June 30, 2014

Track and Field: Former Sooners Compete at USATF

Former Sooners, including former NCAA Champion Ronnie Ash, completed competition at the United States Track and Field Championships over the weekend.

Ash, who ended his Sooner career in 2010 with a third place NCAA finish, had the best time in the field in the 110-meter hurdles through the semifinals. His final collegiate race was his only loss of the 2010 season.

Currently competing for Nike, Ash posted a 13.30 in the preliminaries to lead the field. He ran a 12.99 in Sunday's semifinals, again the best time in the field. Disaster struck in the final as Ash, who was again leading the field, fell over the eighth hurdle and did not finish the race.

June 29, 2014

Phil Steele: Oklahoma QB Trevor Knight Is A Heisman Candidate

Oklahoma quarterback Trevor Knight has emerged as a popular darkhorse candidate, which means he's no longer a sleeper.

He started only five games last year, but put the nation on notice by completing 32 of 44 attempts for 348 yards, four touchdowns and an interception against Alabama in the Sugar Bowl. 

Track and Field: Elizabeth Herrs Finishes Fifth at Senior National

Elizabeth Herrs got back on the awards stand Thursday with her fifth place finish at the United States Track and Field Association Senior National Championships. Her performance comes just two weeks after Herrs missed qualifying for the final in the javelin at the NCAA Championships by the slimmest of margins.

Herrs recorded her best throw, 187-8, on her first throw of the competition. That put her in second place in the 15-woman field through the first two rounds. She dropped to third in the final round of the preliminaries as eventual winner Kara Patterson of asics (204-10) and former Sooner Brittany Borman of NIKE/New York (203-7) both passed her.

Two others throwers passed her on their fourth attempts as none of Herrs’ remaining throws eclipsed her first one. Her 189-5 effort at the Big 12 Championships in May remains as Herrs’ career-best effort.

June 27, 2014

OU Baseball's James and Neuse Pick Up Regional Awards

Mac James (New Braunfels, Texas) and Sheldon Neuse (Fort Worth, Texas) earned selection to the American Baseball Coaches Association All-Midwest Region Team as voted on by the area’s coaches. James a .330 hitter, who started at five different positions, was honored as the First Team catcher, while Neuse (.304) was chosen as the First Team third baseman.

The Sooners have placed players on the All-Midwest Team for six consecutive seasons and have had multiple players honored in three of the last four years. Since 1952, Oklahoma has had 80 players earn a spot on the All-District Team.

RELATED: OU Baseball's Sheldon Neuse Gets Chance To Play For Team USA

James started more games at catcher than any other position, but was also inserted into the lineup at first base, third base, left field and designated hitter. He had the top batting average on the team and added 41 runs batted in, 15 doubles and five home runs.

Five Players Will Travel to Dallas for Big 12 Media Days

Two the stars of January’s Sugar Bowl win over Alabama highlight Oklahoma’s five-player group of representatives at next month’s Big 12 football media days in Dallas.

Quarterback Trevor Knight and Geneo Grissom will be joined by defensive tackle Chuka Ndulue, offensive tackle Daryl Williams and safety Julian Wilson on July 22 when the Sooners are scheduled.

Undrafted Rookie Roy Finch Likely to Remain With New England

Roy Finch, a 5-foot-7, 180-pounder out of the University of Oklahoma, has his work cut out when training camp opens a month from now, but based on observation of offseason workouts, he may have the best chance among the undrafted hopefuls to make the team. It’s worth noting that tight end Zach Sudfeld held that distinction this time last year, so fast starts don’t always translate into roster spots.

Finch’s game is suited to the pass-heavy drills of minicamp, as running backs with good hands and elusiveness get more work during 7-on-7 drills. Tom Brady and the quarterbacks generously shared the ball with their backs over the past month, and Shane Vereen, fourth-rounder James White and Finch were the benefactors, in that order.

June 26, 2014

OU Softball Wins Regional Staff of the Year

For the eighth time in program history, the Oklahoma softball team boasts the National Fastpitch Coaches Association Regional Coaching Staff of the Year, the NFCA announced Wednesday.

Head coach Patty Gasso, associate head coach Melyssa Lombardi, assistant coach Tripp MacKay, volunteer coach Whitney Cloer and director of operations Sharon Carter took home the honor after guiding the Sooners to a 51-13 record, the team’s 11th Big 12 title and ninth appearance in the Women’s College World Series.

Gabe Ikard Named Big 12 Sportsperson of the Year

Gabe Ikard can add Big 12 Male Sportsperson of the Year to his long list of accolades, as the conference announced him as the recipient of the annual honor Thursday.

The award, which began in 2000-01, recognizes student-athletes who displayed an extraordinary degree of sportsmanship and/or community service during the academic year. Criteria for the award include examples of sportsmanship and ethical conduct, citizenship and academic achievement. The former Sooner football player and May 2013 OU graduate excelled in all such areas.

Oklahoma entered the 2013 season with the naming of a new starting quarterback. As a team captain, starting center and roommate to one of the quarterbacks, Ikard found himself constantly in the middle of the situation. He quickly became the face and voice of the Sooners, setting an example for his teammates of how to handle difficult questions by always supporting each quarterback, his coaches and the decisions that were made throughout the season. Ikard’s leadership helped carry the Sooners to a Sugar Bowl win where due to injuries, he was the only starting offensive lineman to play his regular position in the game. He concluded the season by earning Consensus All-America honors.

OU Basketball Coaches Coale, Kruger Receive Pay Raises

OU basketball coach Lon Kruger received a new deal worth $17 million over the next six years, marking his first raise since taking over the Sooners in 2011. Kruger, who has exceeded expectations by guiding OU into the past two NCAA Tournaments, will earn $2.75 million this year, above the $2.3 million he was due to make under his original contract.

Under the revised deal, Kruger stands to make $3 million for the first time in 2019-20.

June 25, 2014

Oklahoma Board of Regents Approves Bob Stoops' New Contract

Bob Stoops joined college football’s rather exclusive $5 million club Wednesday, under terms his new contract approved by the University of Oklahoma Board of Regents.

Stoops will clear $5 million in annual salary for the first time this year under a revised deal worth $39.9 million over the next seven years. The only other coaches to hit that annual mark are Nick Saban, whose latest contract at Alabama puts him at a reported $6.9 million, Texas A&M’s Kevin Sumlin and Texas’ Charlie Strong, both of whom will reportedly earn $5 million this year.

Bob Stoops Releases Statement on Stadium Upgrades

Oklahoma head coach Bob Stoops released the following statement on the planned stadium renovations: "It's incredibly exciting. It shows you the great commitment that's here at the University of Oklahoma from President Boren through all the administration to continually push forward and pursue greatness. I think it also speaks to our support structure, our fan base and our alumni base throughout the country to be able to put forth a project like this. It's going to be great for everybody."

OU Regents Approve $370M Renovations to Stadium
OU Stadium Renovations To Be Unveiled Wednesday; Seating Capacity May Decrease

OU Regents Approve $370M Renovations to Stadium

The University of Oklahoma Board of Regents approved a proposal from OU Athletics on Wednesday to proceed with the development of plans and projects for a major renovation and modernization of Gaylord Family – Oklahoma Memorial Stadium. Among other changes, the south end zone will be enclosed to form a continuous bowl.

This commitment strengthens the resolve of the University of Oklahoma to remain competitive with fellow universities, while developing facilities to assist in the recruitment of outstanding individuals to the University as OU seeks to provide the best possible experience for its fans and student-athletes. The goal is not to expand the seating capacity, but to better meet the needs of fans and student-athletes.

June 24, 2014

Bob Stoops Expected to Receive Pay Raise

An enhanced contract for Oklahoma's Bob Stoops will go before the school's board of regents Wednesday, pushing the Sooners coach closer to the top of highest-paid coaches, CBSSports.com has learned.

Stoops – coming off a fourth straight double-digit-win season and a resounding Sugar Bowl victory over Alabama – is expected to hit the $5 million annual threshold sooner than in his current deal, which reportedly called for $5-plus million from 2016-18 after escalators.

OU Stadium Renovations To Be Unveiled Wednesday; Seating Capacity May Decrease

The proposed renovation plan for OU’s Gaylord Family-Oklahoma Memorial Stadium will be unveiled to the university’s board of regents Wednesday in Ardmore, but the construction is contingent on athletic department fund-raising that will require the project be completed in three stages.

Some OU donors for several years have pushed for improvements to the stadium, but sources say OU president David Boren has closely managed the progress of the plan because of the shaky nature of higher education funding and fund-raising in the state. Boren does not want the project to affect the university’s ability to raise money for academic pursuits.

RELATED: Report: Univ. of Oklahoma Will Propose Football Stadium Upgrades

OU Baseball's Sheldon Neuse Gets Chance To Play For Team USA

University of Oklahoma infielder Sheldon Neuse (Fort Worth, Texas) will take a break from summer ball in the California Collegiate League as he has been selected to participate with the Team USA Collegiate National Team. Neuse and 28 other top underclassmen from around the country reported to training camp on June 20 and are already two games into a schedule that will see the team play in the Carolinas, Netherlands and Cuba. The roster will be cut down to 24 by manager Dave Van Horn, the head coach at Arkansas, over the coming days.

Neuse, the lone representative from the Big 12, has seen action in both games so far as he came off the bench to play third base on Saturday and started at DH Sunday before moving to the mound where he struck out one in one inning of work to earn the save in a 4-2 win over CPL Select.

June 22, 2014

June 20, 2014

2014 OU Men's Basketball Non-Conference Schedule

University of Oklahoma Head Men's Basketball Coach Lon Kruger and Vice President and Director of Intercollegiate Athletics Joe Castiglione announced the Sooners' 14-game 2014 non-conference schedule Wednesday, a slate that features eight home dates (two of them exhibitions) and potentially six contests against teams that participated in last year's NCAA Tournament.

Highlighting the schedule are a Thanksgiving week trip to the Bahamas for the star-studded, eight-team Battle 4 Atlantis, a Dec. 20 game vs. Washington in Las Vegas, Nevada, home games against former longtime conference rival Missouri, 2014 NCAA Tourney participant Weber State and in-state foe Oral Roberts, and road games against Creighton and Tulsa.

Adrian Peterson: I'm The NFL's Best Player

Former Oklahoma running back Adrian Peterson believes he's the best player in the NFL, which pretty well answers where the Vikings star thinks he rates among running backs.

Philadelphia's LeSean McCoy recently said that he, not Peterson, is the top running back in the NFL. Meanwhile, NFL Network is counting down the top 100 players in the league, as compiled by a vote from players and fans, and Peterson was asked Thursday where he believes he should finish.

June 19, 2014

WBB: Oklahoma to Play Arkansas in Big 12/SEC Challenge

The University of Oklahoma will participate in the inaugural women’s basketball Big 12/SEC Challenge in 2014-15. The Big 12 and Southeastern Conferences announced the formation of the challenge, which will span at least two years and begin this upcoming season, Thursday.

The challenge will include two teams from each league in the initial two years; Oklahoma and the University of Texas from the Big 12 and the University of Arkansas and Texas A&M from the SEC.

"We consider it an honor to represent the Big 12 in this power conference match-up,” stated Oklahoma head coach Sherri Coale, who begins her 19th year at the helm in 2014-15. “Opportunities like this provide the potential for developing out of conference rivalries that are both compelling and preparatory as we all shoot for the NCAA Tournament in March."

OU-Tulsa Kickoff Set for 11:00 A.M.

The American Athletic Conference announced Thursday that the football game between the University of Oklahoma and Tulsa on Sept. 6 is slated for an 11 a.m. CT kickoff from Skelly Field at H.A. Chapman Stadium. The contest will be broadcast by ABC, ESPN or ESPN2.

June 18, 2014

Former 5-Star Prospect Considering Playing at Oklahoma?

The weeks-long delay in a decision from former Missouri wide receiver Dorial Green-Beckham's about his future plans -- to either transfer to a small college or sit out the season before entering 2015 NFL Draft -- might now have its explanation: a third possibility.

There is at least "marginal interest" in a transfer that would bring the troubled underclassman to Oklahoma, according to The Oklahoman. One of college football's most talented wide receivers, Green-Beckham (6-foot-6, 225 pounds) was twice arrested on drug charges in two years at Missouri, and was ultimately dismissed from the program after he was implicated, but not charged, in a burglary investigation.

June 14, 2014

Golf: Incoming OU Freshman Wins Southeastern Amateur

University of Oklahoma men's golf incoming freshman Grant Hirschman claimed the 85th Southeastern Amateur, one of the nation's top amateur events, on Saturday. The 72-hole tournament was played June 11-14 at the par-71 Country Club of Columbus in Columbus, Ga.

After finishing the event with scores of 274 (-10), Hirschman and Shad Tuten, who plays at Armstrong, competed in a playoff, which Hirschman won. Hirschman, from St. George’s High School in Collierville, Tenn., tallied scores of 69, 66, 69 and 70 and totaled 20 birdies at the tournament.

June 12, 2014

OU Among Nation's Top Athletics Programs

The University of Oklahoma currently ranks 14th in the Learfield Sports Directors’ Cup for the 2013-14 academic year with a score of 844.75 points. The Sooners have placed in the top 15 each of the past four years. Final standings will be released after the conclusion of the College World Series.

The Directors' Cup is presented annually by the National Association of Collegiate Directors of Athletics (NACDA), Learfield Sports and USA Today to the best overall collegiate athletics programs in the country.

Oklahoma is one of four Big 12 Conference schools represented among the top 30 squads, joining No. 13 Texas (854.00), No. 22 Oklahoma State (740.75) and No. 30 Baylor (578.50).

June 11, 2014

Bob Stoops Comments On Nick Saban's New Contract

Bob Stoops, the long-time coaching peer and acquaintance of Alabama's Nick Saban was in Tulsa on Thursday. Two days earlier, Saban's new $6.9 million salary was approved by the UA trustee's compensation committee.

Stoops, who made $4.7 million last year according to USA Today's salary database, was the fifth highest-paid coach in college football.

June 10, 2014

OU Soccer Schedule Promises to Excite

University of Oklahoma soccer coach Matt Potter and Vice President and Director of Intercollegiate Athletics Joe Castiglione released Oklahoma’s 2014 soccer schedule this week. The schedule is a challenging lineup that includes many of the nation's top teams.

OU’s slate will take the Sooners on the road and bring them home in near-equal amounts, with the squad hosting 10 matches at John Crain Field and participating in nine total away contests. The team will open the fall with four consecutive home events and five in total over the course of three weeks.

Oklahoma is set to face seven returning NCAA tournament teams, including 2013 defending NCAA runner-up Florida State. OU will also take on tournament contenders Oklahoma State, Utah, Florida, Nebraska, Texas Tech and West Virginia throughout the fall.

OU-Texas To Stay At Cotton Bowl Through 2025

The Red River Showdown – the historic gridiron clash between Texas and Oklahoma – is staying at the Cotton Bowl for at least another decade.

The football game will remain at the Fair Park icon through 2025, said Dallas civic leader Pete Schenkel, who led negotiations for the city and the State Fair of Texas. The previous deal had gone through 2020, contingent on the city making since-completed upgrades to the stadium.

June 9, 2014

June 8, 2014

Sooners Pick-Up Fourth Commitment From Texas For Class of 2015

Once a Texas A&M verbal commitment, Katy football standout Rodney Anderson will head north of the Red River to play college football.

The all-state running back picked the Oklahoma Sooners on Sunday, according to the Katy football twitter account. The 6-foot, 205-pound Anderson becomes the first Houston-area athlete to pick the Sooners, but the fourth Texan. He originally committed to Texas A&M in Aug. 2013, but decommitted in April.

June 6, 2014

Linebacker Frank Shannon Working Out With Team

Linebacker Frank Shannon, who was accused of sexually assaulting a female student at his off-campus apartment Jan. 20, is back with the football team and working out, Sooners coach Bob Stoops said Thursday during the Sooner Caravan stop in Tulsa.

Shannon’s future with the team has yet to be decided.

June 5, 2014

Former Oklahoma QB Landry Jones Hopes to Improve Accuracy in Sophomore Year of NFL

Former Oklahoma quarterback Landry Jones knows the Steelers offense better this spring, and he also knows the problem. His passes are not finding their mark.

It was an issue for him in his rookie preseason and remains one after five spring practices this year.

“Probably some accuracy issues,” Jones said as to what he needs to do better. “Just throwing in tighter windows, that’s one of the bigger things.”

June 4, 2014

FireLake to Host Josh Heupel 14 Foundation Golf Tourney

The ninth annual Josh Heupel 14 Foundation Golf Tournament will be held at FireLake Golf Course on Tuesday, June 17.

The four-person scramble raises funds for Josh Heupel’s #14 Foundation, which is dedicated to making a positive impact on the lives of children-in-need.

The tournament has become a staple of FireLake Golf Course’s summer schedule, thanks in large part to the cooperation between the tribe and Ken Heupel, father of the University of Oklahoma legend and current offensive coordinator.

Adrian Peterson: Pain Meds Have Never Been Forced on Me

Former Oklahoma running back Adrian Peterson empathizes with former players who are suing the NFL over painkillers and other medication they were given during their playing days.

More than 600 former players contend team physicians and trainers across the NFL routinely -- and often illegally -- dispensed powerful narcotics and other controlled substances on game days to mask pain. The players claim they have suffered an assortment of illnesses since, ranging from addiction to chronic muscle and bone ailments to permanent nerve and organ damage.

Baseball: Sheldon Neuse Among Freshman All-Americans

University of Oklahoma baseball’s Sheldon Neuse (Fort Worth, Texas) has been named to the Louisville Slugger Freshman All-America Team by Collegiate Baseball News. Neuse, who started 46 games at third base and saw action at shortstop and pitcher, is one of three players to earn the honor as a multi-position player.

Neuse completed his first season as a Sooner as the only player to start all 58 games. He hit in the middle of the order, primarily third, for the entire season. A .304 hitter, Neuse was named the Big 12 Freshman of the Year and was a unanimous selection to the All-Big 12 First Team. He led the Sooners with 47 RBI and a .521 slugging percentage on 17 doubles, seven triples and seven home runs.

June 3, 2014

Four-Star Cornerback Verbally Commits to Sooners

Four-star cornerback P.J. Mbanasor committed to the Sooners on Tuesday, becoming OU’s fifth commit for the 2015 class.

The former TCU commit announced his decision on Twitter, posting “Let’s gooooo! I’m done! #BlessedBoomer.”

He chose the Sooners over a final group that included six other schools—Florida, LSU, Michigan State, Nebraska, Notre Dame and Ohio State.

Lara Albright, Kendric Maple Receive Gautt Scholarship

University of Oklahoma graduates Lara Albright and Kendric Maple were among the 20 student-athletes at Big 12 Conference schools who were named recipients of the 2013-14 Dr. Prentice Gautt Postgraduate Scholarship winners, the league office announced Tuesday.

The scholarships are named in honor of the late Dr. Prentice Gautt, a former OU student-athlete, Big 12 Conference staff member and student services' pioneer who passed away in March 2005. The list of all-time recipients has grown to 348 since the inception of the league in 1996-97. Starting in 2002-03, additional funding increased scholarship award winners to two per member institution.

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