Oklahoma AD Joe Castiglione Named Recipient of 2013 NFF John L. Toner Award

The National Football Foundation (NFF) and College Hall of Fame announced today that University of Oklahoma Director of Athletics Joe Castiglione has been named the 2013 recipient of the John L. Toner Award. The Toner Award is presented annually by the NFF to an athletic director who has demonstrated superior administrative abilities and shown outstanding dedication to college athletics and particularly college football.
“Since Joe’s hire 15 years ago, Oklahoma has dominated the football and athletics landscape with the Sooners experiencing extraordinary success as a perennial national power," said NFF President and CEO Steve Hatchell. "The Sooners have a rich football history, and the success of the team would not be possible without Joe’s support and leadership. His accomplishments place him the vanguard of his profession and truly worthy of this prestigious honor."

Coach Bob Stoops, NASCAR Champion Jimmie Johnson to Aid Tornado Victims on Thursday

Oklahoma coach Bob Stoops and NASCAR Champion Jimmie Johnson will spend Thursday in Moore, Okla., helping with early-stage relief efforts as residents of the Oklahoma City suburb's attempt to rebuild in the wake of last week’s devastating tornadoes.

The cause is personal for Johnson. His wife, Chandra, is a native of Muskogee, Okla., about 140 miles from Moore. And the five-time NASCAR Sprint Cup champion is close friends with Oklahoma University football coach Bob Stoops, who will join Johnson in Moore on Thursday.


Week in Pictures: Sooners Helping Oklahoma Tornado Victims

OU Men's golf team unloading supplies for tornado victims

Oklahoma coach Bob Stoops with neighbors of Aidmatrix's Shari Temple's family in Moore, Oklahoma

Head Women's Basketball Coach Sherri Coale visits w/a Moore tornado victim staying at the OU dorms.

Urban Search & Rescue units from Lincoln, NE w/Oklaoma women's basketball team for a meal during their break from relief efforts.

The Sooners, coaches and staff taking to the streets of Moore to help with tornado clean-up

OU Rowing speding the afternoon in Moore helping a family move out of their home damaged by the tornado.

Coach Stoops and student athletes visit with displaced families from #Moore who have found a home at University of Oklahoma

Sooner Jr. delivering 800 backpacks to Frontline Church for Moore's last day of school
OU baseball helping out at the Habitat for Humanity offices in Norman as they prepare to receive relief items

NCAA Champion Kendric Maple, OU wrestler Tim Hamilton, Oklahoma football coach Bob Stoops with an elderly woman who surviced the Moore tornado
Oklahoma coach Jay Norvell working relief in Shawnee and Little Axe
All images are property of their respective owners

Softball: Sooners Pair Up for Player of the Year

Teammates Keilani Ricketts and Lauren Chamberlain are two of the three finalists for the 2013 USA Softball Collegiate Softball Player of the Year Award, the Amateur Softball Association of America and USA Softball announced Wednesday.

The Sooners are joined by Tennessee's Raven Chavanne as finalists for the award, which is considered the most prestigious honor in Division I women's collegiate softball and is designed to recognize outstanding athletic achievement by female collegiate softball players across the country.

Baseball: Sooners Shutout Red Raiders, 8-0

The Sooners captured their second straight shutout victory, beating the Red Raiders 8-0 in the Big 12 Championship Friday at Chickasaw Bricktown Ballpark.

Oklahoma (38-19) smacked 13 hits, including eight for seven runs in the final two innings to take down Texas Tech (25-30) in the second day of pool play at the conference tournament.

The Sooners opened scoring with one run in the fourth. Hector Lorenzana reached base with a two-out single to right field and, following a walk of Anthony Hermelyn, scored after Colt Bickerstaff singled through the right side of the infield.

Bickerstaff was a late addition to the Sooners' lineup and returned the favor for the start. Five of Bickerstaff's 12 season RBIs have come against the Red Raiders.

Softball: Super Regional Will Begin at 6 p.m. on Friday

Due to field conditions after heavy rains in recent days, Thursday night's Super Regional opener between Oklahoma and Texas A&M has been postponed. The Super Regional between will now begin on Friday night with a single game at 6 p.m. Gates will open at 4:30 p.m.

Game two will take place on Saturday at 11 a.m. on ESPN. If necessary, a third game in the series will be played at 2 p.m. on Saturday, though the TV designation is still to be determined.

/// SoonerSports PR

Softball: Super Regional Opener Postponed


Tulsa Shock Cut Former Sooner Courtney Paris

The Tulsa Shock made former national college player of the year Courtney Paris the final cut from their training camp roster.

Paris was waived Thursday as the Shock reduced their roster to the 11 players required before the start of the regular season. Tulsa opens the season Saturday at Atlanta.

Former OU Star Blake Griffin Named to All-NBA Second Team

The NBA announced today that former Sooner and current Los Angeles Clippers forward Blake Griffin was named a member of the 2012-13 All-NBA Second Team. This is the second straight season Griffin has been a member of the Second Team, and he becomes one of just four players since 1995-96 to make an All-NBA First or Second Team twice in their first three seasons.

Video: Sam Bradford PSA for the STL4OKC Donations Initiative

Former Oklahoma quarterback Sam Bradford is organizing donation efforts in St. Louis for Oklahoma tornado victims.

Sam Bradford Raising Disaster Relief Money
Former Sooners Stunned by Tornado Damage
Oklahoma Defensive Back Kass Everett Organizing Relief Efforts in Philadelphia 
Video: Bob Stoops on Oklahoma Tornado Tragedy

Baseball: Sooners Defeat Bears in Big 12 Tourney Opener

Jonathan Gray allowed just three hits and struck out 12 in a complete-game shutout to lead Oklahoma to a 2-0 victory over Baylor to open the Big 12 Championship at Chickasaw Bricktown Ballpark.

The Sooners (37-19) scored one run in each the first and third innings and didn't have a hit after the fourth, but none of that mattered with Gray on the mound.

After the game was delayed 3 ½ hours due to rain, Gray (9-2) started out shaky, throwing six straight balls to being his outing. But Gray recovered from a leadoff walk to punch out two in the first and finished in cruise control, starting the final inning with back-to-back punch outs to match his career high.

Dillon Newman (3-4) was efficient on the mound for Baylor (27-26), but was rocked early for six hits in the first four innings while the Bears stranded six baserunners.

Oklahoma faces Texas Tech Saturday at 9 a.m. in Game 2 of pool play after the tournament was postponed one day and reformatted after a devastating tornado hit nearby.(Find More at SoonerSports.com)

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

Former Sooners Stunned by Tornado Damage

THE PICTURES of Monday's tornado aftermath on Lane Johnson's phone didn't come from CNN or a newspaper. They were taken, Johnson said, by ex-Oklahoma Sooners teammates who made the short drive from Norman to Moore, Okla., to try to help first responders.

Offensive tackle Johnson and his fellow ex-Sooner, defensive end David King, were stunned and horrified to see the devastation in Moore; both recalled frequently going to see movies at the ravaged theater that has been so prominent in news coverage of the disaster.

Sam Bradford Raising Disaster Relief Money

Rams Quarterback Sam Bradford was in Oklahoma City on Monday for one of the most devastating tornadoes in the state's history. Now, he has comeback to St. Louis unscathed to raise money for disaster relief.

"It's really hard for me to look at the pictures," Bradford said on Wednesday, announcing the #STL4OKC fundraising drive, seeking goods and financial support for Oklahoma disaster victims. A donation site has been set up for Thursday night across from Gate 1 of Busch Stadium for attendees of the exhibition soccer game between Manchester City and Chelsea.


Oklahoma Defensive Back Kass Everett Organizing Relief Efforts in Philadelphia

Kass Everett arrived in Oklahoma less than a year and a half ago, but the people have already made a tremendous impact on him.

Everett, an OU senior defensive back, was back home in Philadelphia through the devastating tornadoes that ripped through Oklahoma earlier this week.

Tulsa Union Tight End Carson Meier Commits to OU

Tulsa Union tight end Carson Meier committed to Oklahoma on Wednesday, becoming the Sooners’ eighth commitment for its recruiting class of 2014.

Meier, a three-star prospect according to Rivals, also holds scholarship offers from Duke, Oregon State, Rice, Rutgers, SMU, Washington State and Wisconsin.


OU Men's Hoops to Meet A&M in 2013

The Big 12 and Southeastern Conferences have announced an annual men's basketball challenge that will begin during the 2013-14 season and will pit Oklahoma vs. Texas A&M on Dec. 21 at the Toyota Center in Houston, Texas.

The majority of the Big 12/SEC Challenge games are scheduled for December 2-6, but three will take place outside the four-day series window due to scheduling issues.

"The Big 12 is excited to enter into another partnership with the SEC," said Commissioner Bob Bowlsby. "It will add more quality opponents to our schools' annually strong non-conference schedules and provide an additional avenue to showcase some outstanding intersectional matchups."

Softball: Sooners Sweep Big 12 Awards

After winning their 10th Big 12 title last weekend, the No. 1 Oklahoma softball team took home even more hardware on Tuesday with the announcement of the Big 12 postseason awards.

Patty Gasso was named Coach of the Year for the second year in a row, while senior Keilani Ricketts took home Pitcher of the Year honors and sophomore Shelby Pendley was chosen as Player of the Year. It’s just the second time since 2002 that one team has swept all three awards.

In addition, the Sooners put five players on the All-Big 12 First Team, two players on the All-Big 12 Second Team and four on the inaugural All-Big 12 Defensive Team.


Coach Bob Stoops Has Non-Cancerous Growth Removed

University of Oklahoma Football Coach Bob Stoops had some stitches in his cheek when he made a stop in Tulsa Monday. A university official says Stoops had a growth removed and that it was not cancerous. It's being described as a minor surgical procedure.

Coach Stoops, OU women's basketball coach Sherrie Coale, men's basketball coach Lon Kruger and several student athletes made their stop in Tulsa Monday afternoon as part of an OU Caravan tour to thank loyal Sooner fans around the state.

Gymnastics: Both Programs Finish in Top Two

After everything had been said and done and the dust had settled at the men's and women's NCAA Gymnastics Championships, one university again found itself among the nation's best.

On two different sides of the country, the two Oklahoma gymnastics teams each stood on the podium as national runners-up just hours apart on April 20, the highest combined finish of any school's gymnastics squads in the country.

By finishing second at both NCAA Championships, the Sooners became just the third university in NCAA gymnastics history to have both programs finish in the top two in the same season, joining UCLA in 1984 and Michigan in 1999 when both the Wolverines and the Bruins had their men finish first and women finish second.

Bob Stoops 'Disappointed' For Tony Jefferson

Oklahoma football coach Bob Stoops expressed disappointment for former Sooner safety Tony Jefferson, who wasn't selected in last month's NFL Draft.

But Stoops also said he wasn't surprised.

“Nothing surprises me in the draft,” Stoops said Monday, when he appeared for an OU Caravan event at Tulsa's Shusterman Center.

Golf: OU Headed to NCAA Tallahassee Regional

The NCAA Division I Men's Golf Committee selected the University of Oklahoma men's golf team on Monday night as one of the 13 teams that will compete in the NCAA Tallahassee Regional. The tournament will be played May 16-18 at the 6,965-yard, par-72 Golden Eagle Golf and Country Club in Tallahassee, Fla.

Ranked 25th nationally, the Sooners will be the regional's No. 5 seed and will be making their third straight NCAA Regional appearance. The NCAA berth marks the 41st postseason appearance for OU.

"We are looking forward to going down to Florida," fourth-year OU head coach Ryan Hybl said. "On paper, it looks like a very tough spot for us. But our guys knew that we will have to play well no matter where we ended up."


Bob Stoops: Should Media Be on CFB Playoff Committee? "OH, HELL NO."

While the format of the new College Football Playoff is starting to get worked out, there still hasn't been much progress on the makeup of the proposed selection committee.

Will it be composed of former administrators? Former coaches? A bunch of sabermetric aces? A combination of different groups?

Rowing: OU Wins First Big 12 Championship

In just its fifth season as a varsity program, the No. 20 University of Oklahoma rowing team won its first Big 12 Rowing Championship Saturday at Wyandotte County Lake.

The Sooners used wins in the final three races to secure their first conference title in Kansas City, Kan. With victories in three of the six events, it marks the highest number of individual boat Big 12 titles for OU in the history of the event.

OU finished with 136 points, ahead of Texas's 117 points. Kansas came in third overall with 81 points, followed by West Virginia with 75 and Kansas State with 66 points.


Golf: OU Trio Claims Postseason Awards

University of Oklahoma junior golfers Chirapat "Ja" Jao-Javanil, Anne-Catherine Tanguay and Emily Collins were named to the 2013 All-Big 12 Conference Team on Wednesday.

Oklahoma State head coach Alan Bratton claimed his first Big 12 Coach of the Year accolade, while Baylor's Lauren Taylor was selected as Newcomer of the Year and Texas Tech's Kim Kaufman was named Scholar-Athlete of the Year. Five teams placed student-athletes on the 10-person All-Big 12 Team, but Oklahoma is the only school with three players represented.

"I'm really proud of Ja, Anne-Catherine and Emily for being named to the All-Big 12 Team," said OU head coach Veronique Drouin-Luttrell. "They've put in a lot of time and effort all year and I'm happy it paid off for them."

Jamarkus McFarland Named to 2013 NFF Honors List

Jeremy Beal #44 and Jamarkus McFarland #97 of the Oklahoma Sooners celebrate a quarterback sack against the Texas Longhorns in the first quarter at the Cotton Bowl on October 2, 2010 in Dallas, Texas. (October 1, 2010 - Source: Ronald Martinez/Getty Images North America)
The National Football Foundation announced that Jamarkus McFarland has been named to the 2013 NFF Hampshire Honor Society. The Lufkin, Texas, native played in 47 games (22 starts) during his OU career, registering 81 tackles (37 solo) 17.0 tackles for loss, 7.5 sacks an interception and two pass breakups, including 29 tackles and 3.0 sacks during his senior season in 2012.

The NFF Hampshire Honor Society is comprised of college football players from all divisions of play who have maintained a 3.2 GPA or better throughout their college career. This year, 703 college football athletes qualified for membership in the society, marking the highest participation of schools in the history of the program.

Wright, Ikard Among Honorees at NFF Awards

Oklahoma assistant head coach Bobby Jack Wright and senior offensive lineman Gabe Ikard will both be honored at the 29th annual National Football Foundation Scholar-Athlete Awards Dinner at the Oklahoma Sports Hall of Fame on June 6.

Wright is the 2013 recipient of the Merv Johnson Integrity in College Coaching Award. A member of Bob Stoops’ coaching staff since 1999, Wright currently coaches the OU cornerbacks in addition to his duties as assistant head coach.

OU Student Football Season Tickets on Sale

Student season tickets for the 2013 University of Oklahoma football season are on sale now to any currently (Spring 2013) enrolled OU student at the Norman, HSC or Tulsa campuses who will also be a full-time student in the fall of 2013.

Students are encouraged to purchase their season tickets before the deadline on May 12 to be eligible to purchase Oklahoma vs. Texas football tickets that go on sale on Aug. 27 at 7 am. Internet ordering is available at SoonerSports.com. Ticket sales are on a first-come, first-served basis, while supplies last until availability is exhausted or through May 12 at 11:59 pm.

Tickets may also be purchased in person at the OU Athletics Ticket Office, located on the west side of Gaylord Family - Oklahoma Memorial Stadium. The OU Athletics Ticket Office will continue sales every business day from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. until availability is exhausted or through May 10.


Athlon Magazine Names Adrian Peterson No. 1 Running Back of BCS Era

Athlon magazine released a list of its Top 50 running backs of the BCS era (1998-present).

No. 1 on the list was former OU running back Adrian Peterson. They called the former Sooner All-American the “BCS version of Herschel Walker or Bo Jackson” and “his natural blend of power, speed, size and balance has never been duplicated during the BCS era.”


Tennis: OU Men to Host NCAA Regional

The University of Oklahoma men's tennis team was selected to compete in the 2013 NCAA Championships and will host one of 16 regional sites for the fourth consecutive year, announced by the NCAA Tuesday.

The Sooners earned the 14th overall seed as an automatic qualifier for the championship after winning their second straight Big 12 title Sunday.

First and second round competition will take place Friday, May 10, and Saturday, May 11, at the Headington Family Tennis Center. No. 14 Oklahoma faces Wichita State in the first round on Friday. No. 22 Auburn and No. 38 North Carolina State complete the men's bracket for the Norman Regional.

Adrian Peterson: 'I've Got My Bar Set for 2,500' Rushing Yards

Immediately after the 2012 season, Minnesota Vikings running back Adrian Peterson made one of those statements that would sound like a throwaway comment from anyone else. After coming nine yards short of breaking the NFL single-season rushing record, Peterson told NFL Network that he wanted to rush for 2,500 yards in 2013.

Four months later, Peterson still sounds serious about it; he's listing it as a goal.

Softball: Games at Kansas Delayed

Due to expected rain in the forecast in the Lawrence, Kan., area, Oklahoma softball’s three-game series at Kansas, originally scheduled for Friday and Saturday, has been pushed back to Saturday and Sunday.

The series will begin with a doubleheader on Saturday beginning at 2 p.m., and it will conclude on Sunday with a noon contest.

ESPN's Mel Kiper Explains Why Tony Jefferson Didn't Get Drafted

Tulsa World's Guerin Emig asked Mel Kiper that question. Here was how he answered:

"Two things happened with Tony Jefferson that caused his slide. A number of safeties really had big years. There was a host of them. Ten or 12 safeties could start in this league right away. That hurt Tony Jefferson, coming out early as a junior.

Bobcats Ask to Speak to Former Sooner Coach Kelvin Sampson

The Charlotte Bobcats requested permission to speak with Houston Rockets assistant coach Kelvin Sampson about their vacant head coaching job, reports the Houston Chronicle.

The Bobcats are looking to replace Mike Dunlap, who was fired last week after only one season with the team. The Bobcats finished the 2012-13 season with a 21-61 record.