Berry Tramel
Sports Columnist

Berry Tramel, a lifelong Oklahoman, sports fan and newspaper reader, joined The Oklahoman in 1991 and has served as beat writer, assistant sports editor, sports editor and columnist.

Tramel grew up reading four daily newspapers — The Oklahoman, the Oklahoma City Times, the Norman Transcript and the Oklahoma Journal — and entered the newspaper business at the age of 17, with the Transcript in 1978. His first game assignment was the Lexington-Elmore City high school football game, and he has enjoyed the journey ever since, from high school wrestling duals and regional track meets to Orange Bowls and the NBA playoffs.

Tramel was born and raised in Norman, Okla. He and his wife, Tricia, were married in 1980 and live in Norman near their daughter, son-in-law and three granddaughters.

  • Zac Selmon's return a classy move for OU

    Berry Tramel | Updated: Fri, Jul 10, 2015

    I dropped in a 7-Eleven maybe 15 years ago, on the west side of Norman. I don’t think I’d ever been to that 7-Eleven and I doubt I’ve been since. But I went that day for something, and there was a tall, teenage kid buying something, and he looked at me and said, “Hi, Mr. Tramel.” It was Zac Selmon. I had met Zac, briefly, maybe a year earlier, when I did a story on his sisters, Shannon, Megan and Lauren, who all were teammates on the Norman High basketball team. The famed Selmon brothers had been followed by the Selmon sisters. That’s a story you can read here. I didn’t talk to Zac much at all that night in the home of Dewey and Kathryn Selmon. Don’t even really

  • Thunder road to title tougher than ever

    By BERRY TRAMEL | Published: Thu, Jul 9, 2015

    When the smoke of free agency clears, the Thunder figures to be in the thick of the West contenders. Probably third in line, behind the Warriors and Spurs, and that’s with or without Enes Kanter.

  • Tramel: Emails in on Joe Mixon

    Berry Tramel | Updated: Thu, Jul 9, 2015

    The emails are in on my Joe Mixon pieces — a column in the Wednesday Oklahoman and subsequent blog. You can read them here and here. But like always, Mixon rallies Oklahomans to a variety of viewpoints. Time to share: Dorion: “I understand the premise that in today’s society, physical evidence of wrongdoing is the true marker of guilt. But I feel like you missed potentially two of the most critical points about the differences in the situations (Mixon and SAE). Although the video is not public, there is very clear and relatively public knowledge that damage was done. We all read reports of how bad the hit was. We all found the tweets of the young man initially accusing Joe of being a ‘woman

  • Moratorium an NBA problem or a DeAndre Jordan problem?

    Berry Tramel | Updated: Thu, Jul 9, 2015

    Let's see. The actions of DeAndre Jordan mobilize the NBA into debate, wondering if a long-standing policy needs to be changed. Rule changes. The very foundation of the game has come into question. We’re talking, of course, about foul shooting. Not NBA moratorium. Foul shooting. Jordan reversed course Wednesday, reneging on a commitment to sign with the Dallas Mavericks and instead signing with the Los Angeles Clippers, the only team for which he’s played. Some have called for a change to the NBA free agency schedule, doing away with the eight-day moratorium and instead letting free agents sign as soon as the free agency period starts. I wrote about the situation for the Thursday Oklahoman, which

  • DeAndre Jordan waffling changes the landscape of NBA moratorium

    By BERRY TRAMEL | Published: Wed, Jul 8, 2015

    All NBA eyes moved to Houston on Wednesday, when a variety of media reported DeAndre Jordan waffling on his commitment to the Dallas Mavericks and thinking seriously about returning to the Los Angeles Clippers.

  • Another College Football Playoff committee member is talking 'eye test'

    Berry Tramel | Updated: Wed, Jul 8, 2015

    The College Football Playoff took a step back this week. Its newest member revealed that he, like many before him, have a god-complex. Former Vanderbilt coach Bobby Johnson has replaced Archie Manning on the committee, and Johnson told ESPN that he will “rely heavily on the eye test this fall,” according to the story that you can read here. Oh brother. Will this never end? Will this self-belief that the committee members are anointed to be savants and look deep into the world of college football and determine who is the better team not by results, but by what they detect from the motion pictures they study? Johnson said he will consider a variety of factors but “the old eye test is probably

  • Why did David Boren act swiftly on SAE video but not Joe Mixon?

    Berry Tramel | Updated: Wed, Jul 8, 2015

    Tony Casillas blasted OU president David Boren in grouping together the Joe Mixon case with the SAE racial slur. Casillas ripped Boren for his quick and decisive action against the fraternity, after a video surfaced of a member leading a racially-inflamed chant on a bus. Boren immediately expelled two SAE members, Sigma Alpha Epsilon closed its OU chapter and Boren ordered the frat house vacated within a day or two. Conversely, Mixon was suspended from football for a year but has returned to the squad and is expected to play for the Sooners this season. You can read our Casillas story here.

  • Public video separates Oklahoma's Joe Mixon from Florida State's De'Andre Johnson

    By BERRY TRAMEL | Updated: Wed, Jul 8, 2015

    DeAndre Johnson’s football career at Florida State is over before it began, and not because he slugged a coed in a bar. Johnson was dismissed from the Seminole squad because that punch was captured on video and released to the public. Such is life in the second decade of the 21st century. It’s not necessarily what you do. It’s what we see you do. Video is the new tribunal. The line of demarcation. If volatile video goes public, justice is swift. Just ask Ray Rice. If public consumption of your offense is limited to mere words, social pressure is less severe. And somewhere in the middle is Joe Mixon, at the tribunal door. A video exists of Mixon punching an OU coed, but you haven’t seen it. At least most of

  • Is Trevone Boykin cursed to be the Heisman favorite?

    Berry Tramel | Updated: Wed, Jul 8, 2015

    TCU quarterback Trevone Boykin is the Heisman Trophy favorite, according to Las Vegas betting odds. Three things spring to mind: What a turnaround for Boykin. This time last year, we thought he was a halfback masquerading as a quarterback. Turns out he was a great talent just looking for some direction, and new co-coordinators Doug Meacham and Sonny Combie delivered that direction with TCU’s new Air Raid offense. What a great story for TCU. Just another brick in a wall of Gary Patterson’s fabulous program building. Twenty years ago, the Horned Frog program was left for perpetual irrelevancy when the Southwest Conference disbanded. TCU was Rice.

  • Which combination of schools is the best Big 12 option?

    Berry Tramel | Updated: Wed, Jul 8, 2015

      For the Sunday Oklahoman, I wrote about Big 12 expansion and the (un)likelihood of something happening. I also listed nine expansion candidates, detailing their strengths and weaknesses. You can read those items here and here. But Big 12 expansion would come in pairs. The Big 12 should have added Louisville three years ago and reached 11 members, but that didn’t happen. If expansion ever comes, it will be to get the Big 12 to a dozen members. So let’s look at the best pairs of potential additions. What two schools together make the most sense? Cincinnati & Brigham Young: The Big 12 would like to expand East more than West, since West Virginia already is on an island. But the two best available

  • Will Pistons come to regret Reggie Jackson contract?

    Berry Tramel | Updated: Wed, Jul 8, 2015

    Monday afternoon on the Sports Animal, Traber or Eschbach, I forget which, asked a good question. Which NBA player has gotten the most ridiculous contract so far. Their answer was Reggie Jackson. Which goes along with some theories I’ve heard nationally, too. The Pistons gave Jackson a five-year, $80-million contract. That’s $16 million a year. I answered Kevin Love. The Cavaliers are giving Love $22 million a year, one month after proving they were just as good without him as with him and maybe even better. Love is a great player; he can score and rebound with the best of them.

  • Could the Thunder be headed for a division change?

    Berry Tramel | Updated: Wed, Jul 8, 2015

    The Milwaukee Bucks are threatening to move to Seattle or Las Vegas. If the Bucks move — and I hope they don’t; I like Milwaukee — I hope they go to Seattle. Much better destination spot. The Milwaukee owners say if ground isn’t broken in 2015 for a new arena, the league will buy back the Bucks and move the franchise. Let’s suppose it does move. Either to Seattle or Vegas. Hard to imagine how the Bucks could be kept in the Eastern Conference. Seattle and Vegas aren’t exactly Eastern cities. They would have to be settled in the West. Which means a franchise would be shipped to the East. Those hands you see raised are every franchise west of Palm Springs. Life in the East is

  • Who wins a three-way Big 12 tiebreaker?

    Berry Tramel | Updated: Tue, Jul 7, 2015

    The Big 12 has tried to solve its tiebreaker dilemma by announcing that it no longer will declare co-champions in the event two football teams tie for first place. The winner of their head-to-head meeting will be announced as the champ and presented to the College Football Playoff committee as such. I never thought it was a big deal one way or the other. The committee is not a bunch of dolts, sitting there wondering who is the real champ, and a league’s declaration won’t change that one way or the other. Maybe it’s a procedural matter that lets the committee off the hook so that it can make a Sophie’s choice — Baylor or TCU? TCU or Baylor? Oh, the league says Baylor, so we’ll go Baylor —

  • How could Kevin Durant possibly be a better teammate?

    By BERRY TRAMEL | Published: Mon, Jul 6, 2015

    A better teammate? Durant is an all-NBA ballplayer but an all-world teammate. He’s the guy who reaches out to newcomers and who bounces off the bench even with a gimpy leg to cheer on his pals and who plays peacemaker when emotions run wild in combustible competition.

  • Oklahoma State football making history with 'I'm A-OK' autism initiative at Boone Pickens Stadium

    FROM STAFF REPORTS | Updated: Mon, Jul 6, 2015

    OSU UPDATE -- Oklahoma State is working to make football gameday experiences more comfortable for families with autistic children. Berry Tramel and Kyle Fredrickson discuss the changes OSU is implementing.

  • How have Baker Mayfield and Trevor Knight played on the road?

    Berry Tramel | Updated: Mon, Jul 6, 2015

    The success of the OU football season figures to be determined away from Norman. Some years ago, that would have been a bummer for Sooner prognostications. OU’s susceptibility at home the last three seasons has changed that perception, to some degree. At Owen Field, the Sooners lost to Kansas State and Notre Dame in 2012, and to Kansas State, Baylor and OSU in 2014. Still, you’d rather have your tough games at home. The Sooners on the road this season play Tennessee, Baylor and OSU, plus the neutral-site game against Texas. The success of the OU season largely will be determined by quarterback play, which has been inconsistent for the Sooners two years running.

  • Baker Mayfield's shoulder won't affect the quarterback derby

    FROM STAFF REPORTS | Updated: Mon, Jul 6, 2015

    OU UPDATE -- With reports circulating about Baker Mayfield's health, Berry Tramel and Jason Kersey talk about why the quarterback competition at OU is still Mayfield's to lose.

  • Reggie Jackson and Enes Kanter remain linked

    Berry Tramel | Updated: Mon, Jul 6, 2015

    Reggie Jackson and Enes Kanter were involved in the same trade last February, disgruntled young players that once were looked upon as cornerstones but had fallen from favor with their franchises. Then Jackson and Kanter staged a derby determining which could be more impressive with their new teams. Jackson was good in 27 Detroit Piston games: 32.2 minutes (only 4.2 minutes more than he was playing in OKC) per game, but 17.6 points (up 4.8), 4.7 rebounds (up 0.7) and 9.2 assists (up 4.9). Meanwhile, Jackson’s shooting improved remarkably — his slash line of field goal percentage, foul shooting and 3-point percentage was .436/.796/.337 with the Pistons, .432/.861/.278 with the Thunder. Kanter’s

  • Tramel: Please explain why a 10-team Big 12 won't work?

    berry tramel | Updated: Mon, Jul 6, 2015

    Why can’t the Big 12 thrive with 10 schools? What would two schools add, especially two imperfect-fit schools, which are the only kind available at the moment? Again, dead-serious question. What would 12 provide that 10 doesn’t?

  • Analyzing the strengths and weaknesses of Big 12 expansion candidates

    By BERRY TRAMEL | Published: Sat, Jul 4, 2015

    BOISE STATE Athletic budget: $45.7 million Enrollment: 22,259 Market: Greater Boise population of 650,288; Idaho population 1.63 million. Football stadium: Albertsons Stadium, opened in 1970 and frequently renovated since. Current capacity 36,387. Fan base: Squishy. Boise State has averaged 34,366 and 32,503 per home game the last two seasons. Television attraction: Strong. Boise State’s brand has gone national. Television clickers will stop on the Broncos, and in the Mountain Time Zone, a late-night window is created. Geography: Problematic. It’s 2,212 miles from Boise to Morgantown, W.Va. Heck, it’s 1,500 miles from Boise to Oklahoma City. Academic standing: Not ranked among the top

Berry Tramel Fri, Jul. 31 2015 03:04:23 PM CST 63 years ago today, Bill Greason made OKC history
Berry Tramel Thu, Jul. 30 2015 09:47:23 PM CST Why late OU football great Kurt Burris was The Boss
Berry Tramel Thu, Jul. 30 2015 08:19:23 PM CST Kurt Burris was The Boss
Berry Tramel Thu, Jul. 30 2015 10:05:19 AM CST Is Notre Dame gaming the system with no 13th game?
Berry Tramel Wed, Jul. 29 2015 08:49:57 AM CST Why Nebraska never will leave the Big Ten
Berry Tramel Tue, Jul. 28 2015 09:45:09 AM CST Would two five-team divisions work in the Big 12?
Berry Tramel Mon, Jul. 27 2015 10:36:04 AM CST Northwest Oklahoma travelblog: How I made it to Longdale
Berry Tramel Sun, Jul. 26 2015 06:48:41 PM CST With Henry Iba's help, Jumpin' Jack McCracken became a giant in the game
Berry Tramel Sat, Jul. 25 2015 05:16:45 PM CST Tramel: Diminished Big 12 scrambles to regain its status
Berry Tramel Fri, Jul. 24 2015 09:25:07 PM CST Could Kendrick Perkins be an NBA assistant coach?
Berry Tramel Fri, Jul. 24 2015 06:43:39 PM CST Will Tyrone Swoopes keep the quarterback job at Texas?
Berry Tramel Fri, Jul. 24 2015 12:34:31 PM CST SoonerVision and all video boards make life better for the fans
Berry Tramel Thu, Jul. 23 2015 08:13:08 PM CST An L.A. story that shows the Thunder's culture survived the storm
Berry Tramel Thu, Jul. 23 2015 12:36:32 PM CST Bad luck part of Big 12 playoff omission
Berry Tramel Thu, Jul. 23 2015 10:26:52 AM CST Retaining divisional scheduling will help the Thunder
Berry Tramel Wed, Jul. 22 2015 04:35:41 PM CST Dallas travelblog: Surviving the Arbuckles
Berry Tramel Wed, Jul. 22 2015 02:46:38 PM CST Is Ty Lawson trade good for the Rockets?
Berry Tramel Wed, Jul. 22 2015 10:37:12 AM CST Baylor remains a holdout on a quality football schedule
Berry Tramel Tue, Jul. 21 2015 06:49:31 PM CST OU football: Knight talks to Clemson cheerleader
Berry Tramel Tue, Jul. 21 2015 06:49:30 PM CST Why did Bob Stoops ever leave his first love?