• Ordeal with Illinois coach Tim Beckman shows it doesn't pay to be mean in college football

    BY JENNI CARLSON | Published: Sun, Aug 2, 2015

    Tough love isn't dead in college football. But it's sure a lot softer. Or it better be. There was a reminder of that last week, courtesy a familiar face. Former Oklahoma State defensive coordinator Tim Beckman is the target of increasing scrutiny at Illinois. His three seasons there have been rough, but now, he is facing allegations from some former players who say he mistreated them and mishandled injuries. The Chicago Tribune chronicled the whole mess. It contacted every player Beckman has coached at Illinois and ultimately interviewed more than four dozen of them. There were some conflicting opinions. Some players like Beckman. Some want nothing to do with him.

  • OU Football: Suspended linebacker Frank Shannon returns, with David Boren's blessing

    BY JASON KERSEY | Published: Sat, Aug 1, 2015

    As a sophomore, Shannon was the leading tackler on the Sooners’ 2013 Sugar Bowl champion team. He was considered one of the best players returning on a 2014 team with national championship aspirations, until an incident early on the morning of Jan. 20, 2014, that sent the talented linebacker’s life in an entirely different direction.

  • OU gets commitment from four-star linebacker Bryce Youngquist

    Ryan Aber | Updated: Fri, Jul 31, 2015

    For the second time in as many days, Oklahoma picked up a commitment from a defensive standout. Los Osos (Rancho Cucamongo, Calif.) outside linebacker Bryce Youngquist committed to the Sooners on Friday, announcing his decision on Twitter.   I am officially committing to the University of Oklahoma! #OU16 #OUDNA #CALISOONER #BOOMERSOONER #B2Gcertified pic.twitter.com/O3g2rKqqLl — Bryce Youngquist (@49BryceFootball) July 31, 2015   The Sooners picked up a commitment from Louisiana safety Chanse Sylvie on Thursday. Youngquist (6-foot-2, 210 pounds) is a four-star recruit according to Rivals.com, which has him as the No. 14 outside linebacker and the

  • Oklahoma football: Lincoln Riley, Jay Boulware praise Joe Mixon's effort, ability

    Jason Kersey | Updated: Fri, Jul 31, 2015

    NORMAN — Oklahoma offensive coordinator Lincoln Riley said redshirt freshman running back Joe Mixon is learning the new “Air Raid” offensive system well. “This system maybe is a bigger change for the running backs than anyone else,” Riley said. “We’ve thrown a lot at him and he’s handled it well. He loves to play. He loves to be in meetings. He loves to practice. “His motivation is so high that learning that stuff is going to be no problem for him.” Mixon, a former five-star prospect in the Sooners’ 2014 signing class, was supposed to make an immediate impact as a true freshman before an off-the-field incident resulted in him being

  • Oklahoma football: Ty Darlington now 'the old guy' on Sooners' offensive line

    Jason Kersey | Updated: Thu, Jul 30, 2015

    NORMAN — Senior center Ty Darlington sat at Big 12 Media Days in Dallas earlier this month, marveling at how time flies. He backed up Gabe Ikard his first two years on campus, then started all 13 games last season. “I went from being Gabe’s understudy and him showing me the ropes to now, I’m sitting here where Gabe was sitting two years ago,” Darlington said. “Now I have to be the old guy.” The Sooners lost five seniors off last year’s team who had starting experience. Darlington and senior right guard Nila Kasitati are the experienced guys on the 2015 offensive line. “It’s a very different dynamic but it’s one that I was preparing for,”

  • Oklahoma football: Specialists Nick Hodgson, Jack Steed are on scholarship

    Jason Kersey | Updated: Thu, Jul 30, 2015

    NORMAN — Oklahoma senior kicker Nick Hodgson and junior punter Jack Steed — who both joined the program as walk-ons — are on athletic scholarship, special teams coordinator Jay Boulware said this week. Hodgson, who has handled kickoff duties for the Sooners in every game the last two years, ranked second in the nation in both touchback percentage (67.1) and total touchbacks (58) in 2014. Boulware said he was awarded a scholarship at the beginning of the summer. Steed, from Katy, Texas, is a redshirt junior but has never appeared in a game. Boulware said he’s actually been on scholarship for the past couple of years now as he’s waited for his opportunity behind former OU punter Jed Barnett.

  • Why late OU football great Kurt Burris was The Boss

    By BERRY TRAMEL | Updated: Thu, Jul 30, 2015

    Then as now, Burris was a highly-decorated ballplayer who sometimes had to wait on his honors. Some of that changes Monday night, when Burris, who died in 1999, is inducted into the Oklahoma Sports Hall of Fame.

  • OU football No. 19 in preseason coaches poll; Oklahoma State unranked

    Ryan Aber | Updated: Thu, Jul 30, 2015

    Oklahoma is No. 19 in the preseason Amway Coaches Poll, which was released Thursday. It's only the second time since the Sooners' 2000 national championship that OU is outside the top ten in the preseason coaches poll. In 2013, Oklahoma was at No. 13 in the preseason poll and finished the season with a Sugar Bowl win over Alabama and a No. 6 ranking. The Sooners, who were 8-5 last season, are one of three Big 12 teams in the poll. OU was N0. 3 in last year's preseason poll but finished unranked for just the third time in Bob Stoops' tenure. TCU, coming off a 12-1 season, is No. 2 in the poll behind top-ranked Ohio State. The Horned Frogs received one first-place vote. Baylor,

  • Frank Shannon's suspension was 'a tough time for him' says OU coach

    Updated: Thu, Jul 30, 2015

    Once OU's leading tackler, Frank Shannon is back from his one-year suspension. When the Sooners have their first football practice next Thursday, Shannon - the linebacker who was forced to sit by the school following violations of OU's sexual misconduct policy - will be on the field. Guerin Emig of the Tulsa World spoke to OU linebackers coach Tim Kish about the return of Shannon. “That was a tough time for him," Kish said. "He served his sentence and ultimately ended up having the opportunity to make a decision to come back, and I couldn’t be more happy that he decided to finish out here.”

  • Fines for storming the basketball court and football field?

    BY RYAN ABER | Published: Wed, Jul 29, 2015

    Last week at Big 12 Media Days, conference commissioner Bob Bowlsby said the league would not go to a system of heavy fines to try and limit storming of basketball courts and football fields from happening, even after an incident in Manhattan, Kan., last basketball season where a Kansas State student dropped his shoulder into a Kansas player and Jayhawks coach Bill Self was trapped against the scorer’s table.

  • Ranking the home games on OU's schedule

    BY JENNI CARLSON | Published: Wed, Jul 29, 2015

    Most of Oklahoma's marquee games this season will take place outside of Norman. Tennessee. Texas. Baylor. Oklahoma State. But the biggest games on the Sooners' schedule are the ones at home. For the Sooners to get their program back on track, they need to re-establish home-field dominance.  Oklahoman columnist Jenni Carlson ranks the Sooners' home games from toughest — and best — to easiest: 1. TCU, Nov. 21: The preseason pick to win the Big 12 comes to town a week before it hosts Baylor. Will the Frogs be driving for a title? Trying to score style points? Either way, the Sooners would score a huge win by beating the Frogs, who used their victory in Fort Worth last season to springboard into the national

  • OU Football: The Sooners' hopes for return to glory begin at home

    BY JENNI CARLSON | Published: Wed, Jul 29, 2015

    NORMAN — A favorite category during preseason predictions is this: biggest game. Look at Oklahoma's schedule, and you'll find plenty of contenders. Tennessee. Texas. Baylor. Oklahoma State. No doubt all of those are marquee match-ups. They've got juicy undertones. They're got sexy storylines. But in terms of importance, none of those games hold a candle to TCU. Or West Virginia. Or Texas Tech, Iowa State, Tulsa or Akron. Those are the Sooners' six home games this season, and if they want to get back in the business of being contenders and winning titles, it has to start at home. They have to win every home game. They have to go undefeated on that Owen Field turf.

  • Oklahoma women's basketball: Sherri Coale praises sophomore point guard, gold medalist Gabbi Ortiz

    Jason Kersey | Updated: Wed, Jul 29, 2015

    NORMAN — Sherri Coale sat down for an interview with The Oklahoman after Wednesday’s Sooner Club Golf Tournament and said, “Let’s talk about Gabbi.” Sophomore Gabbi Ortiz started all seven games at this month’s FIBI U19 World Championship and helped lead Team USA to a gold medal. She averaged 2.4 points, 2.7 rebounds, 3.4 assists and 1.9 rebounds during the event. Ortiz, from Racine, Wis., started all 33 games as a true freshman point guard last season for the Sooners. OU finished the season second in the Big 12 Conference and earned a 16th straight NCAA Tournament bid.

  • Oklahoma football: Jay Boulware disappointed he couldn’t reach Keith Ford

    Jason Kersey | Updated: Wed, Jul 29, 2015

    NORMAN — Jay Boulware admitted being disappointing by how things ended with former Sooner running back Keith Ford, who left the program in May after being suspended indefinitely. Boulware had only been Ford’s position coach for a short time before Ford’s suspension, which was for violating team and academic rules. Ford rushed for 503 yards and six touchdowns in two seasons at OU, but he suffered a leg injury in the middle of last season that forced him to miss five games. He told the Tulsa World after announcing his decision to transfer that he didn’t like playing under Boulware. His running backs coach the first two seasons was Cale Gundy, who now coaches inside receivers.

  • Big 12 adds affiliate members in gymnastics, wrestling

    Updated: Wed, Jul 29, 2015

    The Big 12 Conference has added six affiliate members to its postseason wrestling competition, while Denver has been added as an affiliate member in gymnastics. Air Force, Northern Colorado, North Dakota State, South Dakota State, Utah Valley and Wyoming are joining Iowa State, Oklahoma, Oklahoma State and West Virginia for future Big 12 Wrestling Championships. Denver will take part in the Big 12 Gymnastics Championships with Iowa State, Oklahoma and West Virginia. The schools will be added to the respective postseason competitions effective the 2015-16 academic year. The Big 12 Wrestling Championship will shift to a neutral site and expand to a two-day event starting with the 2016 championship, March 5-6 in Kansas City. The Big 12 Gymnastics Championship will makes its neutral site debut March 19 in Frisco, Texas.

  • Why 2016 quarterback Austin Kendall will star at OU

    Published: Wed, Jul 29, 2015

    Austin Kendall doesn't hit campus until 2016 for Oklahoma football, but the North Carolina native is already creating a buzz as the Sooners' next potential standout at quarterback. Bleacher Reports's Michael Felder has three reasons why Kendall will star at OU: Escapability, the ability to throw into tight windows and being able to throw a catchable ball. From Felder on Kendall's mobility: "He's not Trevor Knight. He's not going to run for 200 yards, but he does have the ability to get out of the pocket." Check out the B/R video here .

  • All-State baseball notebook: Norman North's Thomas Hughes has huge night for West

    BY JACOB UNRUH | Published: Tue, Jul 28, 2015

    TULSA — Norman North shortstop Thomas Hughes completed his high school career with just three home runs. That made the result of the first pitch he saw Tuesday that more surprising. Hughes hit a two-run home run in the first inning and finished the night by reaching base four out of five times to lead West to an 8-1 win over East in the annual large-school All-State baseball game at J.L. Johnson Stadium. “It was surreal, honestly,” Hughes said. “That (home run) was the last thing I expected. It was so much fun, especially with these guys.” Hughes, the son of Oklahoma coach Pete Hughes, finished 1-for-2 with three RBIs and three walks. For not having taken a live at-bat in two weeks, he was shocked at how well

  • OKC Thunder: What fans think of the leaked orange jerseys

    BY ANTHONY SLATER | Published: Tue, Jul 28, 2015

    Recently, an orange Thunder alternate jersey leaked on the web. To get a better gage of fan reaction, we reached out to the Thunder faithful for their response.

  • OKC Thunder: Could an orange alternate jersey disrupt the Thunder's Bedlam peace?

    BY JENNI CARLSON | Published: Tue, Jul 28, 2015

    The Thunder has brought this state together like little else has. Sooners and Cowboys now cheer for the same team. Oklahoma City and Tulsa now agree about something. Heck, people in Oklahoma have even come to love a Texas Longhorn. But could this cats-and-dogs-living-together utopia be getting a test?

  • How a slimmer Samaje Perine will fit into Lincoln Riley's Air Raid offense at OU

    FROM STAFF REPORTS | Updated: Tue, Jul 28, 2015

    OU UPDATE -- Is Samaje Perine at risk of taking a step back as a sophomore? Ryan Aber and Jenni Carlson discuss how the phenom will look in the new OU offense.