The latest Oklahoma Sooners sports news, results, rankings, schedules, rosters and television/radio information.

July 31, 2012

JUCO Transfer Courtney Gardner Will Not Join Sooners This Fall

Gardner will not join Sooners this fall: Junior college wide receiver Courtney Gardner will not join the Oklahoma football team this fall, a source told the Tulsa World on Monday, but Gardner does expect to be part of the team when the spring semester begins next January.

ESPN.com reported that Gardner replied in a text message that he passed all his summer classwork but didn’t complete his last English class on time.

Gardner, an All-American at Sierra College in Rocklin, Calif., didn’t return messages from the Tulsa World on Monday but told the World in March he was still trying to finish three junior college courses and three online courses, and still faced some summer coursework. He said then he was confident he would be at OU in 2012, but also acknowledged the possibility that he might not.

“If I have to, then I would grayshirt,” Gardner said, referring to the practice whereby he would be in school (he will remain enrolled at Sierra for the fall semester) but would not be eligible to play or practice anywhere until next spring. “That’s passed through me and my coaches. We’ve talked about it a lot, and if I have to do it, I would do it and just stay next football season up here and just take two classes I’d have to redo or something and then come next year to Oklahoma.” (Much more at Tulsa World)

OL Dylan Dismuke Suffers Career-ending Injury

Oklahoma offensive lineman Dylan Dismuke to receive medical hardship: Dylan Dismuke, an offensive lineman who redshirted last season after a standout high school career at Duncan, has been placed on medical hardship, allowing him to keep his scholarship despite what became a career-ending knee injury he suffered last December.

The news about Dismuke was first reported by the Rivals network website SoonerScoop.com, and Dismuke confirmed it during an interview Monday night with The Oklahoman.

Dismuke (6-foot-7, 299 pounds) chose the Sooners over lots of other NCAA Division I scholarship offers during the summer before his senior year at Duncan.

He redshirted as a freshman for the Sooners, and suffered the catastrophic injury during OU’s first practice in preparation for the Insight Bowl. He said the injury occurred during a non-contact drill. (The Oklahoman)

Four-star DB Prospect Commits to OU


Sooners pick up verbal commitment from four-star safety Hatari Byrd: Oklahoma fanbase needed some good news, it was Tuesday. And the Sooners got it from four-star safety Hatari Byrd (Fresno, Calif./Central East).

Byrd, ranked No. 293 in the ESPN 300 and rated as the No. 14 safety, verbally committed to OU, Fresno Central East defensive backs coach Tony Perry confirmed.

"He's really comfortable with the Stoops coaches," Perry said. "Mike came out here whenever he was allowed to and watched practice. He liked Hatari a lot and they built a good relationship. He said, 'That's the guy I have to get.' They've been on him for a while."

Although Byrd has never seen the campus, OU defensive coordinator Mike Stoops had been making a big impression with not just Byrd but also with four-star teammates L.J. Moore and Johnny Johnson Jr.

Single-Game Football Tickets on Sale at Midnight

Head coach Bob Stoops of the Oklahoma Sooners watches from the sidelines during the Insight Bowl against the Iowa Hawkeyes at Sun Devil Stadium on December 30, 2011 in Tempe, Arizona. The Sooners defeated the Hawkeyes 31-14. (December 29, 2011 - Source: Christian Petersen/Getty Images North America)
NORMAN, Okla. -- A limited number of single-game tickets for OU home football games go on sale Wednesday, Aug. 1, the University of Oklahoma Athletics Ticket Office announced today.

OU's home opener with Florida A&M and conference games against Baylor, Kansas and Kansas State have tickets available. Games against Notre Dame and Oklahoma State have sold out.

Tickets will first be available for purchase online at SoonerSports.com at 12:01 a.m. CDT. At 8 a.m., tickets may be purchased by calling the OU Athletics Ticket Office at (405) 325-2424 or toll-free at (800) 456-GoOU. Walk-up sales at the OU Athletics Ticket Office, located on the ground level of the Asp Avenue Parking Facility immediately west of Gaylord Family - Oklahoma Memorial Stadium, also begin at 8 a.m.

Top RB Recruit Decommits From Oklahoma



RB Greg Bryant decommits from OU: There had been whispers about the level of commitment running back Greg Bryant (Delray Beach, Fla./American Heritage-Boca Delray) had to Oklahoma over the last few weeks.

Bryant's father silenced those whispers by confirming to ESPN.com on Monday night that his son has decommitted from the Sooners.

Bryant, ranked No. 30 in the ESPN 150 and No. 2 at running back, committed to OU on an unofficial visit March 31. However, since his commitment, Bryant has not seen the Oklahoma campus and has visited Auburn and South Carolina.

When asked to confirm his son's decommitment, Greg Bryant Sr. texted, "Lil Greg decommitted from Oklahoma."

Bryant had reiterated his allegiance to the Sooners over the past month. On Twitter, though, he was encouraging fans from OU, Auburn and South Carolina to show him support. (ESPN.com)

RELATED:
American Heritage RB Greg Bryant no longer committed to Oklahoma

Former Sooner Adrian Peterson Hospitalized

Adrian Peterson of the Minnesote Vikings attends the Cosmopolitan Fun Fearless Men and Women of 2012 at the Mandarin Oriental Ballroom on March 5, 2012 in New York City. (March 4, 2012 - Source: Theo Wargo/Getty Images North America)
Adrian Peterson hospitalized after allergic reaction to seafood: Minnesota Vikings running back Adrian Peterson was rushed to a Mankato hospital after suffering an allergic reaction to seafood during a team lunch but was successfully treated and cleared to resume his rehabilitation at training camp.

Coach Leslie Frazier said Peterson's face swelled up and he experienced shortness of breath while eating at the Vikings' dormitory at Minnesota State University following the morning walk-through. Peterson was seen riding in a golf cart with trainer Eric Sugarman, who drove him from the medical facility to Gage Hall shortly after the afternoon practice.

"He's doing fine," Frazier said Monday, July 30. "He'll pick back up with his rehab (Tuesday). He's been cleared. Everything's back to normal now. Bit of a scare but he's fine now."

Former Sooner Star Dies at 69

Former Sooner All-American Jim Grisham dies at 69: Alabama coach Bear Bryant said Jim Grisham “is as hard a runner as we have ever seen.” Grisham was a consensus All-American in 1963 after playing both fullback and linebacker for the Oklahoma Sooners. The All-State player from Olney, Texas, averaged 5.2 yards per carry over the 1962-64 seasons at OU. He finished with 2,404 yards and 18 touchdowns. Grisham was drafted by the NFL's Minnesota Vikings and AFL's Houston Oilers, although the three-time All-Big Eight selection never played professional football. Grisham earned an industrial engineering degree from OU in 1965 and went to work in that field. He was a North Carolina resident at the time of death at age 69. (The Oklahoman)

July 30, 2012

Ryan Broyles Cleared to Practice

Wide receiver Ryan Broyles #85 of the Oklahoma Sooners leaps over cornerback Brodrick Brown #19 of the Oklahoma State Cowboys at Boone Pickens Stadium on November 27, 2010 in Stillwater, Oklahoma. The Sooners beat the Cowboys 47-41. (November 26, 2010 - Source: Tom Pennington/Getty Images North America)
Former Sooner WR Ryan Broyles cleared to practice: As expected, Detroit Lions wide receiver Ryan Broyles opened training camp on the "Active/Non-Football Injury" list. Broyles, the NCAA's all-time leader in receptions, had his college career ended with a torn ACL that kept him in rehab mode during the OTAs and minicamp.

Though he's just nine months removed from surgery, the Lions' second-round draft pick felt he was close to being ready to join his new teammates on the practice field. That will happen Sunday, as DetroitLions.com reports that Broyles has been removed from the non-football injury list and is cleared to practice.

The 5-foot-10, 192-pound Broyles is expected to be an immediate contributor in the Lions' offense, working the slot as the No. 3 receiver behind Calvin Johnson and Nate Burleson. (NFL.com)

R.J. Washington Named to Hendricks Award Watch List

Defensive end R.J. Washington #91 of the Tulsa Hurricanes sacks quarterback G.J. Kinne #4 of the Tulsa Hurricanes on September 3, 2011 at Gaylord Family-Oklahoma Memorial Stadium in Norman, Oklahoma. Oklahoma defeated Tulsa 47-14. (September 2, 2011 - Source: Brett Deering/Getty Images North America)
NORMAN, Okla. -- Oklahoma defensive end R.J. Washington was named to the 2012 Ted Hendricks Defensive End of the Year Award preseason watch list by the Ted Hendricks Foundation on Monday.

Washington owns 23 tackles, 5.5 sacks and five pass breakups for his career. The Fort Worth, Texas, native earned playing time in all 13 games for Oklahoma in 2012 while playing behind All-Big 12 ends Frank Alexander and Ronnell Lewis, both of whom are now on NFL rosters. Alexander was a finalist for the Hendricks Award last season.

Washington is coming off a two-sack, three-tackle performance against Iowa in last season's Insight Bowl and was named to the Athlon Preseason All-Big 12 Second Team.

July 29, 2012

Strong Showing in Olympics' First Day

Jonathan Horton competes on the high bar during day 3 of the 2012 U.S. Olympic Gymnastics Team Trials at HP Pavilion on June 30, 2012 in San Jose, California. (June 29, 2012 - Source: Ezra Shaw/Getty Images North America)
LONDON -- The men's gymnastics competition began Saturday at the 2012 Olympic Games with an impressive showing by the United States in the qualification round at North Greenwich Arena.

The U.S., including OU letterwinner Jonathan Horton(2005-08) and senior Jake Dalton, scored 275.342 in their session to put them in first place overall, nearly three points ahead of Great Britain, who surprised China in the first session. The United States' closest competition in their session was Japan, who finished nearly five points behind.

With the top overall score, the U.S. advanced to the team finals. Horton and Dalton each advanced to individual event finals in the horizontal bar and floor exercise, respectively.

"I'm very pleased with Team USA' s performance today," OU head coach Mark Williams said. "Finishing first in the qualification round puts the team in a great position for the finals Monday night."

Horton scored 56.565 in four events, while Dalton scored 46.633 in three events. Horton earned the top U.S. score in the still rings and the second-highest score in the horizontal bar, while Dalton scored the top score in the floor event and second-highest score in the still rings and vault events. Sam Mikulak competed in four events, scoring 75.348 while Danell Leyva and John Orozco competed in all six events, scoring 91.265 and 90.597, respectively.

July 28, 2012

Olympics Begin Saturday for Sooner Gymnasts

Jake Dalton competes on the rings during day 1 of the 2012 U.S. Olympic Gymnastics Team Trials at HP Pavilion on June 28, 2012 in San Jose, California. (June 27, 2012 - Source: Ronald Martinez/Getty Images North America)
NORMAN, Okla. -- With the men's gymnastics competition beginning Saturday at the 2012 Olympic Games, the United States' line-up for the qualification round was announced Friday and includes OU letterwinner Jonathan Horton (2005-08) and senior-to-be Jake Dalton.

The U.S. men compete in the second of three subdivisions Saturday at 9:30 a.m. CT at North Greenwich Arena in London, England. Horton will compete in the pommel horse, still rings, parallel bars and horizontal bar, while Dalton will compete in the still rings, vault and floor exercise.

Competition will be streamed live on NBCOlympics.com, and be replayed on NBC between 7 and 11 p.m. CT.

July 27, 2012

Adrian Peterson Placed on PUP List

Former Sooner RB Adrian Peterson placed on physically unable to perform list: Adrian Peterson wanted to be on the field on Friday, but the Minnesota Vikings told him he'll have to wait at least a little longer.

As planned, the Vikings placed Peterson on the active/physically unable to perform list, giving their star halfback further time to recover from the major knee surgery he underwent less than seven months ago.

"We think that's the best thing to do for right now," coach Leslie Frazier said of Peterson, who tore the anterior cruciate and medial collateral ligaments in his left knee on Dec. 24 at Washington and had surgery six days later.

"We'll continue to evaluate him daily, see how he's progressing, and at some point, the doctors and our head trainer Eric Sugarman will come to me and say, 'Hey, we think he's ready to get involved in some team activities.' But at this point, we're going to go through some evaluations, just make a determination as to when is the right time to put him out there with his teammates."

Oklahoma DB Transferring to UNT

Defensive back Jordon Finch plans to transfer to North Texas: Former Oklahoma defensive back Jordon Finch confirmed Thursday that he plans to transfer to UNT and will go through the walk-on program in August.

The former Mansfield standout will be the second Sooner defensive back to transfer to UNT in the Dan McCarney era. Safety Marcus Trice transferred to UNT, sat out last season and is expected to start this year.

Trice and Finch were roommates at OU and remain good friends. Trice had talked to Finch about UNT and helped convince him to start over anew with the Mean Green.

Finch decided to walk on at Oklahoma instead. He stayed three years, but never played. Transferring to UNT will give him the opportunity to compete for playing time. (Denton Record-Chronicle)

Minnesota Gov. Defends Adrian Peterson After Arrest

Minn. Gov. defends Peterson after night club arrest: Gov. Mark Dayton has a theory on why so many NFL players have been in trouble with the law lately - they have too much time on their hands and they have similarities with soldiers returning from war.

"Idle time is the devil's play," Dayton told Minnesota Public Radio on Tuesday.

Minnesota Vikings star running back Adrian Peterson faces a misdemeanor charge of resisting arrest after a confrontation with an off-duty police officer at a Houston night club. His next court date is Aug. 6.

Dayton defended Peterson as "an upstanding citizen and really fine role model," noting that the back had denied responsibility for the July 7 altercation. The governor said his own security people suggested an off-duty officer in plainclothes who looks like a bouncer shouldn't necessarily expect to be treated like an officer.

Dayton said NFL players are off about half the year - more than athletes from other sports. (SI.com)

See Also:
Adrian Peterson Due in Court Aug. 6
Report: Adrian Peterson Arrested

Brittany Borman Track & Field Scholar of the Year

Brittany Borman competes in the Women's Javelin Throw Final on day ten of the U.S. Olympic Track & Field Team Trials at the Hayward Field on July 1, 2012 in Eugene, Oregon. (June 30, 2012 - Source: Christian Petersen/Getty Images North America)
NORMAN, Okla. -- The University of Oklahoma's Brittany Borman was named the Outdoor Field Scholar Athlete of the Year by the U.S. Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association (USTFCCCA). Additionally, the OU women's track program was honored as an all-academic team Thursday and 18 Sooners were listed on USTFCCCA All-Academic Track & Field Teams.

Borman was the NCAA National Champion in women's javelin throw and graduated in May with a 3.75 GPA. The Festus, Mo., native will represent the United States in the event at the 2012 Olympic Games in London after a dramatic performance at the U.S. Olympic Trials where she won on her final attempt.

Scholar Athlete of the Year Awards are determined from among those who earned All-Academic status and placed highest in individual events at the most recent NCAA Championships. Those who earn multiple individual championship titles rank higher in the tie-breaking process, and cumulative GPA is weighed as the final tiebreaker to establish a winner. Separate awards are given to track athletes and field athletes for the indoor and outdoor seasons, resulting in four categories.

Sooner Gymnasts Set for Olympics

Jake Dalton competes on the vault during day 1 of the 2012 U.S. Olympic Gymnastics Team Trials at HP Pavilion on June 28, 2012 in San Jose, California. (June 27, 2012 - Source: Ronald Martinez/Getty Images North America)
NORMAN, Okla. -- When the 2012 Olympic Games begin this weekend in London, eight men's gymnasts will represent the United States of America, and five of those individuals will be showcasing skills they developed while competing at the University of Oklahoma.

The five-member team in London includes OU letterwinner Jonathan Horton (2005-08) and senior-to-be Jake Dalton. In addition, all three alternates reign from the Sooner program coached by Mark Williams, who has guided OU to five national titles since 1999. Those individuals include Chris Brooks (2006-09), Steven Legendre (2008-2011) and Alex Naddour (2010-2011).

"I think it's pretty incredible that we are talking about a select group of eight athletes and five of them are from the University of Oklahoma program," said Williams, who will join the team as a personal coach in his fourth Olympic Games. "It's an amazing accomplishment to have such a representation. I am proud of these guys and the work they've put forth and to display it on the biggest stage in the world. It should be very exciting."

While Williams and the Sooners have not finished worse than fourth at the NCAA Championships since his first season in Norman, the program's accomplishments reach far beyond NCAA trophies. Bart Conner was the first OU gymnast to compete in the Olympics in 1976, '80 and '84, and seven more Olympians have trained under Williams.

July 26, 2012

OU to Take on UTEP in Old Spice Classic‎

NORMAN, Okla. -- The Oklahoma men's basketball team will open the 2012 Old Spice Classic by playing UTEP on Thursday, Nov. 22 (Thanksgiving Day). The bracket for the eight-team tournament near Orlando, Fla., was announced today by ESPN Regional Television.

The OU-UTEP matchup will start at 6 p.m. CT and be televised by ESPN2. The Miners, coached by Tim Floyd, went 15-17 last year and finished tied for eighth place in the 12-team Conference USA after recording a 7-9 league record. They return seven of their top nine scorers from last season, including leading scorer and rebounder John Bohannon. The 6-10 center averaged 11.5 points and 7.3 rebounds while shooting .585 from the field.

The winner of the OU-UTEP game will play the winner of the Clemson-Gonzaga first-round matchup on Friday, Nov. 23 at 6:30 p.m. CT on ESPN2. The first-round losers will meet Nov. 23 at 4:30 p.m. CT on ESPN2. Clemson finished 16-15 last year while Gonzaga posted a 26-7 record and went 1-1 in the NCAA Tournament.

JUCO Transfer LaColtan Bester Ruled Academically Eligible





WR LaColtan Bester ruled academically eligible at OU: LaColtan Bester, who signed with the Sooners in May from East Mississippi Community College, has graduated, is academically eligible and will “have an immediate impact,” said Buddy Stephens, East Mississippi's coach.

“He was working out with us, running, lifting, catching balls and going to class,” Stephens said of Bester's 2012 summer. “He really hunkered down on his classes. The University of Oklahoma was in contact with our athletic academic advisors daily, many times a day.

“Oklahoma did their job, we did our job and Colt did his.”

Monday, OU coach Bob Stoops said he thought Bester had completed his required class work, but that he was waiting for final NCAA clearance.

Stephens said Bester left for Norman on Saturday and was “good to go.” (The Oklahoman)

See Also:
Sooners Sign JUCO WR

Adrian Peterson to Start Camp On PUP List

Running back Adrian Peterson #28 of the Minnesota Vikings is helped off the field after being injured in the third quarter against the Washington Redskins at FedEx Field on December 24, 2011 in Landover, Maryland. (December 23, 2011 - Source: Patrick Smith/Getty Images North America)
Vikings will likely place Adrian Peterson on PUP list: Two NFL sources said the Vikings planned to place Adrian Peterson on the active/physically unable to perform list before their first walkthrough on Friday, barring the unlikely event the star halfback can talk them out of it.

Peterson, 27, is recovering from surgery for the torn anterior cruciate and medial collateral ligaments in his left knee suffered on Dec. 24 against Washington.

The Vikings and Peterson roundly have said their goal is to have him on the field for the Sept. 9 opener at Jacksonville. But he's less than seven months removed from reconstruction surgery, and placing him on active/PUP gives the Vikings flexibility in case he has a setback.

Players on active/PUP can be activated at any time. Once a player is activated, he's ineligible for reserve/PUP, which sidelines him for at least six weeks.

The Vikings expect Peterson to be ready well before that, but it could be weeks before he participates in a practice. (1500 ESPN Twin Cities)

See Also:
Vikings Expect Adrian Peterson for Season Opener

Vikings Expect Adrian Peterson for Season Opener

Running back Adrian Peterson #28 of the Minnesota Vikings is helped off the field after being injured in the third quarter against the Washington Redskins at FedEx Field on December 24, 2011 in Landover, Maryland. (December 23, 2011 - Source: Patrick Smith/Getty Images North America)
Former Sooner Adrian Peterson expected to be ready for Vikings season opener: During a Sunday appearance with Jim Souhan and Tom Pelissero on "Sunday Morning Sports Talk" on 1500 ESPN Twin Cities, Toby Gerhart said he wouldn't be surprised if Adrian Peterson is ready for the Vikings' Sept. 9 opener against the Jacksonville Jaguars.

"I think he will be," Gerhart said. "You can never be surprised with Adrian. The way he comes to work every day, the way he pushes himself. I mean, he was flying around, straight-line speed, moving out there. Racing Percy (Harvin) up the hill, doing conditioning stuff. I haven't seen him in a couple of weeks now, but I'm sure he's continued to make leaps and bounds in progress.

"I wouldn't be surprised if he's ready. You can never count Adrian out."

Peterson will be nine months out from major knee surgery at the start of the season and likely will be limited. (More at NFL.com)

Two OU Men's Golfers Named All-America Scholars

NORMAN, Okla. -- University of Oklahoma graduate Riley Pumphrey and senior-to-be Abraham Ancer were among the 146 NCAA Division I male golfers named as Cleveland Golf/Srixon All-America Scholars, as announced by the Golf Coaches Association of America Wednesday.

At least one Sooner golfer has received the honor in each of head coach Ryan Hybl's three seasons at OU.

"I am so proud of Abe and Riley for their commitment to be great off the course," Hybl said. "This makes two years in a row for Riley and that is a short list in our program’s history."

Pumphrey, a three-time member of the Academic All-Big 12 team, received the honor for the second consecutive season. He became the fourth OU golfer to be recognized as a two-time honoree.

"Academics are a great part of what Coach emphasizes," Pumphrey said. "You have to make your grades to stay eligible. When you make good grades and do well in school, it makes playing golf a whole lot easier."

Ancer, also an Academic-All Big 12 first-team selection, was Oklahoma's eighth recipient of the award.

Broyles Starts Training Camp on Lion's PUP List

Ryan Broyles #85 of the Oklahoma Sooners is tackled after catching a pass by Christian Scott #6 of the Texas Longhorns at the Cotton Bowl on October 8, 2011 in Dallas, Texas. The Sooners defeated the Longhorns 44 to 3. (October 7, 2011 - Source: Wesley Hitt/Getty Images North America)
Lions place Ryan Broyles on physically unable to perform list: Two members of the Detroit Lions 2012 draft class are candidates to start training camp on the physically unable to perform list.

Second-round receiver Ryan Broyles, who tore the anterior cruciate ligament in his left knee during his senior season at Oklahoma, said he’s not sure if he’s going to open camp on the PUP list when practice begins Friday.

But Broyles said, “I’m going to be out there doing something” on the first day.

The NCAA all-time leader in receptions, Broyles took part in individual drills only during off-season workouts. With Calvin Johnson, Nate Burleson and Titus Young ahead of him on the depth chart, the Lions have the option of bringing Broyles along slowly. (Detroit Free Press)

Temperatures Played a Part In Decision to Play Late Game Against UTEP

Head coach Bob Stoops of the Oklahoma Sooners watches from the sidelines during the game against the Kansas Jayhawks on October 15, 2011 at Memorial Stadium in Lawrence, Kansas. (October 14, 2011 - Source: Jamie Squire/Getty Images North America)
OU vs UTEP will kickoff at 9:30: Sooner coach Bob Stoops, however, has no problem with the late start.

"We had a hand in that," Stoops said Monday at Big 12 Football Media Days in Dallas. "(UTEP coach) Mike Price and me and our athletic directors because TV was talking 1:30 (p.m.). It would be 130 on that turf. I get tired of the night games and Mike and I talked and our ADs are great at listening. For the player’s health and even recovering after … we don’t want to play in 130 degrees at 1:30 in El Paso, Texas. It’s 30-40 degrees different at night." (Norman Transcript)

July 25, 2012

ESPN to Televise OU-Texas on Big Monday

Lon Kruger head coach of Oklahoma Sooners talks with Sam Grooms #1 during a break in action against Texas A&M Aggies in the first round of the Big 12 Basketball Tournament March 7, 2012 at Sprint Center in Kansas City, Missouri. Texas A&M won 62-53. (March 6, 2012 - Source: Ed Zurga/Getty Images North America)
NORMAN, Okla. -- The Big 12 Conference has announced its men's basketball schedule for ESPN's Big Monday platform for the 2013 season, and for the first time in three years Oklahoma will make an appearance.

The Sooners' Jan. 21 home contest versus Texas will be televised by ESPN as the second game of a Martin Luther King Jr. Day doubleheader. The 8:30 p.m. CT OU-Texas game will be preceded by a 4:30 p.m. matchup between Oklahoma State and Baylor.

The last season Oklahoma participated in an ESPN Big Monday contest was 2009-10. OU made three appearances that year.

The full composite Big 12 schedule, including games on CBS, ESPN, ESPN2, ESPNU, ESPN3, Big 12 Network and ESPN's College GameDay, will be released in the coming weeks.

The Big 12 has been ranked among the top three conferences in RPI each of the past five seasons -- the only league that can make that claim. In addition, the Big 12 boasts the nation's best winning percentage in NCAA Tournament competition over the past five years.

///  SoonerSports PR

July 24, 2012

OU Duo Takes Silver at ISF Championships

WHITEHORSE, YUKON, Canada — The USA Softball National Team, including Oklahoma’s Keilani Ricketts and Jessica Shults, earned silver Sunday at the ISF XIII Women’s World Fastpitch Championship, falling to Japan, 2-1, in 10 innings of action. Ricketts got the start in the pitching circle for the American squad, throwing 9.2 innings of action.

Ricketts struck out 10 Japanese batters while walking just two. The lefthander gave up just four hits and two runs. In a pitching battle between Ricketts and Ueno Yukiko, the two teams remained scoreless until the ninth inning. With the international tie-breaking procedure placing a Japanese batter on second base to start the inning, Japan was able to score the game’s first run in the top of the ninth.

The U.S. answered in the bottom of the ninth with its own runner on second due to the international tie-breaking procedure but was unable to do so in the bottom of the 10th as the Japanese scored its game-winning run in the top of the inning.

It was a revenge game for the Japanese team as The USA National Team defeated it, 3-1, on Saturday to advance to the finals. The game saw Ricketts earn her fourth win of the event as the senior-to-be came in relief in the bottom of the seventh of a 1-1 game. Ricketts struck out the first Japanese batter she saw to end the inning before retiring all three opposing batters in order in the bottom of the eighth to end the game.

Ricketts ended the competition with a record of 4-0 and an ERA of 1.04 with 25 strikeouts in 27 innings of action. Ricketts allowed just 11 hits and four walks in her action in Canada. At the plate, Ricketts finished the event with a batting average of .429 that was bolstered by one home run and four runs batted in.

Shults played in four games and finished the championship with a .200 average while scoring four times. At the plate, Shults had one double with three RBIs.
/// SoonerSports PR

Coach Stoops Excited to Have Brother Mike Back as Assistant

Oklahoma Coach Bob Stoops talked to members of the media during Big XII Media Days on Monday. He addressed the return of his brother, Mike Stoops, as defensive coordinator.

“I'm excited to have Mike back, for a number of reasons. Not only personally, but professionally, when we've worked together, it's been pretty positive. You look at our years either competing at Iowa together as players, but also the years at Kansas State coaching defense together, (to) his, whatever, 5-6 years with us at Oklahoma up to 2003, we did pretty well overall. Mike can only do so much, though, just like any coach can. Players are ultimately what win and lose for you. But I do believe in the last couple years, for whatever reason, and we've really looked at it, our defense hasn't been quite as strong as what we've been used to in our first 10-12 years. So hopefully we can make fewer mental mistakes in some areas and be a little sharper in what we're doing to play more consistently better defense. That's what Mike will be working hard on, and I've obviously got a lot of faith in him."

July 23, 2012

Stoops: Landry Jones is Not to Blame for OU's Offensive Woes

Coach Stoops doesn't blame QB Landry Jones for the offensive woes in 2011: Bob Stoops stressed during Monday's press conference at Big 12 Media Days that Jones does not deserve the majority of the blame for the performance of the Sooner offense down the stretch.

“Everybody (said), ‘Oh, Landry struggled,'” Stoops said. “No, he didn't — the offense struggled. You had more dropped passes in the last three games, I couldn't even keep track of them. Didn't run the football as effectively as we needed to at all.

“All of that goes together. To me, it's more of an issue of the offense and the offense around him than it is him.”

Then there's the question of how many reliable weapons Jones will have to throw to.

Broyles is gone to the NFL. Three other receivers — Jaz Reynolds, Trey Franks and Kameel Jackson — were suspended indefinitely during the offseason for violating team rules.

Stoops called junior Kenny Stills a “mainstay” in the OU offense. He also said he has high expectations for spring standout Trey Metoyer.

After that, Stoops admits there's a lot of uncertainty.

“From there, we're going to have to see, because we're not able to work with players in the summer,” Stoops said. “And a lot of these guys are new, some of the young high school receivers we have in, and then with the addition of some junior college guys." (The Oklahoman)

Coach Stoops Addresses Penn State Scandal

Bob Stoops: Children should be protected by adults: During Big 12 media days Monday, Bob Stoops declined to comment on the severity of the NCAA’s penalties on Penn State — massive scholarship limitations, four-year bowl and a $60 million fine.

“My expertise is just in coaching football,” Stoops said. “Administrators, presidents, you trust they understand what needs to happen. The whole situation is just incredibly tragic. That’s the only word I can describe. I don’t know all the facts. I’m not one to judge.

“But in every way possible, children should be protected by adults. That’s all I would say about it.” (The Oklahoman)

Stoops: Whaley Cleared to Play

Oklahoma Coach Bob Stoops talked to members of the media during Big XII Media Days. He addressed running back Dominique Whaley's recovery.

“He's been cleared to do everything. He's out there running and training. I'm not able to work with them, so it's a little bit tough (to assess his progress). And I don't think even Dom knows until you put the pads on and have got to make that sudden cut. Is he going to feel comfortable doing it? He says he feels really good and he's working well, but again, until you get out there, it's kind of hard to say.”

July 21, 2012

Former Sooner Clendon Thomas Inducted Into Hall of Fame

NORMAN, Okla. -- Former Oklahoma running back Clendon Thomas was inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame along with 14 other players at the National Football Foundation and College Hall of Fame Saturday in South Bend, Ind.

Thomas, a consensus All-American for the Sooners in 1957, was Oklahoma’s 24th inductee to the College Football Hall of Fame and the first since Tom Brahaney in 2007. OU has placed 19 players and five former coaches in the Hall. No Big 12 school has more.

Thomas played a pivotal role in the Sooners back-to-back national title wins in 1955 and 1956 under College Football Hall of Fame coach Bud Wilkinson.

Thomas participated on several of the winningest teams in college football history, enjoying a 31-1 record during his stay in Norman. He was a major cog in Oklahoma’s record 47-game winning streak, and also helped the Sooners win three consecutive, undefeated Big 7 Conference championships and two national championships.

Thomas totaled 2,156 rushing yards in his three seasons, never averaging less than 6.3 yards per attempt. The two-time All-Big 7 performer led the nation in scoring in 1956 and paced the Sooners’ scoring as a junior and a senior. Thomas finished ninth in 1957 Heisman Trophy voting.

Thomas was a second round selection as a defensive back in the 1958 NFL Draft by the Los Angeles Rams. He played 11 seasons with the Rams and the Pittsburgh Steelers, appearing in 137 games with 27 interceptions and 10 fumble recoveries. Thomas appeared in the 1963 Pro Bowl and was named a Second Team All-Pro three times.

Thomas is the founding president of Putnam City Schools Foundation and served on the Fellowship of Christian Athletes’ national board of directors. He has also served on the selection committee for Armed Services Academies and as an executive board member of the Jim Thorpe Association.

Thomas, who was enlisted in the Army Reserves for six years, founded and operated Chemical Products Corp. for 25 years. Still involved in business, he and his wife Soni reside in Oklahoma City. They have two children.

Landry Jones Added to Manning Award Watch List

NORMAN, Okla. --Oklahoma quarterback Landry Jones was named to his fourth national award's preseason watch list Friday afternoon as Allstate Sugar Bowl announced its Big 12 quarterbacks on the Manning Award's watch list. Jones is one of just three finalists for the award last season to return in 2012 and Friday's announcement marks the third straight year that the Artesia, N.M., native has appeared on the preseason list.

Already on the Maxwell, Davey O'Brien and Walter Camp Awards lists, Jones leads the NCAA with 12,379 career passing yards and 93 career touchdowns. The senior enters the season tied with current OU running backs coach Cale Gundy (1990-93) for most career starts by a quarterback at OU with 37 and is just three wins away from tying Steve Davis (1973-75) for the OU career victories record of 32 wins.

Jones was a three-time Manning Award Star of the Week in 2011, including the week he threw for a school record 505 yards in a road win over Kansas State.

The overall Manning Award Watch List will include 25 of the top quarterbacks in the nation heading into the 2012 season. The winner will be announced after the bowls in January and will be honored at a ceremony in New Orleans.

The Manning Award was created by the Allstate Sugar Bowl in honor of the college football accomplishments of Archie, Peyton and Eli Manning. It is the only quarterback award that includes the candidates' bowl performances in its balloting.

///SoonerSports PR

July 20, 2012

OU Home Opener to Kickoff at 6 p.m.

The Big 12 Conference announced on Friday that kickoff time for the University of Oklahoma home football opener vs. Florida A&M has been scheduled for 6 p.m. CT at Gaylord Family – Oklahoma Memorial Stadium on Saturday, Sept. 8.

The game will mark the first-ever meeting between the Sooners and the Rattlers. Oklahoma has won its initial game of the season in Norman each of the past six years. (PR)

Sheri Coale Appointed to Kay Yow Cancer Fund Board

Head coach Sherri Coale of the Oklahoma Sooners during the Women's Final Four Semifinals at the Alamodome on April 4, 2010 in San Antonio, Texas. (April 3, 2010 - Source: Jeff Gross/Getty Images North America)
NORMAN, Okla. -- University of Oklahoma women's basketball head coach Sherri Coale has been appointed to the Kay Yow Cancer Fund Board of Directors, the fund, in association with the Women's Basketball Coaches Association (WBCA) and The V Foundation, announced Thursday.

"Like many others, I am privileged simply to have been in the presence of Kay Yow and am elated to help extend the trail blazed by her legacy," Coale said. "The impact of the Kay Yow Cancer Fund has grown immeasurably as it has aided funding for significant research for fighting this dreadful disease. I am truly proud to serve its mission."

Coale joins Penn State head coach Coquese Washington and ESPN Vice President for Programming and Acquisitions Carol Stiff as three additions to the board beginning Sept. 1, 2012, responsible for the strategic leadership and governance of the Kay Yow Cancer Fund.

"We are pleased to add such strong advocates to our existing leadership on the Kay Yow Cancer Fund Board of Directors," Kay Yow Cancer Fund Executive Director Sue Donohoe said. "Sherri, Coquese and Carol have each been tremendous supporters of the Fund and we look forward to working with each of them in an even greater capacity."

Coale is heading into her 17th season at the Sooners' helm, boasting a 357-168 record at Oklahoma. During her tenure, Coale's teams have accumulated 10 Big 12 Conference regular season or tournament titles, 87 Academic All-Big 12 honors, four Academic All-America Team Members and 13 consecutive NCAA tournament appearances, including eight Sweet 16 and three NCAA Women's Final Four trips.

"The leadership of the Kay Yow Cancer Fund plays such an integral role in its growth," Connie Rogers-Newcome, the fund's president, said. "We are excited to add these three individuals, who have already demonstrated amazing support and leadership in the fight against women's cancers, to the Board of Directors."

The fund has risen more than $6.7 million and granted $2.5 million for scientific research and related programs focused on women's cancers since its inception in December 2007.

The 20 members of the Kay Yow Cancer Fund Board of Directors include: Debbie Antonelli, Women's Basketball Analyst; Geno Auriemma, University of Connecticut Head Women's Basketball Coach; Beth Bass, Women's Basketball Coaches Association Chief Executive Officer; Nikki Caldwell, LSU Head Women's Basketball Coach (Treasurer); Nora Lynn Finch, ACC Associate Commissioner for Women's Basketball Operations and Senior Woman Administrator (Vice President); Rosa Gatti, ESPN Senior Vice President; Stephanie Glance, Illinois State University Head Women's Basketball Coach (Past President); Mark Graham, Waverly Hematology Oncology; Jill Pizzotti, DePaul University Assistant Women's Basketball Coach (Secretary); Connie Rogers-Newcome, Adhesives Research Executive Account Manager (President); Marsha Sharp, Texas Tech University Assistant Athletics Director, Pat Summitt, University of Tennessee Head Coach Emeritus; Nick Valvano, The V Foundation Chief Executive Officer; and Susan Yow, Belmont Abbey College Head Women's Basketball Coach.

ABOUT THE KAY YOW CANCER FUND
The Kay Yow Cancer Fund was officially founded on December 3, 2007, from the vision of the organization's namesake Kay Yow, former North Carolina State head women's basketball coach. The Kay Yow Cancer Fund is a 501 (c)(3) charitable organization committed to being a part of finding an answer in the fight against women's cancers through raising money for scientific research, assisting the underserved and unifying people for a common cause.

/// PR

OU Transfer Could Be Academically Ineligible

Via Crimson and Cream Machine, Carey Murdock, of SoonerScoop, received some new information regarding junior college offensive tackle Will Latu. Based on what he was told, the situation with Latu has taken a turn for the worse and now the likelihood of him failing to qualify academically is much higher than was previously believed. 

According to what Murdock has been told, he hasn't been officially ruled out but at this point it almost seems inevitable. 

 Reportedly, Latu's JUCO coach has been making calls to other schools to see if they can get him in somewhere else. (More at Crimson and Cream Machine)

Three Sooners on Walter Camp Watch List

NORMAN, Okla. -- Oklahoma tied for the nation's lead with three student-athletes on the Walter Camp Award preseason watch list The Walter Camp Football Foundation announced Friday. Tony Jefferson, Landry Jones and Kenny Stills were all placed on the watch list for the award presented annually to the nation's most outstanding player.

The three are a part of 50 total on the watch list as OU joins Kansas State and USC as the only programs with three players on the list. With Friday's announcement, 10 Sooners have now accounted for 22 mentions on national college football awards preseason lists. Friday's lists marks Jefferson's fourth this preseason and the third for both Jones and Stills.

Already on the Maxwell and Davey O'Brien Awards lists, Jones leads the NCAA with 12,379 career passing yards and 93 career touchdowns. The Artesia, N.M., native enters the season tied with current OU running backs coach Cale Gundy (1990-93) for most career starts by a quarterback at OU with 37 and is just three wins away from tying Steve Davis (1973-75) for the OU career victories record of 32 wins.

Joining Jones on the Maxwell Award list and also a watch list candidate for the Biletnikoff Award, Stills started all 11 games that he saw action in last season, earning All-Big 12 second team honors after finishing the year with 61 receptions for 849 yards and eight touchdowns. The Encinitas, Calif., native crossed the 1,000-yard receiving mark last season against Texas with his 77th career reception, becoming the second-fastest Sooner to eclipse the 1,000-yard mark behind Ryan Broyles (69 receptions).

Jefferson, who has also been named to the Bednarik Award, Bronko Nagurski Trophy and Jim Thorpe Award watch lists, led the 2011 OU team with four interceptions and was third on the squad with 74 tackles. The junior, who has played in a hybrid defensive back role the last two seasons, tied an OU single game record last season with three interceptions against Ball State. Jefferson had nine games with at least five tackles on the year.

The watch list will be narrowed to 10 semi-finalists in mid-November. The 2012 Walter Camp Player of the Year recipient, which is voted on by the 124 NCAA Bowl Subdivision head coaches and sports information directors, will be announced live on ESPN SportsCenter on Dec. 6. The winner will then receive his trophy at the Foundation's annual national awards banquet on Jan. 12, 2013 at the Yale University Commons in New Haven, Conn.

///SoonerSports PR

July 19, 2012

Sooners Picked to Win Big 12 Title in Preseason Media Poll

IRVING, Texas -- Oklahoma has been picked to win its eighth Big 12 championship in the 2012 Big 12 Football Preseason Poll, voted on by media representatives who cover the Conference.

Thursday's announcement from the conference marks the third straight year that OU has been tabbed as the preseason favorite.

The Sooners received 32 of 41 first-place votes and totaled 396 points. West Virginia was chosen second with 339 points and garnered seven first-place tallies. Texas was picked third, followed by Oklahoma State in fourth.

TCU and Kansas State each received a first-place vote and finished fifth and sixth, respectively. Baylor, Iowa State, Texas Tech and Kansas rounded out the poll.

West Virginia and TCU will begin their inaugural season of Big 12 competition after joining the league on July 1. Both won their previous conferences' titles last year (West Virginia in the Big East and TCU in the Mountain West).

Oklahoma leads the Big 12 with its seven Conference championships (2000, 2002, 2004, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2010) while Texas is the next closest with three Big 12 crowns.

Prior to the current format of the Big 12, the Sooners were picked first in the South division eight times in previous media preseason polls and finished the season at the top in six of those years.

2012 Big 12 Football Media Preseason Poll1. Oklahoma (32) 396
2. West Virginia (7) 339
3. Texas 291
4. Oklahoma State 267
5. TCU (1) 260
6. Kansas State (1) 257
7. Baylor 162
8. Iowa State 121
9. Texas Tech 116
10. Kansas 46
first-place votes in parentheses

/// SoonerSports PR

Five Sooners Named to Preseason All-Big 12 Team

NORMAN, Okla. -- Oklahoma tied its instate rival for most selections to the 2012 Preseason All-Big 12 Team with five while freshman receiver Trey Metoyer was tabbed as the Big 12 Newcomer of the Year the league office announced on Wednesday.

OU had three selections on the offensive side of the ball in center Ben Habern, offensive lineman Gabe Ikard and receiver Kenny Stills while placing two on the defensive side, safety Tony Jefferson and defensive tackle Jamarkus McFarland.

Habern is the lone repeat selection on the preseason offensive team after earning the honor in 2011. The senior center is joined on the line by his teammate, Ikard, who was a 2011 All-Big 12 First Team selection following the conclusion of the season. Stills was named to the 2011 All-Big 12 Second Team after recording 61 receptions for 849 yards and eight touchdowns.

Honorable mention All-Big 12 last season, Jefferson led OU with four interceptions and was third on the team with 74 tackles at the defensive back position. McFarland started seven games for the Sooners in 2011 at defensive tackle while playing in all 13, recording 20 tackles, 3.5 of which went for loss.

Metoyer earned preseason Newcomer of the Year honors after a catching 108 passes for 1,540 yards and 23 touchdowns as a senior in 2010 at Whitehouse (Texas) High School. After spending a year at Hargrave Military Academy, Metoyer led all OU players with six receptions for 72 yards at the team's annual spring game in April.

See More:

OU QB Landry Jones Placed on Davey O'Brien List

Landry Jones #12 of the Oklahoma Sooners throws against the Oklahoma State Cowboys at Boone Pickens Stadium on December 3, 2011 in Stillwater, Oklahoma. (December 2, 2011 - Source: Ronald Martinez/Getty Images North America)
NORMAN, Okla. -- Oklahoma's Landry Jones was named to the preseason watch list for the Davey O'Brien Award announced on Wednesday by The Davey O'Brien Foundation.

A semifinalist for the award in 2011, Jones leads the NCAA with 12,379 career passing yards and 93 career touchdowns. Wednesday's announcement marked OU's 19th appearance on a preseason awards watch list.

The Artesia, N.M., native enters the season tied with current OU running backs coach Cale Gundy (1990-93) for most career starts by a quarterback with 37 and is just three wins away from tying Steve Davis (1973-75) for the OU career victories record of 32 wins.

OU athletes have captured the Davey O'Brien Award four times in program history with Sam Bradford the last to do so in 2008. Jason White won the award in 2003 and 2004 while Billy Sims captured the honor in 1978 prior to the award's current format of being given to the nation's top quarterback.

This year's list, which was compiled by a subset of the Davey O'Brien National Selection Committee, features 34 of the nation's best college quarterbacks who were selected based on player performance during the previous year and expectations heading into the 2012 college football season.

Seven 2011 semifinalists are included on the Watch List: Matt Barkley (USC), Tajh Boyd (Clemson), Seth Doege (Texas Tech), Landry Jones (Oklahoma), Keith Price (Washington), Denard Robinson (Michigan) and Tyler Wilson (Arkansas).

Appearing on the Watch List is not a requirement for a player to win the Davey O'Brien Award. Quarterbacks from all 124 NCAA Division I Football Bowl Subdivision (FBS) schools are eligible for the award until the field is narrowed to 16 semifinalists on Monday, Oct. 22.

The Foundation and the Selection Committee will announce three finalists on Monday, Nov. 19. The 2012 Davey O'Brien Winner will be announced on The Home Depot College Football Awards.

///SoonerSports PR

RELATED:
QB Landry Jones Nominated to AFCA Good Works Team

July 17, 2012

Former Sooner Tommy Grady Breaks An AFL Passing Record

Former Oklahoma QB Grady breaks an AFL single-season record: Tommy Grady came to Oklahoma in 2003 a highly rated quarterback prospect loaded with size and skill.

Tough depth charts to climb, a still-haunting decision to transfer and a little bad luck yielded a disappointing college football career for Grady spent mostly on sidelines.

Nine years later, Grady is finally shattering records and leading a football team to success as a starting quarterback.

The crowds are smaller, the competition is weaker and there's much less glory than Grady once dreamed there'd be.

Still, in quarterbacking the Utah Blaze, Grady has become a bona fide Arena Football League superstar.

During the 2012 AFL season, Grady has thrown an AFL single-season record 137 touchdown passes for the Blaze, which enters Sunday's regular-season finale at Philadelphia with a 12-5 record and on a six-game win streak.

Just last week, he tossed a league single-game record 12 touchdowns.

The record-breaking campaign prompted the AFL to ask fans in an online poll Monday if Grady's season is the greatest by an individual in league history. (More at The Oklahoman)

RELATED:
Former Oklahoma QB Grady regrets transferring
Grady to see action in YardDawgz game

Kenny Stills Named to Biletnikoff Preseason Watch List

Kenny Stills #4 of the Oklahoma Sooners celebrates after scoring the game's first touchdown against the Kansas Jayhawks during the game on October 15, 2011 at Memorial Stadium in Lawrence, Kansas. (October 14, 2011 - Source: Jamie Squire/Getty Images North America)
NORMAN, Okla. -- The Oklahoma program added its 18th appearance on national college football awards preseason watch lists Tuesday as Kenny Stills was named to the Biletnikoff Award watch list.

The junior receiver appears on the preseason watch list for the award, given annually to the nation's top wide receiver, for the second consecutive season. OU has had a finalist for the award the last two years as the NCAA career receptions holder, Ryan Broyles, finished in the top three of voting for the award in 2010 and 2011.

Stills started all 11 games that he saw action in last season, earning All-Big 12 second team honors after finishing the year with 61 receptions for 849 yards and eight touchdowns.

The Encinitas, Calif., native crossed the 1,000-yard receiving mark last season against Texas with his 77th career reception, becoming the second-fastest Sooner to eclipse the 1,000-yard mark behind Broyles (69 receptions). In that same game, Stills became just the fourth Sooner with multiple receiving touchdowns in a game vs. Texas as he hauled in two touchdowns, one of six games he scored in.

The top returning receiver on the Oklahoma roster, Stills currently sits in 10th on the OU career receiving yards chart with 1,635 career yards and 11th on the career receptions list with 122.

The Tallahassee Quarterback Club Foundation, Inc. will announce the ten Biletnikoff Award semifinalists on Nov. 12, following the vote by the Biletnikoff Award National Selection Committee. Likewise, the three finalists will be declared, following another vote, on November 19, 2012. The 2012 winner will be presented live on Dec. 6, 2012, at The Home Depot College Football Awards Show.

/// SoonerSports PR

QB Landry Jones Nominated to AFCA Good Works Team

Quarterback Landry Jones #12 of the Oklahoma Sooners passes during a game against the Kansas State Wildcats in the third quarter at Bill Snyder Family Stadium on October 29, 2011 in Manhattan, Kansas. Oklahoma won 58-17. (October 28, 2011 - Source: Ed Zurga/Getty Images North America)
NORTHBROOK, Ill. -- Oklahoma senior quarterback Landry Jones is a nominee for the 2012 Allstate AFCA Good Works Team, Allstate Insurance Company and the American Football Coaches Association (AFCA) announced Tuesday.

The award, presented annually since 1992, recognizes a select group of college football players committed to making a difference in their communities.

Jones returns for his senior season as the nation's top returning passer with 12,379 career yards and 93 touchdowns. The Artesia, N.M., native enters the season tied with current OU running backs coach Cale Gundy (1990-93) for most career starts by a quarterback with 37 and is just three wins away from matching Steve Davis’ (1973-75) record 32 victories as the starting signal-caller.

From the 117 nominees submitted by sports information directors across the nation on behalf of their schools, a special voting panel consisting of former Allstate AFCA Good Works Team members and prominent college football media members will select two 11-player Good Works Teams -- one comprised of players from the NCAA Football Bowl Subdivision and another representing players from the NCAA Football Championship Subdivision, Divisions II, III, and the NAIA. The final roster of 22 award recipients will be unveiled in September.

Allstate and the AFCA will launch the Allstate AFCA Good Works Team website on ESPN.com featuring profiles and images of the final team members, as well as the opportunity for fans to vote for the 2012 Allstate AFCA Good Works Team Captain.

The 2012 Allstate AFCA Good Works Team voting panel includes: former Good Works Team members Alex Van Pelt (Pittsburgh, 1992 team), Zaid Abdul-Aleem (Duke, 1994 team), Matt Stinchcomb (Georgia, 1997, 1998 teams), Grant Irons (Notre Dame, 1999 team), Brian Brenberg (St. Thomas, 2001 team), Mike Proman (Amherst, 2002 team); media members Lou Holtz (ESPN), Kirk Herbstreit (ESPN), Tom O’Toole (USA Today), Andy Staples (SI.com), Blair Kerkhoff (Kansas City Star); current AFCA President and Harvard University Head Coach Tim Murphy; 1987 AFCA President LaVell Edwards, former head coach at Brigham Young University; and Kathy Mabe, President, West Regions at Allstate.

In order to meet the criteria set forth by Allstate and the AFCA, each player must be actively involved and committed to working with a charitable organization, service group or community service while maintaining a strong academic standing.

Past Allstate AFCA Good Works Teams have included former Sooners Quinton Carter (2010), Jacob Gutierrez (2006), Nic Harris (2007) and Gerald McCoy (2008).

/// SoonerSports PR

Former Sooner Blake Griffin Undergoes Successful Surgery

Blake Griffin #23 of the Oklahoma Sooners is injured during the game against the Kansas Jayhawks on January 14, 2008 at Allen Fieldhouse in Lawrence, Kansas. (January 14, 2008 - Source: Jamie Squire/Getty Images Sport)
Los Angeles Clippers forward Blake Griffin underwent successful arthroscopic surgery today to repair the medial meniscus tear of his left knee which he suffered during Team USA's practice in Las Vegas on Wednesday, July 11th. The surgery was performed by Dr. Neal ElAttrache of the Kerlan-Jobe Orthopaedic Clinic.

Griffin experienced discomfort following Wednesday's practice in Las Vegas. He underwent a magnetic resonance imaging examination on Thursday afternoon in Los Angeles which revealed the injury. MRI data was then analyzed by Clippers' Team Physician, Dr. Steven Shimoyama, and Dr. ElAttrache.

Griffin is expected to be ready for the opening of training camp in the fall.

/// PR

July 16, 2012

Sooners on Butkus, Lombardi Preseason Watch Lists

Tom Wort #21 of the Oklahoma Sooners celebrates after a touchdown against the Texas Longhorns at the Cotton Bowl on October 8, 2011 in Dallas, Texas. The Sooners defeated the Longhorns 55 to 17. (October 7, 2011 - Source: Wesley Hitt/Getty Images North America)
NORMAN, Okla. -- After nine members from the Oklahoma football program accounted for 13 appearances on national award watch lists last week, four Sooners were placed on watch lists Monday. Tom Wort was named to The Butkus Award watch list while Ben Habern, Gabe Ikard and Corey Nelson were all announced as members of the Rotary Lombardi Award watch list.

One of 51 players named to the watch list for The Butkas Award, presented annually to the nation's best linebacker, Wort earned his second watch list nomination after being named one of three Sooners on the Bronko Nagurski Trophy list last Thursday.

The junior started 12 games at middle linebacker in 2011, earning honorable mention All-Big 12 honors after collecting 71 tackles, 3.5 sacks, two interceptions, two pass breakups and a fumble recovery. He racked up a career-high two sacks at Kansas State and led the squad with 11 tackles against Iowa State.

Semi-finalists for the Butkus Award will be named Oct. 22, finalists Nov. 20, and winners will be notified on or before Dec. 4.

OU is one of just two Big 12 programs to have at least three players on the Lombardi Award watch list as Habern earned his third nomination in the last six days after being named to the Rimington Award list last Tuesday and the Outland Trophy list on Thursday. He was joined on the Outland Trophy watch list by Ikard.

Despite missing five games in 2011 due to an arm injury, Habern finished the season with 39 knockdown blocks on 391 snaps. The Argyle, Texas, native has started 30 career games in his time in Norman, ranking second, only behind Landry Jones, on the current OU roster.

A starter in all 13 of Oklahoma's 2011 contests, Ikard earned third team All-America accolades from the Associated Press and Yahoo!, in addition to receiving first team All-Big 12 honors and second team Academic All-America recognition. The junior had 88 knockdown blocks on 860 snaps, starting seven games at center for an injured Habern and six games at left guard.

Making an appearance on the first watch list of his career, Nelson started 11 games last season while playing in all 13. The Dallas, Texas, native was named honorable mention All-Big 12 by the AP and the league's coaches. The junior was second on the team and led all linebackers with 8.5 tackles for loss and 5.5 sacks. Nelson's sack number marked the second-best single-season sack total by an OU linebacker in program history. Nelson also finished the year with six pass break ups and one fumble recovery.

The 43rd Rotary Lombardi Award which will be announced on Wednesday, Dec. 5, 2012 at The Hobby Center in Houston, Texas.

/// SoonerSports PR

July 14, 2012

Tony Jefferson on Jim Thorpe Preseason Watch List

NORMAN, Okla. -- University of Oklahoma junior safety Tony Jefferson was named to the Jim Thorpe Award 2012 Preseason Watch List on Friday, his third watch list mention this week.

Jefferson, who has also been named to the Bednarik Award and Bronko Nagurski Trophy watch lists, led the 2011 OU team with four interceptions and was third on the squad with 74 tackles. The junior, who has played in a hybrid defensive back role the last two seasons, tied an OU single game record last season with three interceptions against Ball State. Jefferson had nine games with at least five tackles on the year.

A freshman All-America pick in 2010, Jefferson was an honorable mention All-Big 12 selection last season. The Chula Vista, Calif., native registered a team-high four interceptions for Oklahoma along with 74 tackles in 2011. The 5-11, 212-pound safety totaled a career high three tackles for loss on his way to finishing with a team-high eight tackles in a win over No. 5 Florida State last season. In the Sooners' big win over No. 11 Texas, Jefferson had an interception and a sack before ending the regular season with nine tackles at No. 3 Oklahoma State.

The Jim Thorpe Association Watch List includes 35 of the top defensive backs in the country representing 11 conferences, including three from the Big 12. The Thorpe Award watch list is chosen by a screening committee who compiles a list of 30-40 players each year. The list is not final and players who have outstanding seasons are added as the season progresses. The Thorpe Award winner is selected from three finalists and will be announced at The Home Depot College Football Awards on December 6, 2012 on ESPN.

The Thorpe Award is named after Jim Thorpe and is presented by the Jim Thorpe Association in Oklahoma City. Thorpe excelled at every sport in which he competed, including football at which he played on the offensive and defensive side of the ball. The 2012 Olympics mark the 100-year anniversary of Thorpe winning gold in the decathlon and pentathlon at the Stockholm Olympics.

Nine OU football student-athletes have been named to one or more preseason watch lists this week, including Landry Jones, Kenny Stills and Dominique Whaley (Maxwell Award), Demontre Hurst (Bednarik Award, Bronko Nagurski Trophy), Jefferson (Bednarik Award, Bronko Nagurski Trophy, Thorpe Award), Tom Wort (Bronko Nagurski Trophy), Ben Habern (Outland Trophy, Rimington Trophy), Michael Hunnicut (Lou Groza Award) and Gabe Ikard (Outland Trophy).


/// SoonerSports PR

RELATED:

July 13, 2012

Adrian Peterson Due in Court Aug. 6

A.D. due back in court August 6th: Prosecutors have agreed to reset Adrian Peterson's court date to Aug. 6 on a misdemeanor charge stemming from an incident at a Houston nightclub.

The Minnesota Vikings star running back was charged with resisting arrest early Saturday. He was handcuffed and briefly jailed after a confrontation with an off-duty police officer at the club. He was released on a $1,000 bond.

Peterson and attorney Rusty Hardin arrived early for his initial court hearing on Friday, then left before Judge Natalie Fleming even arrived. Hardin says he wants prosecutors to gather more information.

Harris County District Attorney's Office spokesman David Benzion said both sides met before the hearing and agreed on the delay "to ensure that every relevant witness is heard from. All of this is routine."

Houston police say Peterson shoved the off-duty officer, who was working security at the club. The officer had previously asked Peterson and his acquaintances to leave the club, which was closed, before the physical confrontation occurred.

Hardin, who successfully defended Roger Clemens in his recent perjury case, adamantly disputes the police's version of the incident.

"We've told you all along that Adrian never resisted arrest, never pushed or shoved a police officer," Hardin said. (AP/The Oklahoman)

RELATED:
Report: Adrian Peterson Arrested

Meet the Sooners Day Schedule For Aug 4th

One of the most popular traditions surrounding the OU football program is Meet the Sooners Day. The annual, free event kicks off preseason practice and gives Sooner fans a unique opportunity to interact with their favorite players and coaches.

The 2012 Meet the Sooners Day will be held on Saturday, Aug. 4 at Gaylord Family - Oklahoma Memorial Stadium. The year's event falls on a Saturday for a second straight year, a decision that was influenced by summer school dates.

While OU appreciates the tremendous support offered by Sooners fans of all ages, in order to accommodate as many young fans as possible, Meet the Sooners Day will again be offered to children ages 14 and younger. Each child may be accompanied by a maximum of one adult, but adults will not be permitted to submit items for autographs.

Each child may bring ONE item to be signed -- no exceptions.
A line for the general public will form at Gate 5 beginning at 7 a.m. The line will flow under the Asp Avenue Parking Facility on the west side of the stadium.

Sooner Kids Club members can begin entering the stadium at 7 a.m., through Gate 7. That group is required to check in at the Sooner Kids Club table to receive a membership package. They will then move to the lines under the stadium.

As has been the case for several years, the Sooner Kids Club autograph session will begin 30 minutes prior to the general public. The Kids Club autograph session will begin at 10 a.m., while general patrons will be admitted at 10:30 a.m. The session will conclude at noon.

Public restrooms will be available for fans in attendance, but please note that concessions stands will NOT be open. Patrons will be permitted to bring their own water and water also will be on sale inside and outside the stadium during the event.

Further information on parking and other details will be made available once they are finalized.

/// SoonerSports PR

Find More Information About Meet the Sooners Day

Former Sooner Blake Griffin Will Miss Olympics

Per USA Today, Injuries mount for the U.S. men's basketball team, the latest being Los Angeles Clippers forward Blake Griffin is out of the London Games with a meniscus tear in his left knee.

This is the same knee Griffin sprained in the NBA playoffs.

"If we don't have (Griffin), that's a big loss. He was playing really well for us," U.S. coach Mike Krzyzewski said.

Griffin will need arthroscopy, but Clippers coach Vinny Del Negro said he is "relieved" that his All-Star should be ready for the start of NBA training camp.

"Missing out on the Olympic experience will be tough for him to take. I know how dedicated he was to doing that," Del Negro said in a statement. "We're glad we can get this fixed now and take advantage of the available time for him to fully recover."

USA Basketball chairman Jerry Colangelo said there had been no indication anything was wrong after practice Wednesday, the same day Griffin signed a five-year extension with the Clippers that could be worth as much as $95 million. But Griffin awoke Thursday with swelliing and discomfort. (USAToday.com)

July 10, 2012

Report: Blake Griffin Signs Max Deal to Stay In L.A.

Per CBS Sports, Blake Griffin and the Los Angeles Clippers formally agreed Tuesday to the five-year max extension that the team offered when the free-agency negotiating period opened July 1, league sources told CBSSports.com.

The deal will fall under the so-called "Derrick Rose Rule," meaning Griffin's extension will start at 30 percent of the cap in 2013-14 -- provided he reaches certain benchmarks. Under the new collective bargaining agreement, a player with less than seven years of service can receive a max contract starting at 30 percent of the salary cap if he's voted MVP of the league, All-NBA first, second or third team twice or an All-Star starter twice. (CBS Sports)

Sooners' Ben Habern on Rimington Watch List

NORMAN, Okla. -- University of Oklahoma senior center Ben Habern was named to the 2012 Watch List by the Rimington Trophy committee on Tuesday. The Rimington Trophy is presented annually to the NCAA's most outstanding center among FBS teams.

Habern has opened 30 contests at center during his career with the Sooners. An arm injury limited him to six starts a year ago when he compiled 39 knockdowns on 391 snaps.

The Argyle, Texas, native started all 14 games in 2010 when he earned All-Big 12 honorable mention honors from the Associated Press after starting 10 games in 2009. He is one of four Big 12 players represented on the Rimington Trophy Watch List, joining BJ Finney (Kansas State), James Fry (TCU) and Joe Madsen (West Virginia).

Habern is the sixth OU football student-athlete to be named to a preseason watch list this week. Landry Jones, Kenny Stills and Dominique Whaley were named to the Maxwell Award preseason list, given to the nation's top outstanding player, while Demontre Hurst and Tony Jefferson were named to the Bednarik Award list, given to the nation's top defensive player.

The winner of the Rimington Trophy will be honored at the Rococo Theater in Lincoln, Neb, on January 12, 2013. The award's namesake, Dave Rimington, was a consensus All-America center at the University of Nebraska in 1981 and 1982.

/// SoonerSports PR

MORE: Full list of players on Rimington Watch List

Keilani Ricketts' Win Sends USA to Canadian Finals

SURREY, British Columbia, Canada -- The USA Softball National Team, including Oklahoma's Keilani Ricketts and Jessica Shults, defeated Australia, 2-0, to advance to the championship game of the Canadian Open Fastpitch International Championship as Ricketts claimed the win Sunday night. The Americans will square off against Japan Monday night for the event's title.

Ricketts picked up her fourth win of the event in Sunday night's game after entering the victory in the fourth inning. The USA Softball Collegiate Player of the Year finished the game with three strikeouts while not allowing a hit or walk in 3.2 innings of action. The senior-to-be threw 33 strikes on 46 pitches en route to the victory after replacing Chelsea Thomas in the circle.

Five Sooners on Preseason Watch Lists

Kenny Stills #4 celebrates with Landry Jones #12 of the Oklahoma Sooners reacts after a touchdown against the Texas Longhorns at the Cotton Bowl on October 8, 2011 in Dallas, Texas. The Sooners defeated the Longhorns 55 to 17.  (Getty Images)
NORMAN, Okla. -- Five student-athletes from the Oklahoma football program were named to preseason award watch lists on Monday as the Maxwell Football Club released its watch lists for the 76th annual Maxwell Award and the 18th annual Bednarik Award.

Landry Jones, Kenny Stills and Dominique Whaley were named to the Maxwell Award preseason list, given to the nation's top outstanding player, while Demontre Hurst and Tony Jefferson were named to the Bednarik Award list, given to the nation's top defensive player.

With three selections on the Maxwell Award list, OU is one of four programs nationally and the only Big 12 program with at least three selections. Jones joins Clemson's Tajh Boyd and USC's Matt Barkley and Robert Woods as the only 2011 Maxwell Award semifinalists on this year's preseason watch list.

Jones returns for his senior season as the nation's top returning passer with 12,379 career yards and 93 touchdowns. The Artesia, N.M., native enters the season tied with current OU running backs coach Cale Gundy (1990-93) for most career starts by a quarterback with 37 and is just three wins away from tying Steve Davis (1973-75) for the OU career victories record of 32 wins.

Stills enters his third season of collegiate football after hauling in 61 receptions in each of his first two seasons. In his sophomore season, Stills turned his 61 receptions into 849 yards, the 11th-best single-season mark in OU history, and eight touchdowns. Stills is one of 11 receivers on the list and one of just three Big 12 receivers on the list, joining West Virginia's Tavon Austin and Baylor's Terrance Williams.

Whaley was OU's main rusher in the first six games of 2011 before going down with a broken ankle on the first play of the season's seventh game, a 58-17 Oklahoma win at Kansas State. The former walk-on finished the year with 627 yards and nine touchdowns on 113 carries. Whaley eclipsed the 100-yard rushing mark in three games and also had 15 receptions for 153 yards.

A second-team All-Big 12 selection in 2011, Hurst led OU with 11 pass breakups last season while accumulating 55 tackles with at least five in six separate games. The two-year starter ranks ninth on the OU career chart with 23 career pass breakups.

Jefferson led the 2011 OU team with four interceptions and was third on the squad with 74 tackles. The junior, who has played in a hybrid defensive back role the last two seasons, tied an OU single game record last season with three interceptions against Ball State. Jefferson had nine games with at least five tackles.

Semifinalists for the Maxwell and Bednarik Awards will be announced October 29, and the three finalists for each award will be unveiled November 19. The winners of the 2011 Maxwell and Bednarik Awards will be announced as part of the Home Depot ESPNU College Football Awards Show held on December 6.

The formal presentation of these awards will be made at the Maxwell Football Club Awards Gala hosted by Harrah's Entertainment Atlantic City on March 1, 2013. The watch list candidates have been chosen by the Maxwell Football Club's selection committee, evaluating past performance and future potential.

/// SoonerSports PR

July 7, 2012

Report: Adrian Peterson Arrested

Peterson charged with resisting arrest: NFL star Adrian Peterson was arrested early Thursday Saturday morning in Houston, TX and charged with resisting arrest ... TMZ has learned.

Peterson, who is recovering from a torn knee ligament suffered on Christmas Eve of last year, was booked into Houston Police Department Central Jail and posted $1,000 this morning.

On the jail's website, Peterson's charge is listed as "RESIST ARREST/SEARCH-UNCLASSIF." (TMZ.com)


WR Shepard to Honor Father by Wearing No. 3

Sterling Shepard to wear No. 3 this season: The true freshman Oklahoma receiver will wear jersey No. 3 this fall, according to his high school coach, Heritage Hall's Andy Bogert.

The number was once his father's. Derrick Shepard was a standout OU receiver in the mid-1980s and played five NFL seasons.

He died of a heart attack in 1999, when Sterling was just six years old. Sterling Shepard wore No. 3 throughout this stellar high school career at Heritage Hall.

Last year, No. 3 was worn at OU by both running back Brennan Clay and defensive back Joe Powell. (The Oklahoman)

July 6, 2012

OU Volleyball Season Tickets on Sale July 9

NORMAN, Okla. - Season tickets for the 2012 volleyball season go on sale July 9 at 8 a.m. through the University of Oklahoma Athletics Ticket Office. Fans can order season tickets online or by calling (405) 325-2424 or (800) 456-GOOU.

Season tickets are $55 for the general public and $44 for OU faculty/staff and letterwinners. Single game tickets go on sale Tuesday, August 14. A season ticket package includes a ticket for each regular season home match with the exception of Nov. 10's Fan Appreciation Day (free admission).

Season and single-game tickets are also available at Howard McCasland Field House on the day of the event beginning one our prior to game time.

A total of 15 home matches take place at Howard McCasland Field House, including two home non-conference tournaments. The action starts with the 2012 season opener against Missouri State on Aug. 24 at 7 p.m. in the Nike Invitational. The Sooners will also play host to Tulsa and Western Michigan that weekend.

Group tickets are available for a discounted rate. Tickets are $4 each for groups of 10 or more. Groups of 100 or more are eligible for $3 tickets. Arrangements for group tickets must be made at least 24 hours prior to the event. Please call (405) 325-8237 for more information.

Oklahoma returns 10 letterwinners from 2011's team that went 21-12 overall and 8-8 in the Big 12 Conference. Among those returning include junior middle blocker Sallie McLaurin who earned honorable mention All-America honors from the American Volleyball Coaches Association last year.

Group Tickets Discounted group tickets are available for $4 for groups of 10 or more. Groups of 100 or more are eligible for $3 tickets. Additional group ticket packages may also be available. Groups must be arranged at least 24 hours prior to the game. For further information or to purchase group tickets, please call (405) 325-2424.

Special Seating RequirementsADA seating is available on a first-come, first-served basis and does not require specific tickets for access. Please contact the Ticket Office at (405) 325-2424 or toll-free at (800) 456-GoOU for further information.

/// SoonerSports PR