December 31, 2006

(12/31) Atlanta Falcons Looking at Stoops, Barry Switzer on FOX, Fiesta Bowl and More.

Oklahoma Sooner Football Articles and Notes

Stoops a candidate for NFL Falcons job? ESPN's NFL Insider Chris Mortensen, reported on Sunday NFL Countdown that Oklahoma's Bob Stoops is among the three candidates the Falcons owner, Arthur Blank is looking to replace current head coach Jim Mora. Remember in 2003, Stoops was also rumored for the job. We'll see...

Closing the roof: The retractable roof at the University of Phoenix Stadium will be put to use Monday. The roof will be open for parachutists to descend through the opening shortly before kickoff, then close for the game. "We're doing it for fan comfort," said Shawn Schoeffler, Fiesta Bowl media relations liaison. "The game will kick off at 6:50 (7:50 central) and probably won't be over until after 10."(

OU's Ah You Continues Fiesta Bowl Family Tradition: C.J. Ah You is carrying along a family tradition he didn’t even know about. The Oklahoma defensive end will be the third member of his family to play in the Fiesta Bowl. His uncle, Junior, won defensive MVP in the inaugural Fiesta Bowl in 1971 playing for Arizona State. His father, Charles, was a backup running back for BYU in the 1974 Fiesta Bowl. (East Valley Tribune)

Birdine keeping it closed too: The last time Oklahoma defensive end Larry Birdine spoke out before a BCS game, he gave USC several bulletin boards worth of material. Two years later, he revisited reporters in the University of Phoenix Stadium stands as part of Fiesta Bowl media day Saturday. "I don't want another Orange Bowl incident happening," Birdine said. "Let's just say it wasn't pretty." (Tulsa World)

Stoops: Same schedule, Different days: OU has tried to keep its practice routine like it would for a normal game during Fiesta Bowl preparations. OU coach Bob Stoops said doing that can cause some confusion. Saturday, he wasn't even sure what day of the week it was. "I look at it as Thursday," he said. "You kind of go through your game week, getting prepared for the game, what you emphasize in practice. Today for us is like a Thursday practice. It's kind of how you mentally go into it." (Norman Transcript)

Switzer and Johnson reunite: Former Sooners coach Barry Switzer will be one of Fox's Fiesta Bowl analysts during the game and will sit on a sideline studio platform next to Jimmy Johnson for pregame, halftime and postgame analysis. Switzer, who was an assistant coach at Arkansas when Johnson played there, and Johnson are old rivals, including Johnson's days at Oklahoma State (he lost every game to Switzer's Sooners) and Miami (he was 3-0 against OU). But their rivalry heated up even more when Switzer replaced Johnson as head coach of the Dallas Cowboys. "I've seen him every once in a while through the years," Switzer said. "We've had a couple conversations." (Tulsa World)

Something they like to have: Oklahoma players took a liking to the Fiesta Bowl trophy, taking turns shooting photos of teammates posing beside it. Some might consider the trophy gaudy, with diamonds and gold and even a stained-glass window effect on a dome that serves as the base to a football topper. Not the Sooners. "We gotta have it," said offensive lineman George "Duke" Robinson. (

(12/31) Fiesta Bowl Articles and Columns

Oklahoma Sooner Football Articles and Notes

Final practice for Seniors, Sooners:

Role reversal: Norman Transcript

Adrian Peterson: Not So Fast to the NFL: Oklahoma FanHouse

Boise State has a chance, but it won't be easy: The Oklahoman

Time to face facts -- Peterson won't return to OU: The Oklahoman

Teammates primed for Peterson's final OU highlights: The Oklahoman

Peterson's most memorable moments: The Oklahoman

Top OU runners: The Oklahoman

Injury prone label not a concern for Peterson: The Oklahoman

Birdine's wisdom: The Oklahoman

Time for Broncos to show they belong: Tulsa World

Don't underestimate Boise: Tulsa World

Keep it to yourself, it's his life: Tulsa World

Daily log: Tulsa World

OU daily log: Tulsa World

Fiesta Bowl players asked -- what kind of animal would you be?: Idaho Statesman

Bling abounds Fiesta Bowl scene: Idaho Statesman

OU player spotlight on Jermaine Gresham: Idaho Statesman

Fiesta Bowl competes BCS cycle for six Sooners: Idaho Statesman

Thompson steps back into quarterback role and unites a young team: Idaho Statesman

Oklahoma's coaching and intangibles: Idaho Statesman

Boise State's coaching and intangibles: Idaho Statesman

Backs bring two different worlds to Fiesta stage: East Valley Tribune

Broncos' Johnson unique in personality, talent: East Valley Tribune

Peterson's return might be final game as a Sooner: East Valley Tribune

Opposing players recently learned they're family: East Valley Tribune

Boise QB gets over setback: Arizona Republic

OU lineman makes weight: Arizona Republic

20 years ago, the Fiesta lunched bowl games into prime time: Arizona Republic

Peterson loves to play the game: Ft. Worth Star-Telegram

OU seniors are BCS veterans: Dallas Morning News

Talk is sacked by Oklahoma DE: Dallas Morning News

Healthy Peterson is ready to run: Kansas City Star

December 30, 2006

(12/30) BSU's Speed Makes Up for the Difference, Fiesta Bowl Notes and OU Articles

Oklahoma Sooner Football Articles and Notes

Relatively warm to BSU: Locals in the Phoenix area have been lamenting the unseasonably cool weather. Not Boise State quarterback Jared Zabransky. "Just really enjoying the weather," he said. "When bad weather around here is 55 degrees and a little drizzle, that's not too bad." (

Speed makes up for it: So how do the Broncos compensate for their relative light weight? "A lot of speed," OU offensive coordinator Kevin Wilson said. "We're not the biggest team that walks onto the field a lot of weeks. But there's a lot of activity. That's the way they play. They're very active." (Tulsa World)

Boise State's practices improving: The Broncos say Wednesday's sloppy practice served its purpose -- knocking off the rust.Execution improved Thursday, they said. The Broncos held a closed practice Friday."You look at (Thursday's) practice compared to the first practice, 100 percent turnaround," tailback Ian Johnson said. "The heart and the energy were there the first day, but it just wasn't as crisp as (Thursday). It was a good, physical practice. You can just count on us getting better each practice and peaking for the game." (Idaho Statesman)

Sooners clicking as game draws near:

Musings from OU Fiesta Bowl central:

Fiesta Bowl: Oklahoma vs. Boise State Notes: Oklahoma FanHouse

Alexander has come a long way: Norman Transcript

Sooners have time to have fun: Norman Transcript

Venables has Sooner defense thriving: The Oklahoman

Venables fine waiting for head coaching job: The Oklahoman

Beware -- Anything can happen: The Oklahoman

Boise QB worked to get his mind right: The Oklahoman

In, out and in as Sooners' QB: USA Today

Patrick ready to hand spotlight back to Peterson: Tulsa World

Building the Fiesta Bowl: Tulsa World

Peterson ponds Sims' record, future: Tulsa World

Venables still a Sooner despite being on hit list: Tulsa World

OU daily log: Tulsa World

Unique stadium quite a sight to see: Tulsa World

All about Boise: Tulsa World

Fiesta Bowl matchups: Tulsa World

The Insiders' Top 5 OU running backs: Tulsa World

Wilson comes of age in Broncos' backfield: Idaho Statesman

Thompson steps back into quarterback role and unites a young team: Idaho Statesman

O-line plows the way for successful Sooners: Idaho Statesman

OU player spotlight on Garrett Hartley: Idaho Statesman

Boise State's special teams: Idaho Statesman

Oklahoma's special teams: Idaho Statesman

Boise State's uphill battle leads to Fiesta: Dallas Morning News

OU's Ah You carrying the family torch: MSNBC

Blown call changed Sooners' fortunes: East Valley Tribune

Sooners' Peterson won't rush departure: Arizona Republic

Fiesta Bowl preview and prediction: Arizona Republic

Pressure doesn't faze Broncos: Arizona Republic

Patience, toughness power Johnson's rise: Arizona Republic

BSU defense faces juggernaut in OU: Twin Falls Times-News

December 29, 2006

(12/29) Adrian Peterson Status, Sumlin to LA. Tech? and OU Articles

Oklahoma Sooner Football Articles and Notes

Peterson shows no rust: OU running back Adrian Peterson has gotten most of the workload in practice to make sure he's not rusty next Monday, offensive coordinator Kevin Wilson said. Still, Wilson said Peterson, Allen Patrick and Chris Brown will all see action. "I've knocked all the rust off and [am] back to 100 percent," Peterson said. (Dallas Morning News)

Wilson unsure on how good Boise State is: Oklahoma offensive coordinator Kevin Wilson said Thursday he's still trying to figure out how good Boise State is.He has watched BSU opponents San Jose State, Utah and Hawaii play in bowl games -- TiVo remote in hand -- to get a gauge."You're playing a team that looks awfully good who in some ways you know little about," Wilson said, "and you're trying to get a feel for that." (Idaho Statesman)

Sumlin Interviewed at La. Tech? OU receivers coach Kevin Sumlin said he met with representatives of Louisiana Tech about their head coaching vacancy, but the talks never got serious. Reports in Miami also linked Sumlin to the offensive coordinator position under new Hurricanes coach Randy Shannon. Sumlin said it was all media speculation, though, and that he has not spoken with anyone at Miami. (Dallas Morning News)

OU's and BSU's Alexanders related: Boise State safety Gerald Alexander hasn't been able to catch up with Oklahoma linebacker Rufus Alexander, a distant relative. The two are planning to get together at some point during bowl week.Gerald learned during the Christmas break that his great grandfather and Rufus' great-grandfather are cousins."My family is coming. I don't know how much of his Oklahoma family is coming, but we're all family and I'm sure we'll meet together," Gerald said. (Idaho Statesman)

A. Peterson to make decision after Fiesta Bowl: With speculation running wild, Adrian Peterson remains coy about his future. The junior running back is 151 yards away from breaking Billy Sims' Oklahoma career rushing record of 4,118 yards. Peterson is expected to be an early first-round pick if he jumps to the NFL next year. "It's a big decision, but I'm waiting until after the game to finalize that," Peterson said. (Eastern Valley Tribune)

Fiesta Bowl practice visitors: Practice visitors included former OU head coach Chuck Fairbanks, who resides in the Phoenix area. He watched much of the practice along side Oklahoma athletics director Joe Castiglione. (Oklahoma Practice Notes)

Home Team: The Sooners are the home team and will wear their crimson-colored jerseys. (Dallas Morning News)

Top 5 Oklahoma Sooners Storylines of 2006: Oklahoma FanHouse

OU Fiesta Bowl Offensive Quotes:

Mr. Popular: Norman Transcript

Rooting for Boise, roots in Oklahoma: Norman Transcript

Sooners aide studies Broncos' foes: Arizona Republic

OU Player Spotlight on Reggie Smith, defensive back: Idaho Statesman

Boise State won't catch Sooners snoozing: Idaho Statesman

Oklahoma's pass defense: Idaho Statesman

December 28, 2006

(12/28) Oklahoma Practice Visitors, Kelly TD Salute, Oklahoma Notes and More.

Oklahoma Sooner Football Articles and Notes

Mike Stoops visit the Sooners:
OU coach Bob Stoops got a visit from younger brother and former co-defensive coordinator Mike Stoops on Wednesday. Mike Stoops, now head coach at Arizona (100 miles due south in Tucson), got to reunite with his brother, several staff members and a dozen or so players. "It's fun. I love seeing him," said Bob Stoops, who added that another brother, Mark -- Mike's defensive coordinator at Arizona -- would be arriving Thursday. Mike Stoops also coached defensive backs when he was at OU from 1999-2003. "I still have a connection with some guys," Mike Stoops said. "There isn't many guys left, but there's still about 10 or 12, maybe 15 guys that were playing when I was still here." (Tulsa World)

Boise State hits the practice field: Boise State practiced Wednesday at Scottsdale Community College for the first time since breaking for Christmas on Saturday.The Broncos will practice today, Friday and Saturday at Scottsdale CC, then hold a walk-through at University of Phoenix Stadium on Sunday. Scottsdale CC has one full practice field and two half fields.The Broncos seemed to have good energy in the 15 minutes of practice the media were allowed to watch. They met with some local children after practice. (Idaho Statesman)

A Boys and Girls Clubs TD Salute? When Oklahoma wide receiver Malcolm Kelly spoke to a group of kids from Phoenix-area Boys and Girls Clubs after practice Wednesday, he received an interesting request. If he scores a touchdown in the Fiesta Bowl, he was asked, would he be willing to clasp his hands -- fingertips to wrists, palms together -- like the Boys and Girls Club symbol? "Yeah,” Kelly said, nodding, "I can do that.” (

Stoops visits with former Coach Alvarez: Bob Stoops had another reunion Wednesday when retired Wisconsin head coach (and now athletic director) Barry Alvarez showed up. Alvarez was Iowa's linebackers coach when Stoops was a Hawkeye safety and is part of the Fox Sports broadcast crew assigned to the Fiesta Bowl. He spent Wednesday getting tips on the Sooners from Stoops. "You know how that is, a player-coach relationship," Stoops said. (Tulsa World)

Baressi travels with team to AZ, future unclear: A lost season for Ben Baressi at least ends with some reward. Baressi is with the Sooners in Arizona, after missing the season due to an undisclosed medical condition. The offensive lineman's future with the team is uncertain. (

Oklahoma practice time spent: the team worked considerably on all facets of the game. Garrett Hartley had a second straight solid day of kicking field goals. The defense spent most of the practice on the practice field adjacent to the main game field at Pinnacle High School. The offense did extensive work on its passing game. (

Wager between State Governors: Oklahoma Gov. Brad Henry and Idaho Gov. James Risch have made a friendly wager on the outcome of the Fiesta Bowl. The governor whose team comes up short will donate a basket of goods made in his home state to a charitable organization of the winning governor's choice. The University of Oklahoma and Boise State University will meet on New Year's Day in the annual game. ``I have unwavering confidence that Coach (Bob) Stoops and our Sooners will make Monday a triumphant one for the Crimson and Cream,'' Henry said. ``Boise State is an excellent team, but I plan to kick off the New Year with another OU victory.'' (

NFL draft expert on Adrian Peterson: Gil Brandt, the former Cowboys personnel director, is now a senior analyst for He said each case must be looked at individually before determining whether a player should go pro. "The big thing with Peterson is what it his collarbone going to be like," Brandt said. "That's where you have to go and get a good doctors' report on it. Or, have your doctor call the Oklahoma doctor and have them send you X-rays and so forth. "I hope the guy stays in school. I would say there isn't much chance that he will stay in school." (Dallas Morning News)

Wilson made Sooners' offense go: Tulsa World

What to do in Phoenix: Tulsa World

OU Daily log: Tulsa World

Mike Stoops proud of Sooners' finish: The Oklahoman

Walk-ons enjoy little rewards of being a Sooner: The Oklahoman

BCS newbies keep their feet on the ground: The Oklahoman

Fiesta Bowl stadium a jewel in the desert: Idaho Statesman

OU player spotlight on Carl Pendleton: Idaho Statesman

Boise State's run offense: Idaho Statesman

Oklahoma's run defense: Idaho Statesman

All eyes will be on special teams: Idaho Statesman

Who will be the most effective RB -- Johnson or Peterson?: Idaho Statesman

Oklahoma knows it can count on Malcolm Kelly: Idaho Statesman

Peterson focused on bowl, not decision about future: Arizona Republic

Petersen hammers home game plan: Idaho Statesman

Fiesta Bowl Notebook -- Broncos' Johnson feels Sooner's pain: East Valley Tribune

Sooners' Alexander wouldn't give up: Arizona Republic

Arizona-raised Broncos live dream: Arizona Republic

Scottsdale is party central for fans: Arizona Republic

Setup beginning for Bowl games: Arizona Republic

December 27, 2006

(12/27) Oklahoma Holds First Fiesta Bowl Practice, Sumlin to Miami? and OU Articles

Oklahoma Sooner Football Articles and Notes

Sooners hold first practice in AZ: The No. 7 University of Oklahoma football team completed its first practice Tuesday at Pinnacle High School in preparation for the Tostitos Fiesta Bowl. The Sooners practiced in full pads for two and one-half hours under the Arizona sun, working out the kinks of a holiday layoff in sunny, low 70-degree weather. "We (coaches), we're really pleased," OU head coach Bob Stoops said. "In full pads, we got after it in a physical way. The guys looked good. "I love it (in Arizona). Great area; beautiful weather -- we're excited about being here. Pinnacle High School has a beautiful practice field and game field area. The locker room area is perfect. It's wonderful." ( Coverage)

Mike Stoops to pay a visit: During post-practice interviews, Sooner head coach Bob Stoops said Mike, his brother and the head coach at the University of Arizona, will be in town Wednesday. (Oklahoma Practice Notes)

UM looking at Sumlin? In Sunday's Miami Herald, passing game coordinator and wide receivers coach Kevin Sumlin was mentioned as a possible hire by new Miami coach Randy Shannon. Tuesday, Sumlin seemed surprised. "I don't know anything about it," Sumlin said. "There's speculation everywhere this time of year. It doesn't affect me at all. That's the first I've heard of it. There's just no story there." (Tulsa World)

Team to attend bowl: Stoops also said his squad may attend the Bowl, featuring Texas Tech and Minnesota on Dec. 27 at Sun Devil Stadium in Tempe, Ariz. Tech is coached by former OU offensive coordinator Mike Leach. (Oklahoma Practice Notes)

Boise State focused on more than one Sooner: Broncos coach Chris Petersen said he's focused on more than one Sooners star. "I think the one thing that jumps out is that everyone wants to talk about their offense and Adrian Peterson," Petersen said. "You don't win championships, and certainly the championships that Oklahoma has won, without great defense. "I think everybody loves to talk about offense and scoring points. It takes nothing away from their offense, but they have a lot of guys that play on defense. They don't miss a beat when they put other guys in. It will be a great challenge for our guys." (

BCS bowl big time for Boise: Tulsa World

OU Daily Log: Tulsa World

Knall returns to familiar territory: Tulsa World

Heupel again a key for OU: The Oklahoman

Fiesta Bowl all about fun and focus: Idaho Statesman

OU player spotlight on C.J. Ah You: Idaho Statesman

Impact players -- BSU's Clady, Oklahoma's Thompson: Idaho Statesman

Sooners make most of depth on defensive line: Idaho Statesman

Sooners' Stoops on top of his game this season: Idaho Statesman

Boise State readies for its biggest game: Tucson Citizen

Broncos belong on big stage: Arizona Republic

Thompson sparkles in 2nd chance: Arizona Republic

Stoops showed coaching prowess in tough times: Arizona Republic

December 26, 2006

(12/26) Stoops Excited About AZ. Arrival, Former Sooner Dies, and Oklahoma Articles

Oklahoma Sooner Football Articles and Notes

Oklahoma arrives in Arizona: OU scored first in Arizona. The Sooners touched down at Phoenix Sky Harbor Airport Monday night to begin bowl preparations one day prior to Boise State. A long line of Fiesta Bowl dignitaries, unmistakable in canary yellow blazers, met the team on the tarmac. OU's players were off the 757 first. Dressed in matching crimson warm-ups, seniors Rufus Alexander, Larry Birdine and Chris Messner led the team into the crowd. Coaches, staff and families followed. The bowl welcome included dignitaries waving crimson shakers and Oklahoma signs while pasting the OU contingent with Fiesta Bowl stickers. Approximately 30 players flew with the team party which included coaches and staff on the charter from Oklahoma City. The balance of the team made their way to Arizona from hometowns across the country. (

Stoops on Arriving to Arizona: "We were anxious to get here. Our team is incredibly excited to be here and spend time in Glendale and Phoenix." Oklahoma Coach, Bob Stoops said Monday Night.

Former OU Back Rolle Passes away: Former OU running back David Rolle died Sunday in Denton, Texas. He was 69. After growing up in Poteau, Rolle lettered at Oklahoma for three years in the late 1950s. He was a part of the Sooners' record 47-game win streak and two national championships. Rolle played for one year in the AFL with the Denver Broncos. In that season, he had more than 500 yards rushing and scored three touchdowns. (

Bowl Practice Today: OU begins bowl practices promptly on Tuesday at Pinnacle High School. The Sooners work in full pads beginning at 11:40 a.m. local time. Phoenix is one hour behind Central.

Sooners back in BCS bowl scene: Arizona Republic

OU touches down, is ready for Fiesta: Dallas Morning News

Oklahoma's run offense vs. Boise State's run defense: Idaho Statesman

Sooners have overcome obstacles: East Valley Tribune

December 25, 2006

(12/25) Sooners Arrive in AZ, Merry Christmas and Oklahoma Articles

Oklahoma Sooner Football Articles and Notes

Sooners arrive in AZ: The Sooners arrive in Arizona today to begin Fiesta Bowl preparations. The Sooners will make their way to Phoenix from various locales, after many players returned home for a few days off following Wednesday's practice. Players had the option of leaving with an official travel party from Norman or traveling on their own. OU practices for the first time Tuesday at 11:40 a.m. at Pinnacle High School. (

Merry Christmas to all the readers!!

All Sooner squads look for better seasons in '07: The Oklahoman

Raising Rufus: Tulsa World

AD is Back for the Fiesta Bowl: How about '07? AOL Oklahoma FanHouse

Oklahoma's Quarterback of the Future -- Let the Debate Begin: AOL Oklahoma FanHouse

December 24, 2006

(12/24) Oklahoma Sooners Articles and Columns

Oklahoma Sooner Football Articles and Notes

OU Recruiting Trip, One Commits to Ole' Miss and Oklahoma
: O.P. Walker offensive tackle Alex Williams (6-7, 295) recently visited Oklahoma, as did teammate Tyler Stradford, a 6-3, 185-pound wide receiver/defensive back. Williams is one of five in-state players who has committed to Ole Miss. Stradford committed to the Sooners after his trip. (Times-Picayune)

Merry Christmas to you and your loved one, and Happy Holidays to all!

Bowl a chance for Boise State players to shine: Norman Transcript

Brewing up the perfect BCS storm: The Oklahoman

Dream builders: The Oklahoman

A no-win situation for Sooners in Fiesta Bowl?: The Oklahoman

The Fiesta Stakes: The Oklahoman

Fiesta Bowl matchups: The Oklahoman

Jacob's Gift: The Oklahoman

Dupree's game still respected: Tulsa World

Holmes finds niche at OU: Dallas Morning News

Zabranskyh has changed attitude after disappointing junior season: Idaho Statesman

December 23, 2006

(12/23) Oklahoma Sooners Articles and Notes

Oklahoma Sooner Football Articles and Notes Sooner Fans-- 2006 Fan of the Year:
Well sorta by writer Kevin Hench, for those Sooner faithful.
For watching your Oklahoma Sooners get their national title hopes jobbed by a clueless ref, but staying a fan, you are the fan of the year.
OU's two punter system succeeds: The Oklahoman

Latimer's talent off the field is a laughing matter: Tulsa World

December 22, 2006

(12/22) Oklahoma Practice, Fiesta Bowl Treats, and OU Articles

Oklahoma Sooner Football Articles and Notes

Practice like game week: Stoops has his team practicing as if this were a game week, hoping to hone in the players' focus after two weeks of lighter workouts. "We had a very physical, good practice (Tuesday) in full pads, much like we have through the year on Tuesdays, working, of course, against Boise State's schemes," Stoops said. "I feel like we're making very good progress. "Our game plan is progressing. We just have to finish it up this week and polish it when we get out there." Today will be the Sooners' final workout before the players begin their holiday break. (

Players get Fiesta Bowl treats: Sooners players received video iPods from the Fiesta Bowl along with clothing. The school is also allowed to provide a gift for reaching the game. Oklahoma chose to hand out 20-inch televisions to the players. "The best part of it is if you win it you get a ring," tight end Joe Jon Finley said. "That's really what we're trying for." (Star-Telegram)

Reggie at WR in the Fiesta Bowl? The Sooners' early season experiment of occasionally playing sophomore defensive back Reggie Smith at wide receiver didn't last long. Smith got only a few snaps at receiver and none after the fourth game of the year. But could the experiment be reborn, possibly for the Fiesta Bowl? "We'll see," Smith said. "I've been talking to (receivers coach Kevin) Sumlin, trying to get me in there. We'll see what happens." (

Gresham's still learning -- but quickly: The Oklahoman

Sportscaster respects Boise: The Oklahoman

Adrian on...: The Oklahoman

Broncos look to win for little schools: The Oklahoman

Fiesta means part -- except for the bowl staff: Idaho Statesman

December 21, 2006

(12/21) Stoops Bryant Award Finalist and Oklahoma Articles

Oklahoma Sooner Football Articles and Notes

Oklahoma's Stoops a Bryant Coach of the Year Award Finalist: Oklahoma head football coach Bob Stoops is one of five finalists for the Paul "Bear" Bryant College Football Coach of the Year Award. The Houston Division of the American Heart Association today announced the finalists Wednesday. The winner will be chosen by the National Sportscasters and Sportswriters Association (NSSA) and named live at an award dinner benefiting the American Heart Association on Thursday, Jan. 11 at the Hilton Americas Hotel in downtown Houston. Also that evening, the late Glenn "Bo" Schembechler will be honored as the recipient of the 2007 Paul Bear Bryant Lifetime Achievement Award. Schembechler passed away Nov. 17 of heart failure at age 77. The University of Michigan legend suffered his first heart attack at 40. He survived that attack, and would later survive another heart attack and two quadruple bypass surgeries. Throughout his 37-year battle with heart disease, Schembechler attributed medical science for his ability to fight and live a normal life. The 2006 Paul Bear Bryant College Football Coach of the Year Finalists, in alphabetical order, are: Bret Bielema, University of Wisconsin; Lloyd Carr, University of Michigan; Chris Peterson, Boise State University; Greg Schiano, Rutgers, and Stoops. ( PR)

FB Coaches and Players on Boise St.:

Love of the game: Norman Transcript

Peterson has his reasons to return to action in bowl: The Oklahoman

Peterson: 'No doubt, I will play': Tulsa World

Oklahoma controversy still follows Ducks around: Oregon Statesman Journal

December 20, 2006

AD Speaks to the Media, Stoops Third in AP Coach of the Year

Oklahoma Sooner Football Articles and Notes

Peterson not worried about Fiesta Bowl Injury: Oklahoma running back Adrian Peterson may be risking millions of dollars by playing in the Tostitos Fiesta Bowl against No. 9 Boise State. But the junior said Wednesday he isn't worried about injuring his collarbone again and wants to break the school's all-time rushing record. "I've been playing the game since I was 7," Peterson said. "A lot of guys speculate and say that I'm not coming back or why should he play? But I love the game. That's why I play. I love the game, I love the guys that I play with. "God's decided for me to be back out there, so I'm just ready to get back in the groove and play." (Dallas Morning News)

Stoops finishes third in AP Coach of the Year award: Jim Grobe held Wake Forest together after a couple of potentially devastating injuries, refused to let his players feel sorry for themselves and turned the perennially downtrodden Demon Deacons into champions. For orchestrating one of the most surprising turnarounds in college football - and the best season in Wake Forest's 105-year football history - Grobe was honored as The Associated Press Coach of the Year on Wednesday. Rutgers coach Greg Schiano, who took the once-laughable Scarlet Knights within a victory of the Bowl Championship Series, finished second with 12 votes. Oklahoma's Bob Stoops was third with six votes. Ohio State's Jim Tressel received three votes. Arkansas' Houston Nutt got two votes. Boise State's Chris Petersen, Louisville's Bobby Petrino and first-year Wisconsin coach Bret Bielema each received one vote. (Charlotte Observer)

(12/20) Oklahoma Recruiting, Tommy Grady on His Transfer, and OU Articles

Oklahoma Sooner Football Articles and Notes

Sooners land commitments:
OU's youth at wide receiver hasn't kept the Sooners from pursuing -- and selling -- some of the nation's top prep prospects. The Sooners secured a commitment Monday from James Kirkendoll of Round Rock, Texas, a four-star prospect and the 19th-ranked receiver nationally by That after landing Tyler Stradford from New Orleans over the weekend. OU now claims three wide receiver commitments in what will be a small class of signees. Stradford is a 6-foot-3, 180-pound prospect who is not currently ranked by (

Limited Boise State Fiesta Bowl Tickets available: Boise State announced Tuesday that it has 300 tickets remaining for the Jan. 1 game against Oklahoma in Glendale, Ariz., at $150 each. The school was down to 100 tickets Tuesday morning but found another 200 as it filled earlier orders. Tickets are available by calling 426-4737. (Idaho Statesman)

Former Oklahoma QB Grady regrets transferring: Former Oklahoma QB recruit Tommy Grady, talks about his transfer prior to Rhett Bomar's dismissal... "It's kind of hard to say you don't regret (leaving Oklahoma) because it's one of the huge names in college football, and there are a bunch of great players there," he said. "I do regret it a little." Grady was nearly 900 miles away when the Bomar story broke, but that kind of news travels fast. "I was getting a lot of calls from people saying I should come back. But I like it here," the fourth-year junior said. (More at the Tulsa World)

Bedlam on Big 12's menu for Thanksgiving weekends: The Oklahoman

Weaving talent follows Broncos' Johnson off field: The Oklahoman

Big 12 places OU-OSU rivalry on Thanksgiving weekend slate: Tulsa World

Sooners' Big 12 schedule set through 2015: Norman Transcript

BSU bookstore breaks merchandise sales record: Idaho Statesman

Sooner Compliment on QB McCoy: Austin American Statesman

December 19, 2006

(12/19) Future Big XII Schedule, Oklahoma Notes and Articles

Oklahoma Sooner Football Articles and Notes

Oklahoma Fiesta Bowl billboards:
Sooner fans got an early gift on Tuesday, courtesy of the Tostitos Fiesta Bowl. The bowl committee placed six billboards in the Oklahoma City metro area to welcome OU to the bowl game on New Year's Day. The signs display a Tostitos Fiesta Bowl logo and an action shot of running back Adrian Peterson in addition to the welcome message: "Congratulations, Oklahoma - Big 12 Conference Champions. See you in Glendale on Jan. 1." No. 7 Oklahoma (11-2) departs on Christmas Day for Arizona. The game is slated for New Year's Day at 7:30 p.m. (CT) and will be televised nationally by FOX. (

Future OU Football Big XII Schedule: The Big 12 Conference has announced its conference schedule for 2008-2015. Adjustments are still possible for any number of reasons, but for the most part the games should remain as scheduled and are released now to assist various entities for planning purposes. Complete Oklahoma Football Big XII Future Schedule. (SoonerSports PR)

October 4 -- at Baylor
October 11 -- Texas
October 18 -- Kansas
October 25 -- at Kansas State
November 1 -- Nebraska
November 8 -- at Texas A&M
November 15 -- Texas Tech
November 22 - Open
November 28/29 -- at Oklahoma St.

October 10 -- Baylor
October 17 -- at Texas
October 24 -- at Kansas
October 31 -- Kansas State
November 7 -- at Nebraska
November 14 -- Texas A&M
November 21 -- at Texas Tech
November 27/28 -- Oklahoma State

Don't give up on Bradford yet: The Oklahoman

Your guide to the bowls: The Oklahoman

Opportunity Knocks: The Oklahoman

OU seniors bowl savvy: Tulsa World

OU prepares for undefeated Broncos:

All Day, All-Access:

December 18, 2006

Nine Sooners Graduate -- Congrats

Oklahoma Sooner Football Articles and Notes

Nine Senior Sooners Graduate: As the OU football team continues its preparations for the 2007 Fiesta Bowl on Jan. 1 against Boise State, nine seniors concluded their undergraduate work on Saturday, Dec. 16 at the University of Oklahoma's graduation ceremony. Seniors C.J. Ah You, Rufus Alexander, Larry Birdine, John Dailey, Zach Latimer, Chris Messner, Carl Pendleton, Calvin Thibodeaux and Paul Thompson all participated in the commencement ceremony at the Lloyd Noble Center. The nine individuals make up a group of 11 seniors, the smallest in the Bob Stoops' era. (

(12/18) Stoops at a Hoops Game Recruiting and Oklahoma Articles

Oklahoma Sooner Football Articles and Notes

Stoops and Tuberville at the same basketball game: [Bob] Stoops and Auburn head football coach Tommy Tuberville were spotted at the same high school basketball game, though both were there to see the same football player. Stoops and Tuberville were in Baton Rouge, La., on Saturday night, according to The (Baton Rouge) Advocate, watching Frank Anderson of Southern University Lab School. And the heavily recruited, 6-foot-5, 240-pound defensive end put on a hoops show for his admirers. Alexander scored a game-high 22 points as Southern Lab defeated Glen Oaks High School 58-48. (

Sooner wish list -- Jason Carter: The Oklahoman

Your guide to the bowls: The Oklahoman

The new 'No. 7': The Oklahoman

Blue turf a source of pride: Tulsa World

Broncos try to strike the right balance of work, play: Idaho Statesman

BSU has plenty of ways to spend BCS money: Idaho Statesman

Oklahoma's Fiesta Bowl History:

December 17, 2006

(12/17) Oklahoma Sooners Practice Indoors, and OU Articles

Oklahoma Sooner Football Articles and Notes

Sooners move practice indoors, as Seniors prepare for graduation: Despite temperatures that climbed into the 70s -- a record for Dec. 16 -- the Sooners moved their Saturday practice indoors because of the wind, which consistently whipped at more than 20 miles per hour, with even higher gusts. Seniors were excused from practice, with several taking place in graduation. "We let the seniors go to graduation, but we had a really good practice without 'em," Stoops said. "Guys ran around and really played well." (

Players tackle real life in graduation speeches: The Oklahoman

The Collected Wisdom of Merv Johnson: The Oklahoman

Boise State also has tradition, and it's more than a blue field: The Oklahoman

OU Football Notebook: The Oklahoman

All-Oklahoma Bowl Team: Tulsa World

Trip to Norman convinced QB: Tulsa World

Local recruiting good, but sometimes hard: Tulsa World

OU, BSU to match high-flying offenses:

December 16, 2006

(12/16) Boise State's Peterson on OU and Oklahoma Notes

Oklahoma Sooner Football Articles and Notes

Football Awards banquet: Oklahoma's football team enjoyed its 2006 banquet Friday night at the Postal Training Center Hotel and Conference Center in Norman. Two team awards that were not previously announced were presented during the 90-minute ceremony. Chris Messner received the Bob Kalsu Award for selfless dedication to the team. Kalsu, an All-American at Oklahoma in 1967, was the only professional football player killed in the Vietnam War. Several members of the Kalsu family were present for the banquet. Messner, a senior from Frederick, Okla., has been the season-long starter at left tackle for the Sooners. He was a consensus All-Big 12 selection. The Derrick Shepard Most Inspirational Walk-on Award went to Michael Cohen and Derek Shaw. Cohen is in his first year as the punter and Shaw his first as long snapper. Shepard was a walk-on at Oklahoma in 1983. He died unexpectedly from a heart attack after serving one year as a graduate assistant coach under current Sooner coach Bob Stoops. Members of his family also were at the ceremony. The Scout Team Players of the Year were quarterback Sam Bradford and linebacker Jeremy Beal. (SoonerSports PR)

Boise State's Peterson on facing Oklahoma: Boise State's Chris Petersen on Friday on facing Oklahoma in the Fiesta Bowl -- "It's a great opportunity for our program to be talked about and get an opportunity to compete with these guys," he told a Friday news conference. "It's a great challenge for our whole program, just playing those guys, just being on the same field with them." "They're the best team we've seen, for sure," said Petersen, an assistant coach with the Broncos for five years before being named head coach. 'The more you study them -- you're hoping to find these weaknesses, but they're Oklahoma for a reason, and it's pretty apparent." (San Diego Union-Tribune)

Oklahoma Sooners Big XII Championship video available: The OU Athletics Department is offering the official Big 12 Championship DVD to Sooner fans online in the multimedia store.
The 2006 Sooners defeated old rival Nebraska, 21-7, in the Dr Pepper Big 12 Championship Game at Arrowhead Stadium in Kansas City to earn the program's 40th conference title. Watch senior quarterback Paul Thompson, sophomore receiver Malcolm Kelly and freshman tight end Jermaine Gresham as the OU offense went to the air against the Huskers. (

Weight pays off for Messner: The Oklahoman

Stoops brothers still haunted by 'The Play': Tulsa World

Sooners proud of their legacy: Idaho Statesman

Sooners in the Pros: Week 14:

More on Oklahoma Bomar-Quinn Investigation

Oklahoma Sooner Football Articles and Notes

University of Oklahoma releases investigation documents: The University of Oklahoma asked an attorney for a Norman car dealership to provide a list of players who used vehicles from the dealership during an investigation that resulted in the dismissal of two players from the school's football team. The university released two pages of documents Friday after an open records request by The Associated Press. The documents are a letter from the university's legal counsel, Joseph Harroz Jr., to Jeff Atkins, an attorney for David Hudiburg, the current owner of Big Red Sports and Imports, and an attachment to that letter. In the letter, dated Sept. 5, Harroz asks Atkins to require two employees be made available to interview with university officials. It said that OU had no reason to believe the employees were involved in any NCAA violations but that their testimony was needed "to clarify and confirm our current understanding of the relevant facts of the matter.” Among the documents requested in the attachment to the letter are the dealership's service records for an unknown number of people; tax forms, paycheck stubs and-or timesheets from 2005 and-or 2006 for 10 student-athletes; and "names of football student-athletes who have made purchases from Big Red, driven Big Red vehicles and-or had their vehicles serviced by Big Red.” The names on the list of requested documents were redacted. (More at AP/

December 15, 2006

(12/15) Oklahoma-Boise State Articles and Notes

Oklahoma Sooner Football Articles and Notes

Boise State sells remaining Fiesta Bowl tickets slowly: Ty Palmer got to Bronco Stadium at 6 p.m. Wednesday and spent the night dozing at the front of the line to get tickets to the Fiesta Bowl.John Hardy -- the last person in line -- strolled into the Varsity Center on the Boise State campus Thursday morning and had his ticket 20 minutes later.The line Palmer began more than 15 hours earlier was gone half an hour after the ticket office opened Thursday at 9 a.m. Rain and expectations of long lines were blamed for keeping more fans from queuing up to buy what were said to have been BSU's last 200 tickets for the Jan. 1 game against Oklahoma.However, approximately 200 additional tickets not claimed by season ticket holders also were released Thursday morning and were still available Thursday afternoon. (Idaho Statesman)

Places to find Fiesta Bowl Tickets:,,, Scout's Ticket Exchange (Use Common Sense, Buy From Trusted Sellers via PayPal or Google Checkout) still booking reservations for Fiesta Bowl: Idaho Statesman

Broncos Beat: Sooners have made their mark with stifling defense: Idaho Statesman

Boise-area VIPs to attend bowl game in style: Times-News

(12/15) Oklahoma's Best Yet to Come? and Oklahoma Articles and Notes

Oklahoma Sooner Football Articles and Notes

We haven't seen nothing yet, maybe? With only the Fiesta Bowl against Boise State remaining, the Sooners' fifth-year senior quarterback hopes they can pull it together in his final game. "Being the competitor that I am, it doesn't seem like I've had a good practice in the five years I've been here," Thompson said. "There's always something we can improve on. There's always maybe a turnover or something and a lot of times we come away with a win, but there might be one or two things where we didn't achieve our goals." (

Sooners travel to NFL's top rated stadium: Oklahoma's players, coaches and fans will enjoy a state-of-the-art facility for the Tostitos Fiesta Bowl on New Year's Day. OU will meet Boise State on the field inside University of Phoenix Stadium in Glendale, Ariz. Home of the NFL's Arizona Cardinals, the stadium was completed in 2006 at a cost of approximately $450 million. The facility was named the best in the NFL by Street & Smith's and Sportsbusiness JournalSportsbusiness Daily and one of the 10 best stadiums in the world by BusinessWeek. (Facts and notes at G Note: University of Phoenix Stadium is truly a world-class facility, among Texas Motor Speedway, and the new Busch Stadium in St. Louis.

Pendleton FCA finalist: Oklahoma defensive tackle Carl Pendleton is a finalist for the Fellowship of Christian Athletes' Bobby Bowden Award. Pendleton will travel to attend the presentation ceremony in Phoenix, Ariz., on Jan. 6. In 2004, the Fellowship of Christian Athletes presented the first of what is now a yearly award. Named for the current Florida State coach, the award honors one college football player for their achievements on the field and in the classroom and for their conduct as a faith model in the community. Nominees must have a 3.0 GPA or better and must also have the backing of his school's athletic director and head football coach. The award is presented each year prior to the Bowl Championship Series' national title game. Pendleton, a junior and a three-year starter, has decided to forgo his senior year of eligibility - but not to turn pro. Instead, Pendleton, who will graduate in December, will continue his education and focus on caring for his 11-year-old brother, Kierstan. He became Kierstan's legal guardian recently. (SoonerSports PR)

Fired up: Norman Transcipt

In Ruuuuuuuuufus' shoes: The Oklahoman

Clayton Grows Up Quickly: Washington Post

Chat [Transcript] with Barry Switzer: ESPN Insider

December 14, 2006

(12/14) Thompson on Playoff System, Peterson likely to Start, and Oklahoma Notes

Oklahoma Sooner Football Articles and Notes

Oklahoma's Thompson would like a playoff system: Oklahoma is playing for a Fiesta Bowl championship next month. It could, however, contend for a national championship were there a playoff in place. "I guess I can be a spokesman for a playoff system since I'm on my way out of here," OU quarterback Paul Thompson said Wednesday. "I think playing it on the field is the only way. There's going to be speculation year in and year out as to who the top team is. With the system right now it's pretty much impossible to declare the top two teams." (Tulsa World)

Peterson likely to start in Fiesta Bowl: Despite missing Oklahoma's last seven games with a collarbone injury, running back Adrian Peterson likely will start against No. 9 Boise State in the Tostitos Fiesta Bowl, coach Bob Stoops said Wednesday. "We're not there yet," Stoops said. "We'll see how he progresses through this time, but in all likelihood, yes." (Dallas Morning News)

Peterson back to practice: The junior tailback resumed practicing with the Sooners on Friday but hasn't spoken with reporters yet - so the Sooners spoke about him. "He's getting more and more snaps in there,'' Oklahoma coach Bob Stoops said. "The players are excited to see him back in there. He's always been a great and strong team guy. The players have always appreciated how he's worked and he'll get more and more snaps leading up to it. It can only be positive.'' (More at

OU's Thompson and Alexander completes full BCS circle: Thompson and linebacker Rufus Alexander will be among a rare handful of fifth-year players who in their careers their teams have played in all of the BCS bowls -- Rose (2003), Sugar ('04), Orange ('05) and the upcoming Fiesta. "Not too many people can say that," Alexander said. "Our class is the first [at OU] that can. It's a great feeling." "It's a good feat for our senior class," Thompson said. "But we definitely want to get the win. That's the main thing. We've lost the last two of three [bowls], so we definitely want the win." (Star-Telegram)

Sooners want Peterson to break record: KWTV Video via

OU football notebook: The Oklahoman

A no-win situation?: Norman Transcript

Ah You has quickly become an OU stalwart: The Oklahoman

Expected to play, Peterson back at practice: Tulsa World

Oklahoma RB eager to return: Idaho Statesman

Sooners all sing the same song about BSU: Idaho Statesman

OU players on Fiesta Bowl matchup:

December 13, 2006

(12/13) Oklahoma's Compliance Policy Updated and OU articles

Oklahoma Sooner Football Articles and Notes

Oklahoma makes changes to compliance policy: In a series of measures aimed at preventing further violations of NCAA rules on recruiting phone calls, Oklahoma has instituted more frequent spot checks of telephone logs, created a new rules compliance manual and implemented a computer system to cross-reference coaches' phone calls. The changes, detailed in a report to the NCAA obtained Tuesday by The Associated Press through an open records request, address a lack of oversight that resulted in 577 impermissible recruiting phone calls by former Sooners men's basketball coach Kelvin Sampson and his staff. The new guidelines call for compliance staff to meet with the school's head coaches on an individual basis, broaden rules education for student-athletes and review each sport's telephone logs at least twice per semester. A May infractions report suggested that Oklahoma's violations under Sampson could have been detected with even a "cursory review" of phone records. Athletic director Joe Castiglione, in a Dec. 1 letter to NCAA Committee on Infractions director Shep Cooper, wrote that a requested timetable for the changes had not been included because "the university has already implemented most of these enhancements." Castiglione's letter lists 24 steps that the university is taking in response to the investigation. (More at Tulsa World)

Eldridge's blocking key no matter what position he plays: The Oklahoman

OU compliance makes changes after violations: The Oklahoman

OU outlines phone call policy: Norman Transcript

December 12, 2006

(12/12) Oklahoma Football Video, Oklahoma Fiesta Bowl Tickets Sold-Out

Oklahoma Sooner Football Articles and Notes

Oklahoma video:
Checkout Google Video ( Includes full length games, highlight reels and more, including the Oklahoma Sooners, Oklahoma HS football highlights. Upload, and share yours today. (thanks, Google for the heads up)

Billy Sims Oklahoma Highlights below

Billy Sims Highlights - 1st half OK. State vs. Nebraska - Full: Boise State vs. LA. Tech

Oklahoma allotment SOLD-OUT: The OU ticket office announced Monday that it had sold out of its allotment of 17,500 Fiesta Bowl tickets. OU officials reported Saturday that the ticket office had just 200 tickets remaining. The game, at University of Phoenix Stadium in Glendale, Ariz., is expected to be a sellout. (

Does Oklahoma care?

Fiesta Bowl expects big crowd: KWTV via

December 11, 2006

(12/11) Carl Pendelton a Finalist for Wood Cup

Oklahoma Sooner Football Articles and Notes

Pendleton a Wooden Citizenship Cup finalist: Oklahoma defensive tackle Carl Pendleton is one of five finalists for the John Wooden Citizenship Cup, which is presented annually by Atlanta-based Athetes for a Better World. OU track and cross country runner Jackie Dubois won the honor last year. Another Sooner athlete, football running back Jacob Gutierrez, was a finalist for the Wooden Cup last season. He was one of 17 semifinalists in 2006. Other finalists for 2007 include Kandia Batchelor, Florida State; Parker Dalton, Texas A&M; Anna Key, California and Eric LeRoux, Princeton. The winner will be announced Jan. 25 in Atlanta. Pendleton, a recent recipient of the National Football Foundation's Post-Graduate Scholarship, has decided to forgo his final season of football eligibility at Oklahoma to pursue a graduate degree from the school. He carries a 3.86 grade point average in sociology with a minor in religious studies. The Sapulpa, Okla., product recently took legal guardianship of his 11-year-old brother, Kierstan. (SoonerSports PR)

Eye on opponent -- Boise State:

Former Sooners help Ravens stop Chiefs: The Oklahoman

Holiday wish list: The Oklahoman

OU football Q&A: The Oklahoman

December 10, 2006

(12/10) Oklahoma Football Articles

Oklahoma Sooner Football Articles and Notes

Boise State is playing in its biggest game in the program's history: Tulsa World

Forget awards, let bowl season begin: Tulsa World

Stirring the quarterback mix; Nichol's plans didn't include joining Sooners: The Oklahoman

December 9, 2006

(12/9) Peterson, Williams Returns to Practice, and Oklahoma notes

Oklahoma Sooner Football Articles and Notes

Peterson cleared to practice: Oklahoma coach Bob Stoops said Adrian Peterson returned to practice Friday and that he expects the junior running back to play in the Tostitos Fiesta Bowl. "We're going to work towards playing him," Stoops said. But Stoops left himself some wiggle room; he never said definitively that Peterson will play. So it's still possible that Peterson could choose not to risk further damage to his collarbone. Peterson broke the bone Oct. 14 and hasn't played since. It's widely believed Peterson will leave OU after this season and declare for the NFL draft, where he'll probably be a first-round pick. "He's cleared to play," Stoops said. (Dallas Morning News)

Injured T. Williams returns to practice: Oklahoma offensive lineman Trent Williams returned to practice Wednesday. Williams, a true freshman right tackle, was carted off the field during last Saturday's Big 12 Championship game in Kansas City, Mo., for an ankle injury. OU offensive coordinator Kevin Wilson said the injury might have appeared more serious than it actually was. "I think it was more painful than it turned out to be," Wilson said after Friday's practice. "He's good. He's had a bad ankle he's fighting through. He's done great." (

Sooners back to practice: Fresh off the Big 12 Championship, the OU football team returned to practice inside the Everest Training Facility in Norman on Friday evening. Players and coaches met with the media in the Big Red Room under the south end zone of Memorial Stadium to discuss practice and the upcoming bowl trip. (

Stoops would like early signing period: OU coach Bob Stoops says he wouldn't object to the NCAA instituting an early signing period for high school football players, like it has for other sports. And this time of the season would be perfect for it. "Some people want it too early. They want it before the season starts," he said. "The ideal situation would be sometime in the middle or late December, like when the junior-college guys sign. "Kids have plenty of time for an official visit. Some kids are going to school in that next semester. It just seems like that would be a good time." (

Peterson back at practice: The Oklahoman

OU's Peterson returns to practice: Tulsa World

Peterson back in the huddle: Norman Transcript

Fans scramble for flights to Fiesta fun in Phoenix: Idaho Statesman

BSU's ticket allotment almost gone: Idaho Statesman

December 8, 2006

(12/8) Castiglione on Negotiating Contracts, Hartley and the Groza Award

Oklahoma Sooner Football Articles and Notes

Oklahoma AD Castiglione avoids bringing outside help negotiating: Compensation for college head coaches -- especially the fast-escalating deals for football coaches -- is becoming an increasingly significant issue for NCAA schools, association president Myles Brand said Monday. During a session at the annual Street & Smith's Intercollegiate Athletics Forum here, Brand and other panelists were asked what they thought would be the most important story to follow in the upcoming year. "Coaches' contracts," said Brand, who added "agents have the upper hand" now and schools may need outside help negotiating these deals. Antitrust laws bar the NCAA from setting salary limits. "Negotiations have become tougher, and there's a lot of competition for the best coaches," Brand said in a separate interview Monday. "It might make sense for schools to have representation. They use outside counsel on other things." Hiring outside help can create problems, though, said Oklahoma athletics director Joe Castiglione, whose football coach, Bob Stoops, is one of the nation's highest paid at $3.45 million this year. "It's human nature to want to avoid the hard-core aspects of negotiation," Castiglione said. "But it can hurt the employer-employee relationship." (In part from USA Today)

Oklahoma's Hartley edged by the 'ville's Carmody for Groza Award: Art Carmody of the University of Louisville football team won the Lou Groza Award yesterday as the nation's top collegiate kicker. The junior from Shreveport, La., made 20 of 23 field-goal attempts and all 57 conversion tries for a team-high 117 points. He holds the school career record with 46 field goals. The other finalists were Auburn's John Vaughn and Oklahoma's Garrett Hartley. "I knew that John and Garrett each had a great season," Carmody said. "Just sitting there and hearing my name, it was kind of a shock." (Louisville Courier-Journal)

Follow Us!