale now until 5 p.m. on May 18 or until availability is exhausted.

Order Student Tickets Here.

/// PR

May 2, 2012

OU's Tia Brooks Named Female Athlete of the Week

NORMAN, Okla. – University of Oklahoma redshirt junior Tia Brooks has been named the Big 12 Conference Female Track and Field Athlete of the Week. This marks the first outdoor honor of Brooks’ career. She is the second Sooner female to earn the award this season (Brittany Borman, April 11).

Brooks won the shot put at the Drake Relays in Des Moines, Iowa, extending her program record to 60 feet, seven and a quarter inches on her final attempt. The mark set a Drake Relays record and is the best in the NCAA and Big 12 this year. She meets the Olympic A standard with the throw and defended her 2011 title at the meet.

The mark is the second best by an American this year and ninth best throw in the world. It’s the 10th best throw ever by a collegian and Brooks ranks sixth on the NCAA all-time list in the event with the mark.

/// Sooner Sports PR