June 23, 2012

OU Receives $500k Gift from Sam Bradford

NORMAN, Okla. -- Former University of Oklahoma All-America quarterback Sam Bradford announced a $500,000 gift to the OU Athletics Department today. The donation will support the construction of Headington Hall, OU's new student housing facility that will open in fall 2013.

"My experience at Oklahoma made it possible for me to realize my dreams," said Bradford. "The coaches, the academic environment and every aspect of being a student-athlete at OU made me a better person. I am honored to give back to a program that did so much for me and hope that in some way this contribution can make it possible for those who follow me to enjoy the same kind of experience I did as a Sooner."

In recognition of Bradford's gift, the interior of the new Wagner Dining Hall, located on the first level of Headington Hall, will be named "The Sam Bradford Training Table." This state-of-the-art dining facility will fulfill the dietary and nutritional needs of all OU student-athletes, not just the residents of Headington Hall, in a vastly expanded modern space.

"Sam Bradford's gift is deeply appreciated," said OU President David L. Boren. "It will help many future participants in OU's athletics program. Gifts like Sam's also set an important example for others who have played on our teams in the past."

Joe Castiglione, OU Vice President for Intercollegiate Athletics also applauded Bradford's act of philanthropy.

"Sam Bradford developed into a consummate leader and an award-winning student-athlete at the University of Oklahoma," said Castiglione. "Sam embraced our incredible tradition here at OU and was relentless in helping his teammates enhance it. In Sam's typical humble fashion, he continues to serve as a wonderful role model for all OU alumni through his actions and deeds like this generous gift to OU Athletics and Headington Hall.

"Just as others before him, he leaves a legacy which allows future student-athletes to enjoy that same experience of a lifetime he relished. We appreciate Sam's commitment to this project that will benefit a wide range of students, and improve the quality of life for the entire OU campus."

Headington Hall is a $75 million, 230,000-square-foot housing center for OU students and student-athletes being constructed on the corner of Jenkins Ave. and Lindsey St., southeast and across the street from Gaylord Family - Oklahoma Memorial Stadium. The facility will boast approximately 400 beds in two- and four-bedroom units.

In addition to the "Sam Bradford Training Table" that will serve as a central student-athlete dining facility, the building will also feature computer labs and study rooms, as well as a faculty-in-residence unit. Members of the general OU student population will comprise 51 percent of Headington Hall residents.

It is anticipated that the entire incoming freshman class of student-athletes will all be housed at Headington Hall beginning in fall 2013, accounting for the remaining 49 percent of the residents calling the facility their on-campus home.

Fans interested in learning more about contributing to the construction fund should contact the Sooner Club at (405) 325-8000 or toll-free at (866) 766-6372.

Bradford enjoyed a sensational sophomore campaign in 2008, triggering a Sooners offense that set an NCAA single-season record with 716 points. In the process, he became one of the most highly decorated players in OU history, winning the Heisman Trophy, the Davey O'Brien Award, the Sammy Baugh Trophy and the Chic Harley Award. He was also named the Big 12 Offensive Player of the Year by the coaches in addition to earning AP and Sporting News First Team All-America accolades.

The Oklahoma City native concluded his collegiate career holding 15 school records, including marks for passing yards (8,403) and TD passes (88). In total, he completed 604 of 893 passes, finishing his tenure in Norman with a 6.25-to-1 TD-to-INT ratio, one of the best marks in college football history. He also set the NCAA freshman/sophomore record for TD passes during with 86.

Bradford was the first overall pick in the 2010 NFL Draft by the St. Louis Rams. In 26 starts with the Rams, he has completed 545 of 947 passes (67.6%) for 5,676 yards with 24 TDs and 21 INTs. His 354 completions in 2010 surpassed the previous NFL rookie record of 326 established by Peyton Manning in 1998, while his 3,512 yards that season trail only Manning's 3,739 yards in the NFL rookie record book.

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June 22, 2012

Max White Named Second Team All-Region

NORMAN, Okla. -- Junior outfielder Max White was named to the American Baseball Coaches' Association All-Region team on Wednesday. A second team member in the outfield, White led OU in numerous offensive categories in 2012 while playing in every game with 66 starts.

OU has had at least one honoree on the ABCA All-Region team in six of current head coach Sunny Golloway's seven full seasons in Norman. White is the 10th Sooner to be honored in that span and the 77th in program history.

White displayed his versatility in 2012 with starts at four different positions (left field, centerfield, third base and first base) while ranking second in the Big 12 Conference with 85 hits and fourth in both RBI (55) and doubles (17). White finished the year as OU's batting champion with a .337 average at the plate, the eighth best mark in the Big 12 this season.

The Durant, Okla., native began his Sooner career as a Freshman All-American outfielder en route to helping lead OU to the 2010 College World Series. In 2012, he was voted to the All-Big 12 first team as a utility player by the league's coaches.

Throughout his Sooner career, White has started in all three positions in the outfield, at three infield spots (3B, 2B and 1B) and as OU's designated hitter. He played primarily in centerfield in 2012, despite starting opening day at first base.

In addition to leading OU in hits, batting average and RBI in 2012, White also led all Sooners with 25 multi-hit games (third in Big 12) and 18 multi-RBI games, both totals ranked third in the Big 12. He was also one of three players in the Big 12 this season to have two double-digit game hitting streaks (11 and 10 games).

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OU Track & Field Claims Two Academic All-Americans

NORMAN, Okla. -- The University of Oklahoma's Jacy Bennett and Brittany Borman were named to the 2012 Capital One Academic All-America Track and Field/Cross Country Team, as selected by the College Sports Information Directors of America (CoSIDA), announced Thursday.

The Academic All-America honor recognizes the nation's top-student-athletes for their combined performances, athletically and in the classroom.

The Oklahoma track and field program has produced at least one CoSIDA Academic All-American in each of the past five years and a total of eight in that span.

It is the second such honor for Borman, who was named to the second team after earning third team recognition in 2011. Bennett is a first-time Academic All-American as a third team selection.'

Bennett, a junior from Mesa, Ariz., carries a 4.0 GPA in supply chain management. The Sooner tied for fourth place in the women's pole vault at the Big 12 Indoor Championships and claimed ninth in the conference's outdoor meet.

Borman, a health and exercise science senior, is the two-time reigning NCAA national champion in the javelin throw and is OU's record holder for women's discus and javelin. The Festus, Mo., native is a four-time Big 12 champion with two titles each in the discus and javelin.

Borman will compete for a spot on the U.S. Olympic team next week at the Olympic Trials in Eugene, Ore. Borman owns the third best javelin mark on the U.S. performance list, a throw of 194 feet, 11 inches (59.42 meters).

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Pair of Sooners to Play in Title IX Game

OU's Ricketts and Shults to play in Title IX game on Saturday: A collection of the world's best softball players will celebrate the 40th anniversary of Title IX on Saturday.

OU's Keilani Ricketts and Jessica Shults will play for Team USA as it faces Canada in the Title IX Game at ASA Hall of Fame Stadium.

The game will begin 6 p.m. Saturday and is the national team's last game before the World Cup of Softball, set to begin June 28.

Ricketts and Shults are less than a month removed from leading the Sooners to a runner-up finish at the Women's College World Series. Both were selected to the national team for the second straight year.

Shults expressed her excitement about participating in an event that celebrates the landmark legislation.

“It's just a great honor,” Shults said. “Being able to be a part of the Title IX Game is just an unbelievable experience. It's just an honor to be apart of it." (More at The Oklahoman)

June 21, 2012

Sooners Add Another Commitment to 2013 Class

3-star WR prospect Austin Bennett verbally commits to Oklahoma: Oklahoma picked up its 11th commitment of the 2013 recruiting class on Wednesday when wide receiver Austin Bennett committed to the Sooners.

Bennett (6-foot, 170 pounds) is the second wide receiver to commit to the Sooners, joining Jenks' Jordan Smallwood, who committed earlier this month.

The Manvel, Texas, player's commitment was first reported by ESPN.com. He is the fifth Sooner commitment from Texas.

Bennett committed to Arkansas in early March but decided to reopen his recruitment after Bobby Petrino was fired as the Razorbacks' coach in April. (The Oklahoman)

June 19, 2012

Tulsa Shock Sign Courtney Paris

Ashley Paris #5 of the Oklahoma Sooners drives to the basket against Angel McCoughtry #35 of the Louisville Cardinals during the NCAA Women's Final Four Semifinals at the Scottrade Center on April 5, 2009 in St. Louis, Missouri. The Cardinals beat the Sooners 61-59. (Dilip Vishwanat/Getty Images) * Local Caption * Angel McCoughtry;Ashley Paris (April 5, 2009 - Source: Dilip Vishwanat/Getty Images North America)
Former Sooner signs with the Shock: The Tulsa Shock say the team has signed former Oklahoma star Courtney Paris.

Paris was the No. 7 overall pick of Sacramento in 2009 but the team folded at the end of the year. The 6-foot-4 Paris was selected in the dispersal draft by Chicago but could not land a roster spot. In 2011, she signed with the Los Angeles Sparks and was waived three months later. Eventually, she landed with Atlanta in June 2011 but was waived earlier this year. (The Oklahoman)

June 18, 2012

Coach Stoops Hates Night Games

Oklahoma coach Bob Stoops would like night games disturbed evenly: Oklahoma coach Bob Stoops is concerned with another imparity in the Big 12 Conference.

“We play at night way more than everybody else,” Stoops said during an interview with The Oklahoman.

“It needs to be spread around. We're talking about competitive advantage and equality, and we're all sharing the money ... let's all share the burden of it. That needs to be talked about more than it is.”

So let's talk about it.

Stoops is right; in the last two seasons, 18 of Oklahoma's 27 games have kicked off at or after 6 p.m. Central time. Eleven of those games have been regular-season Big 12 contests.

Texas, by comparison, has played 13 night games (nine Big 12 games) in the past two seasons.

Oklahoma State, the defending Big 12 champion, has also played at night 13 times during that time span; six of those were Big 12 games.

The Sooners produce higher television ratings than most other programs and, as a result, TV executives put them in prime time slots as often as possible. (More at The Oklahoman)

June 17, 2012

Texas Prospect Commits to OU

LB Mastrogiovanni verbally commits to OU: Inside linebacker Jordan Mastrogiovanni has committed to Oklahoma. Coach Brandon Hickman confirmed Mastrogiovanni's selection via e-mail on Thursday.

The 6-3, 225-pound Mastrogiovanni selected the Sooners over more than 20 other offers, from schools such as LSU, Arkansas, Baylor, Texas A&M and Texas Tech.

He had 77 tackles, 32 solo, two interceptions and two sacks for Jesuit in 2011.

Mastrogiovanni had been recruited by former Oklahoma defensive coordinator Brent Venables, but worried that OU's interest had waned and an offer might not materialize after Venables' departure to Clemson, according to a May Rivals.com story.

But new linebackers coach Tim Kish came through with an offer in late May.

"He asked me what I am looking for in a program and why I play football. I gave him a couple of answers and he told me he was hoping he made my day because the University of Oklahoma wanted to offer me a scholarship," Mastrogiovanni told Rivals. (More at Dallas Morning News)

June 16, 2012

Ex-Sooner Tubbs Dies at 77

Former Sooner All-American Jerry Tubbs dead at 77:  Jerry Tubbs, one of the greatest centers in OU football history, started as a sophomore. At fullback.

That’s the kind of athlete Tubbs was as a Sooner from 1954 to 1956, when he was a cornerstone of Bud Wilkinson’s dynasty.

Tubbs died Thursday in the Dallas area at the age of 77.

Tubbs placed fourth in the 1956 Heisman voting, one of the closest tallies in that trophy’s history. Notre Dame’s Paul Hornung won with 1,066 points, followed by Tennessee’s Johnny Majors (994), OU teammate Tommy McDonald (973) and Tubbs (724).

Tubbs won the Walter Camp Award, given to the national player of the year, and also was named UPI’s lineman of the year.

Then Tubbs played 10 years in the NFL, was hired by Tom Landry and spent 22 years as a Dallas Cowboys assistant coach.

“Outstanding athlete,” said Bill Krisher, Tubbs’ teammate on those great OU teams. “Just so good at what he did as an athlete and an individual. And as a person. Clean-living. Deep man. Miss him already.

“Just an outstanding athlete. I enjoyed playing with him very much.” (The Oklahoman)

June 14, 2012

OU's Jessica Shults Named to Team USA

NORMAN, Okla. -- The Amateur Softball Association (ASA) announced the final five selections for the 2012 U.S. National Team, including Oklahoma catcher Jessica Shults, after 20 players attended a team selection camp in Ashland, Ohio. Shults joins pitcher Keilani Ricketts, who was already named to the team in January, to give the squad an Oklahoma pitching battery.

"I'm very proud of Jessica and her selection to the U.S. National Team," OU head coach Patty Gasso said. "Obviously, to have not only teammates, but the pitcher and catcher from the same team represent their country on the premier stage of softball speaks volumes for our program at the University of Oklahoma. To perform at this level is quite an accomplishment, and for Jessica, who has battled remarkably from the adversity she faced last year, it is extraordinarily gratifying."

Two other Oklahoma players, Lauren Chamberlain and Destinee Martinez, were part of the team selection camp and will play on the USA Elite Team team that will participate in a series of exhibition games over the course of the next six days in Summersville, W.Va. (June 14) and Ashland, Ohio (June 18).

Wednesday's announcement marked the second straight year that both Ricketts and Shults have been named to the U.S. National Team as the two helped the American squad to its fifth straight World Cup of Softball title. Ricketts would later go on to help the team to gold at the Pan American Games last fall.

The USA Women's National team will compete in six different events in the United States and Canada this summer. Fans in the United States will get four opportunities to see the team in action with two exhibition stops scheduled as well as the Title IX 40th Anniversary Celebration Game against Canada on June 23 and the World Cup of Softball VII presented by Lumber Liquidators, June 27- July 2, in Oklahoma City.

Following the World Cup, the Women's National Team is slated to compete at the Canadian Open Fast Pitch International Championship in Surrey, B.C., Canada, July 4-9, and July 13-22 at the International Softball Federation (ISF) Women's World Championship in Whitehorse, Yukon, Canada.

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June 13, 2012

Keilani Ricketts Named Softball Player of the Year

NORMAN, Okla. -- Oklahoma's Keilani Ricketts was named the 2012 Honda Softball Player of the Year by the The Collegiate Women Sports Awards program Wednesday. Already the USA Softball Collegiate Player of the Year, Ricketts led the Sooners to a second-place finish at the Women's College World Series and a final record of 54-10.

"It is truly an honor to have Keilani recognized as the top student-athlete in collegiate softball," OU head coach Patty Gasso said. "She is a humble and hard-working person whose dedication to the sport has truly made being her teammate, coach or fan a blessing. Certainly, this is not just a reward for Keilani, but for all who have had the opportunity to be associated with her throughout her career."

Ricketts ended the season ranked 10th in the country with an on-base percentage of .553 and 19th with an .825 slugging percentage. The Oklahoma junior was ninth nationally with 53 walks.

In the circle, she ranked second in the NCAA with an ERA of 1.08, 457 strikeouts and 37 victories. Ricketts finished third in the nation in giving up just 3.91 hits per seven innings.

The Honda Sports Award is presented annually to the top women athletes in 12 NCAA-sanctioned sports. As a Honda prize recipient, Ricketts becomes a finalist for the Collegiate Woman Athlete of the Year and the prestigious Honda Cup to be presented this year on June 23, in a live broadcast from the ESPN Studios in Los Angeles. She was chosen by a vote of coaches from 1,000 NCAA member schools. Finalists included Katelyn Boyd of Arizona State University, Jolene Henderson of the University of California, Berkeley, and Jackie Traina of the University of Alabama.

Honda has been a sponsor of the Collegiate Women Sports Awards for 26 years. Since commencing its sponsorship in 1986, Honda has provided more than $2.5 million in institutional grants to the universities of the award winners and nominees to support women's athletics programs at the institutions. Joining Ricketts on the current roster of 2012 Honda Sports Award winners are Sheila Reid of Villanova University (Cross Country), Megan Frazer of the University of Maryland (Field Hockey), Teresa Noyola of Stanford University (Soccer), Alex Jupiter of the University of Southern California (Volleyball), Caitlin Leverenz of the University of California, Berkeley (Swimming & Diving), Brittney Griner of Baylor University (Basketball), Kytra Hunter of the University of Florida (Gymnastics), Brooke Pancake of the University of Alabama (Golf), Nicole Gibbs of Stanford University (Tennis), Taylor Thornton of Northwestern University (Lacrosse), Honda Division II Athlete of the Year, Kari Daugherty of Ashland University (Basketball), Honda Division III Athlete of the Year, Stacey Hagensen of Pacific Lutheran University (Softball), and 2012 Honda Inspiration Award Winner, Elena Delle Donne of the University of Delaware (Basketball).

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June 12, 2012

Track and Field: Eleven Sooners Earn All-America Honors

NORMAN, Okla. - The University of Oklahoma track and field teams had 11 student-athletes recognized as All-Americans on Tuesday by the United States Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association (USTFCCCA). Honors are awarded for performances at the final site of the NCAA Division I Outdoor Track & Field Championships occurring the previous weekend in Des Moines, Iowa.

Oklahoma's All-America total now stands at 394. A total of 116 Sooners have been honored nationally since Martin Smith's first season as head coach in 2005. This marks the sixth consecutive year Oklahoma has had 10 or more All-Americans.

Oklahoma's honorees were highlighted by first team honors from Brittany Borman (javelin) and Tia Brooks (shot put) who won national titles in their respective events, as well as Alex Acker, who finished fifth in the women's pole vault. Luke Bryant also earned first team honors with a third-place finish in the men's discus throw.

The men's 4x100-meter relay team of Marcus Anderson, Eric Cray, Evan Pierson and Jamel Woodearned second team honors, while Cray was named to the second team in the 400-meter hurdles, as well.George Alex (5,000-meter run) and Tre Lathan (110-meter hurdles) were also named to the second team on the men's side. Borman earned second team honors in the discus, while Ti'Anca Mock was a second team selection in the women's long jump.

Borman won her second consecutive NCAA javelin title this year and upped her All-American total to five in her career. Borman won the Big 12 Conference titles in the javelin in 2012 and 2011 and the discus in 2011 and 2010. Borman closes out her career as an eight-time Big 12 scorer and holds the OU program records in the discus and javelin.

Brooks won her first NCAA championship in the shot put this year, capping a season where she also won the indoor national title in the event. The Oklahoma program record holder in the event, indoors and outdoors, Brooks also swept the Big 12 Conference titles this year. She previously won the Big 12 indoor title in 2011. This season marks Brooks' fifth All-America honor of her career and she has scored at the conference meet six times in her career.

Acker earned her first career All-America honor and has scored at the outdoor meet in the pole vault in each of her two seasons at OU. Acker is the Oklahoma program record holder in the indoor and outdoor pole vault.

Bryant recorded his highest finish ever at the NCAA Championship this past year en route to earning his first All-American honor. He scored in the discus at the Big 12 outdoor meet in each of his four years and won the conference title in the event in 2012 and 2009.

Alex closes out his career as a three-time All-American, having earned second team honors in the indoor 3,000-meter run in this past year and in the 5,000-meter run in 2011. He is an eight-time Big 12 scorer and won three Big 12 Championships this past year - outdoors in the 5,000- and 10,000-meter runs and in the indoor 3,000-meter run. He holds the Oklahoma program records in the indoor mile and 3,000-meter run and the outdoor 5,000-meter run.

All four relay runners earned the first outdoor All-America honors of their careers. Anderson is a six-time Big 12 meet scorer, while Cray earned two All-America honors this year after scoring at the Big 12 Conference outdoor meet in three events. Pierson is a five-time Big 12 meet scorer. Wood scored at the indoor and outdoor conference meets in four events this year and was a first team indoor All-American as a member of the distance medley relay.

Lathan earned his first All-America honors after scoring at the conference meet twice this year. Mock ends her career with six All-America honors in the long jump and 4x100-meter relay. The Oklahoma program record holder in the indoor and outdoor long jump and the 4x100-meter relay has scored at the Big 12 meet a total of 12 times and swept the indoor and outdoor conference titles in the long jump in 2009.

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Miami Heat's Joel Anthony Praises OU Coach Kruger

Former player of Lon Kruger's praises the OU head coach: Heat center Joel Anthony, a former UNLV player, remembers OU men's basketball coach Lon Kruger fondly. The two men helped the Runnin' Rebels reach the NCAA Tournament in 2007 after a seven-year drought. Anthony believes Kruger can put together a tournament team in Norman.

Q: Has Kruger always been such a nice guy?

A: Yeah. From the day I met him. That's always been his reputation. A great guy, great coach, great individual. I definitely enjoyed my time of being able to learn from him.
Q: Do you think Kruger can rebuild the program at OU?

Definitely. He has his reputation, obviously, for a reason. He pays attention to the details of the game. He makes sure things are done the right way. I was (at UNLV) the first year that he was there also. To see how he goes about it, he's really a good fit for that program and for what they want to do. I'm very confident he'll take them there.

More Q&A at The Oklahoman

June 11, 2012

Former Sooner Jamell Fleming Signs With Cardinals

Jamell Fleming #32 of the Oklahoma Sooners scores a touchdown on an interception return against the Connecticut Huskies during the Tostitos Fiesta Bowl at the Universtity of Phoenix Stadium on January 1, 2011 in Glendale, Arizona. (December 31, 2010 - Source: Ronald Martinez/Getty Images North America)
Fleming signs four-year contract with Cardinals: The Arizona Cardinals inked their two remaining unsigned draft picks, including third-round selection Jamell Fleming, who signed a four-year contract Monday.

Fleming, a 5-foot-11 cornerback from the University of Oklahoma, earned All-Big 12 honors as a senior in 2011 when he racked up 60 total tackles, a forced fumble and a fumble recovery. (ArizonaSports.com)

Baseball: OU Season Over After Loss to Gamecocks

COLUMBIA, S.C. -- Two-time defending national champions South Carolina kept their record NCAA postseason winning streak alive and ended Oklahoma’s season with a 5-1 victory in the Columbia Super Regional Monday.

The Sooners' season ended at 42-25 while the Gamecocks improved to 45-17.

"We lost 25 games (in 2012) and we went toe-to-toe with a team that has won back-to-back national championships," said OU Head Coach Sunny Golloway, who has coached OU in all three of the program's Super Regional appearances. "I think it’s a tribute to the young men that represent the University of Oklahoma baseball team. Its hard to lose that many games and get this far. I am extremely proud."

Held scoreless for six innings Sunday in a game twice suspended by rain, the Gamecocks struck quickly Monday to take an advantage in the second game of the best-of-three Super Regional series.

In the top of the seventh, with Steven Okert on the mound for Oklahoma, Tanner English’s two-strike, sacrifice bunt was fielded by OU first baseman Evan Mistich, who overthrew third base, allowing Connor Bright to score and English to reach second.

English scored on Okert’s ball-four wild pitch to leadoff hitter Joey Pankake.

"Give South Carolina credit," said Golloway. "They put the ball on the carpet and forced the issue. They can beat you in a number of different ways."

Mistich atoned for his field error by plating OU’s only run of the series in the next inning, scoring Garrett Carey from second on a single to right center.

English hit in Casey Matthews for insurance in the eighth inning with a two-out, bunt single that raced beyond Okert’s reach as it sped between first and second base. Any momentum the Sooners had built with its run in the seventh ended as second baseman Chase Vergason doubled to clear the bases and add two South Carolina runs in the next at-bat.

After being halted at 8:40 p.m. Central Sunday night, the game resumed at 3:05 p.m. Monday with Oklahoma at bat in the bottom of the sixth. The Sooners loaded the bases with two outs, but right fielder Cody Reine flew out to right field after a 10-pitch battle with South Carolina’s Tyler Webb.

On Sunday, OU’s Jonathan Gray struck out nine of 23 batters and allowed just three hits as he finished his start after a one-hour, four-minute lightning delay after the fifth inning. South Carolina starter Colby Holmes was holding Sooners at bay as well, giving up just one hit with two strikeouts.

"I was really proud of Jonathan's effort," said Golloway. "Especially to come back out after the first rain delay."

Gray reached 100 K’s for the season with his fourth strikeout, coming in the third inning against Evan Marzilli. He joins Jordan John and Dillon Overton for the first trio in Oklahoma history to each hit the benchmark in a single season.

"We are going to hang our hat on the fact that we have Jonathan Gray and Dillon Overton back next year," said Golloway. "There will be a time for Oklahoma baseball to be reckoned with. It won't be today. Today is about South Carolina."

Weather delays plagued the Super Regional series. Rain washed away the standard pre-game routines but the first pitch was on schedule Sunday. At the conclusion of the fifth inning, officials suspended play. The game resumed but was halted again after the completion of the top of the sixth.

South Carolina won Game 1 of the best-of-three series, 5-0, Saturday. The Gamecocks increased their NCAA postseason winning streak to 21 games and go to Omaha looking to three-peat in the College World Series.

  1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 R H E
 South Carolina 0 0 0 0 0 0 2 3 0 5 8 2
 Oklahoma 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 0 0 1 3 1

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Stoops: Players Make Foolish Statements on Twitter

Twitter has given OU coach Bob Stoops some headaches: Aspects of Twitter can and have given Bob Stoops plenty of headaches.

Jaz Reynolds tweeting insensitive comments in the aftermath of a shooting in Austin, Texas.

Kenny Stills complaining about compliance.

Tony Jefferson lamenting his lack of a spot on the All-Big 12 team.

And the latest Twitter fiasco in Soonerland: Kameel Jackson's impulsive announcement that he was transferring to Texas A&M.

Jackson was one of four Sooners suspended indefinitely by Stoops for violating team rules. The suspensions were handed down before Jackson's Twitter announcement, which didn't mention why he suddenly wanted out of Norman.

“He shouldn't be on Twitter when he's making a foolish statement,” Stoops said last week before speaking at the Sooner Caravan in Plano. “He's making a statement that he shouldn't be making when he's already been suspended for eight or 10 games. He didn't detail that on his Twitter.”

Trey Franks, Quentin Hayes and Jaz Reynolds were removed from their scholarships, but Stoops allowed Jackson to work through summer school.

“‘Since I can't play this year, maybe I'll go somewhere else,'” Stoops said when describing Jackson's thought process. “Then he decides, or realizes, he'll have to sit out next year too (if he transfers).

“That isn't why he's coming back; maybe parents or other influences realize, ‘It's all your fault. If you want to go to class and do simple things that you're able to do, you can play here.'” (More at The Oklahoman)

Baseball: Game 2 of Super Regional Postponed Until Monday

COLUMBIA, S.C. -- Oklahoma and South Carolina were scoreless in the middle of the sixth inning before lightning strikes and rain halted play in game two of the Columbia Super Regional.

The game was postponed until Monday with a restart time of 3:05 p.m. CT. The if-necessary game is slated for 6:05 p.m. CT.

Both games can be heard on the Sooner Sports Network KREF 1400 AM and seen on ESPN2.

OU's Jonathan Gray struck out nine of 23 batters and allowed just three hits as he finished his start after a one-hour, four-minute lightning delay after the fifth inning. South Carolina starter Colby Holmes was holding Sooners at bay as well, giving up just one hit with two strikeouts.

Gray reached 100 K's for the season with his fourth strikeout, coming in the third inning against Evan Marzilli. He joins Jordan John and Dillon Overton for the first trio in Oklahoma history to each hit the benchmark in a single season.

Rain washed away the standard pre-game routines but the first pitch was on schedule at 6:05 p.m. Central. At 7:26 p.m., officials suspended play. The game resumed at 8:30, but was halted again for heavy rain 10 minutes later at the completion of three outs.South Carolina won the first game of the best-of-three series, 5-0, Saturday and the two-time defending national champions need just one victory to advance to the College World Series. The Gamecocks have a 20-game winning streak in the NCAA postseason, which began after a loss to the Sooners in the 2010 College World Series.

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June 10, 2012

Gymnastics: Five Sooners Qualify for U.S. Olympic Trials

Jonathan Horton of the USA competes on the Pommel Horse aparatus in the Men's qualification during day three of the Artistic Gymnastics World Championships Tokyo 2011 at Tokyo Metropolitan Gymnasium on October 9, 2011 in Tokyo, Japan. (October 8, 2011 - Source: Adam Pretty/Getty Images AsiaPac)
NORMAN, Okla. – When the United States holds its 2012 men’s gymnastics Olympic Trials in late June, five of the 15 competitors will be current or former University of Oklahoma gymnasts.

Oklahoma junior Jake Dalton and Sooner letter winners Chris Brooks (2006-2009), 2008 Olympian Jonathan Horton (2005-2008), Steven Legendre (2008-2011) and Alex Naddour (2010-2011) were named to the U.S. National Team and advanced to the U.S. Olympic Trials after their performances at the 2012 Visa Championships on Saturday.

The Visa Championships, USA Gymnastics' national championships, features the country's best gymnasts vying for national titles and spots on the U.S. National Team in men's and women's gymnastics.

The U.S. Olympic Trials are set for June 28-July 1 at the HP Pavilion in San Jose, Calif. The five men who will represent the United States in London will be determined by the Trials, subject to the approval of the U.S. Olympic Committee's board of directors.

At the completion of Saturday’s final round of Visa Championships competition at Chaifetz Arena in St. Louis, Mo., three Sooners finished in the top five of the all-around and claimed individual titles on all but two events.

Dalton, the 2012 NCAA all-around champion, took fifth place in all-around with a two-day score of 179.000, tying with Brooks. Dalton also earned the title of USA Gymnastics national champion on floor (31.500) and vault (32.400) for the second-straight year.

“Jake had a fantastic two days of competition,” said OU Head Coach Mark Williams. “He hit all 12 of his 12 routines this week and puts himself in a great position heading into the Olympic Trials.”

2008 Olympian Horton took fourth place in all-around with a 181.700 and claimed the still rings title with a 30.900. Naddour won the pommel horse title with a combined total of 30.100.

2011 Nissen-Emery Award winner and 2009 NCAA all-around champion Legendre finished in 10th in all-around competition with a 173.900 and took third place on floor with a 30.950. Legendre, who competed for OU from 2008-2011, served this past season as an undergraduate volunteer assistant and trained Williams in preparation for the Olympic qualifying process.

The five Sooners making up one-third of the Olympic Trials lineup helped secure the United States’ position in the 2012 Olympics by qualifying the nation with a third-place finish at the 2011 World Championships in Tokyo, Japan last October. Of the seven members on the 2011 U.S. World Team, five came through the Oklahoma program.

/// SoonerSports PR

Baseball: Gamecocks Down Sooners in Game 1 of Super Regional

South Carolina shuts out Sooners, 5-0: Saturday night's 5-0 Super Regional loss to No. 8 national seed South Carolina in front of 8,242 at Carolina Stadium didn't put the Sooners (42-24) in as deep a hole. They only need to win two games to take the series and earn a berth in the College World Series in Omaha.

Last week, OU needed - and got - four victories in two days to win the Charlottesville Regional and advance.

"We came to the park today needing two wins," Sooners coach Sunny Golloway said. "We'll go (back to the hotel), get up, eat a good breakfast and come to the ballpark tomorrow still needing two wins."

The Sooners will be the designated home team for Game 2 of the series at 6 p.m. Sunday. (Tulsa World)

June 9, 2012

OU Track and Field: Sooners Place 7th

DES MOINES, Iowa – The University of Oklahoma women’s track and field team scored 24 points at the 2012 NCAA Division I Outdoor Track and Field Championships to finish seventh among 63 teams that scored. The finish marks the third consecutive year the Sooners have finished in the top nine, following a fourth-place finish in 2011 and ninth-place showing in 2010. The Sooners were among three Big 12 Conference schools in the top 10 as Texas A&M finished third and Kansas was fifth.

Oklahoma’s scoring was highlighted by 10 points each from Brittany Borman(javelin) and Tia Brooks (shot put) who won national titles in their respective events. Alex Acker finished fifth in the women’s pole vault to score four points. All three earned first team All-America honors.

Brooks entered the shot put finals with the semifinals' best mark and extended her lead on her fourth attempt with a throw of 60-feet, six inches. Brooks won the indoor national title in March and is the first Sooner to win an outdoor national title in the event.

Brooks bested a tough field of competitors, including runner-up Brittany Smith of Illinois State (58-4.75) and third-place finisher Jeneva McCall of Southern Illinois (57-11.75). It was her second time to win at Drake Stadium this year with a mark of 18.00-plus meters. Brooks set her Oklahoma program record mark of 60-7.25 (18.47) at the venue during the Drake Relays earlier this year.

Borman repeated as the javelin national champion on June 6. Borman’s mark of 184-7 was more than four feet better than the next competitor and came on her second attempt of the event. Borman is OU’s first student-athlete to win back-to-back outdoor national titles in any event.

Borman is the sixth female to win back-to-back national titles in the javelin, joining Oregon’s Rachel Yurkovich (2008, 2009), Air Force’s Dana Pounds (2005, 2006), SMU’s Windy Dean (1996, 1997, 1998), Rice’s Valerie Tulloch (1994, 1995) and Alabama’s Iris Gronfeldt (1984, 1985).

Acker made the most of her first career trip to the national meet, finishing fifth overall with an Oklahoma program record jump of 14-3.25. It was the first All-America honor for the Erie, Pa., native and marks the second consecutive year OU has had an All-American in the event. She is just the third All-American from OU in the women’s pole vault (Sarah Pappas, 2011 and Leslie Dunlap, 2002).

Acker passed at the opening height of 12-9.50 and cleared each of the next four increments on her first attempt. It took her three tries to match her previous program best of 14-1.25 and just two attempts to set the new program mark.

All six of the men’s points came from Luke Bryant’s third-place finish in the men’s discus throw on June 6. Bryant closed out his career with his highest finish ever at the NCAA Championship and earned his first All-America honor with a mark of 199-11.

//// SoonerSports PR

OU's Tia Brooks Takes Championship

Brooks places 1st at NCAA Championship: Oklahoma shot put standout Tia Brooks added yet another major point on her resume Friday, claiming her first-ever NCAA Championship with a throw of 18.44 meters in Des Moines, Iowa.

Brooks has been a consistent producer in her three years throwing for Oklahoma, claiming back-to-back indoor Big 12 indoor championships and in 2012 claimed her first-ever outdoor title. She also holds the school record for both indoor and outdoor throws, tossing 19.00 meters indoor and 18.47 outdoor. (News On 6)

Whaley's Recovery Coming Along

Stoops: Dominique Whaley looks strong:  Sooners running back Dominique Whaley burst onto the scene in last year's opener against Tulsa, rushing for 131 yards and four touchdowns.

He became the team's starter before an ankle injury ended his season. Whaley was still recovering during the spring and didn't participate in practices.

Stoops said Whaley's status remains to be seen.

“I saw him walking through the hall today with his shirt off, and he looked like he should go back to the Roman days of a man sculpted out of stone,” Stoops said. “But I haven't watched him run, so we'll see. It's an unknown.” (The Oklahoman)

Pair of Transfers Apply for Waivers

Saunders, Johnson seek NCAA waivers: OU coach Bob Stoops said incoming transfers Jalen Saunders and Cortez Johnson have applied for waivers to play this season.

Both players left their respective programs after coaching changes.

“There’s nothing to feel good or bad about,” Bob Stoops said when asked if he felt good about their waiver requests. “It’s just a process. You go through the process and we’ll see.”

NCAA rules stipulate that if a player transfers from one Division I school to another, that player must sit out a year.

Stoops declined to say the grounds under which the players are applying for waivers. (The Oklahoman)

June 8, 2012

Stoops: OKC Thunder Success is Great for Oklahoma

Coach Stoops hopes to attend an NBA Finals game: Coach Bob Stoops said Wednesday he doesn't know if he'll make it to any NBA Finals games, but he's excited about what the Thunder's success has done for the state.

“I love to go when I can go, but I can't go very much,” Stoops said.

“Even the times I've been able to go, my boys have baseball games. I'm gone enough, and I need to go to their baseball games.”

He said he's excited by the team's success.

“It brings great recognition to what a great state we have,” Stoops said. “They're showing it with the class of players they are. It shows everybody the quality of life in Oklahoma.”

(Via The Oklahoman)

Stoops: Beating Texas is Nice But We Want Championships

Stoops: "We beat them and don't end up winning the championship, I could care less”: OU play-by-play announcer Toby Rowland asked Stoops, men's basketball coach Lon Kruger and women's basketball coach Sherri Coale questions submitted by OU Club of Dallas members.

One question for Stoops: “Anything better than hanging half a hundred on Texas?”

Stoops responded, “Yeah. Championships.”

As an example, Stoops pointed to last season. The Sooners beat Texas 55-17 at the Cotton Bowl, but lost three games, failed to win the Big 12 championship and had a disappointing overall season by the fans' standards.

“I didn't hear anybody patting me on the back last year,” Stoops said. “We beat 'em 55 to what, but we didn't win the championship. Where is everybody?”

But, he said, that's exactly how it should be.

“I've said this since I walked in here in '99, our program is not defined by beating them,” he said. “Are you kidding me?

“We beat them and don't end up winning the championship, I could care less.

“We want to win championships. And that's it. If they're a part of it, then that's good.”

(Via The Oklahoman)

Jenks' WR Jordan Smallwood Commits to OU

Sooners pick up ninth commitment of the 2013 class: Jenks was at a team camp in Bentonville, Ark., Jenks coaches got a call that the Sooners wanted to offer Trojans wide receiver Jordan Smallwood.

Less than two hours later, Smallwood was committed to the Sooners.

“The first thing you notice is his physical stature,” Jenks coach Allan Trimble told the Tulsa World. “He's big, physical and tall and plays even bigger than he is. He's a big, strong kid and a good blocker that works on blocking. He's a complete player that plays hard whether it's a run or a pass.”

The commitment was first reported by Rivals.com.

Smallwood had offers from Eastern Illinois and Wyoming, but his recruitment was just starting to pick up when he decided to commit. (The Oklahoman)

June 7, 2012

Sooners Dismiss Trio

Sooners pull scholarships of Reynolds, Franks and Hayes: The OU athletic department pulled the scholarships of three suspended OU football players, coach Bob Stoops said Wednesday.

Junior wide receivers Jaz Reynolds and Trey Franks, as well as sophomore defensive back Quentin Hayes, have been removed from scholarship, Stoops said at the Sooner Caravan stop in Tulsa.

Sophomore wide receiver Kameel Jackson is currently on a summer scholarship but will have to earn one back in the fall.

Reynolds, Franks, Jackson and Hayes were suspended for violating undisclosed team rules May 9.

“There isn’t any clamping down. I’ve always clamped down,” Stoops said at the caravan stop. “Overall, it’s fair to say over 13 or 14 years that our track record has been pretty similar. We stick with what’s proper, what’s appropriate. Our team policies and university policies, we don’t waver. You either abide by them or you don’t.” (The Oklahoma Daily)

Softball: Alabama Defeats OU in Title Game, 5-4

OKLAHOMA CITY -- Jackie Traina threw a five-hitter and delivered a key RBI single, and Alabama became the first Southeastern Conference team to win a NCAA softball title, beating Oklahoma 5-4 in the final game of a best-of-three series that ended early Thursday.

Traina gave up three home runs — two to Lauren Chamberlain, including one in the seventh inning — but fanned her Oklahoma counterpart, Keilani Ricketts, to end the game.

Alabama (60-8) took advantage of Ricketts’ wildness to score four runs in the fourth inning. The Crimson Tide overcame an early 3-0 deficit in a game delayed almost three hours at the start due to steady rain on Wednesday night.

Oklahoma (54-10) had won 12 straight games, including the opening game of the championship series, before losing two in a row. Ricketts struck out seven, raising her tournament total to 64, tying for third-best in Women’s World College Series history.

The win capped an emotional season for Alabama coach Patrick Murphy, who left after last season to take the coaching job at LSU, only to return to Alabama days later.

Ricketts put Oklahoma ahead in the second, curling a leadoff homer just inside the right-field foul pole. Chamberlain followed in the third with a two-out homer to left field to give the Sooners a 3-0 lead.

Rain started falling before the fourth inning and Ricketts (37-9) began struggling. After throwing 10 balls in the first three innings, she had 15 — including four wild pitches — in the fourth.

Kaila Hunt opened the fourth by singling to left for Alabama, then scored on three wild pitches. After the third one, Oklahoma coach Patty Gasso complained to the umpires that Ricketts couldn’t properly grip the ball and they delayed the game 13 minutes — over Murphy’s protests.

When the game resumed, Amanda Locke delivered a two-out RBI single and Courtney Conley followed with a double to center field that tied the game. A throwing error by Oklahoma shortstop Jessica Vest allowed Jazlyn Lunceford to reach base and Conley to score, putting the Crimson Tide up 4-3.

Traina (42-3) walked Chamberlain and hit Ricketts with a pitch with two outs in the fifth, but retired Jessica Shults on a fly ball that right fielder Lunceford caught at the wall. Alabama added an insurance run in the bottom of the fifth as Jennifer Fenton reached on a leadoff bunt single and scored on a RBI single to right field by Traina.

Chamberlain’s second home run, a two-out, solo shot over the right-centerfield wall, was her 30th of the season and the 102nd for the Sooners.

Traina had six strikeouts to end the season with 360, an Alabama single-season record.

  1 2 3 4 5 6 7 R H E
 Oklahoma 0 1 2 0 0 0 1 4 5 1
 Alabama 0 0 0 4 1 0 X 5 7 1

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