• NEW Varsity Podcast: Unveiling 2015 preseason football rankings

    Thursday, August 27, 2015 at 10:29 AM

    Welcome to the NewsOK Varsity podcast with high school writers Scott Wright and Jacob Unruh. Each week, the writers will discuss the hot topics across the state in high school sports. You can subscribe to the weekly podcast on iTunes by clicking here. NewsOK Varsity 8-26-15

  • Report: Thunder star Russell Westbrook getting married this weekend

    Thursday, August 27, 2015 at 12:00 AM

    Last summer, Thunder star Russell Westbrook proposed to long-time girlfriend Nina Earl. This summer, the two are getting married. TMZ is reporting that Westbrook’s wedding will take place on Saturday in an undisclosed Los Angeles location. It’ll reportedly be a low-key event, which matches Westbrook’s private personality. The couple met at UCLA back in the late 2000s, when […]

  • Emmanuel Ogbah’s Nigerian roots set foundation for potential future as NFL pass rusher

    Thursday, August 27, 2015 at 12:00 AM

    Although it might seem worlds away now, as Ogbah prepares for what could be his final college football season, his humble roots set the foundation for a potential future in the NFL.

  • Tramel: OU's Orlando Brown recovering from the loss of his father

    Thursday, August 27, 2015 at 12:00 AM

    Sometimes it’s tough having Zeus Brown for a father. But it’s even tougher not having Zeus Brown for a father.

  • Little did Tinker Owens know the little boy he signed an autograph for would someday be OU's starting quarterback

    Thursday, August 27, 2015 at 12:00 AM

    Owens, Oklahoma’s All-American receiver in 1974 and ’75, was just trying to do a nice thing for a couple of young Sooners fans when he sent off a package to the Austin, Texas, area in 2005.

  • Week Zero brings curiosity, new opportunities

    Thursday, August 27, 2015 at 12:00 AM

    The traditional opening week of the high school football season is still a week away, but thanks to a new rule adopted by the Oklahoma Secondary School Activities Association, we’ve got real football kicking off Friday night.

  • Kirk Herbstreit has OU making the College Football Playoff

    Thursday, August 27, 2015 at 09:37 AM

    Every year, ESPN college football analyst Kirk Herbstreit hands out preseason awards called Herbie Awards. This year, he's picking OU to win the Big 12 ... and make the College Football Playoff. Herbstreit has Ohio State, LSU, OU and Arizona State in his final four for the second go-round of the College Football Playoff, with Ohio State repeating as national champions. Herbstreit also had a number of OU and Oklahoma State players nominated for his annual awards. Below are some of the players with OU or Oklahoma State ties who were nominated for a Herbie: Ryan Simmons, LB, Oklahoma State ("The Enforcer" award) Samaje Perine, RB, Oklahoma ("Ultimate Game-Changer") Sterling Shepard, WR, Oklahoma ("Ultimate Herbie") Mason Rudolph, QB, Oklahoma State ("Breakout Star") (Side note: Herbstreit also picked LSU to beat Tennessee in the SEC championship game. OU player Tennessee on Sept. 12 in Knoxville). The Herbies Preseason Special will air tonight at 6 p.m. on ESPNU.

  • During Hurricane Katrina, Thunder GM Sam Presti forged a friendship with an NBA player in need

    Thursday, August 27, 2015 at 04:28 PM

    Former NBA guard Randy Livingston, a New Orleans native, didn't know who to reach out to 10 years ago during Hurricane Katrina. When Livingston had no one else to help his mother, Ada, he called then-San Antonio Spurs assistant general manager Sam Presti. It was Presti, who is now the general manager of the Oklahoma City Thunder, who was able to arrange for Ada Livingston to stay at a hotel the Spurs normally used for "draft picks and friends of the program," according to Yahoo! Sports NBA reporter Marc Spears.

  • High school football: Guthrie quarterback Zane Maltz has become vital piece of contender

    BY JACOB UNRUH | Published: Tue, Aug 25, 2015

    GUTHRIE — Guthrie coach Kelly Beebe likes to boast that the Bluejays are the opposite of most teams. A run-first offense built around controlling the clock while a stout defense stifles opponents, Guthrie features the old-school mentality entirely different from the spread formation. That can lead to unorthodox decisions. The Bluejays did just that last season when Zane Maltz moved from defensive end to quarterback and thrived. Now, he’s the most important player for the upcoming season after an injury in the playoffs helped derail last season. “(It takes guts) or stupidity,” Beebe said. “He had played that position and split time some in ninth grade and became strictly a defensive end, so it wasn’t

  • IndyCar heads to finale reeling from loss of Justin Wilson

    Updated: Tue, Aug 25, 2015

    When Tony Kanaan arrived home following the IndyCar race at Pocono Raceway, his wife asked him why he continued to race in a series that has such high risk. Justin Wilson had been airlifted out of the track earlier that day after being hit in the head with a piece of debris from another car. He was in a coma, fighting for his life, and Kanaan's wife was one of many who wondered why the drivers were putting their lives on the line week after week. Lauren Kanaan pointed out that her husband had won the Indianapolis 500, accomplished all of his goals, and earned a very nice living in 18 years of American open-wheel racing. His answer was simple. "No one puts a gun to our heads and makes us do this," Kanaan said.

  • Smart sizing up recruiting landscape with an eye toward Texas' future

    Updated: Tue, Aug 25, 2015

    When basketball season begins, expect to see a smorgasbord of stories about Texas’ depth and experience. Bring a pillow on senior night. It might take a while. Coach Shaka Smart and his assistants are dialed into this year’s team, but they also have an eye on the future. Six seniors are leaving — make it seven if junior guard Isaiah Taylor jumps into the NBA draft. Essentially, Smart will have to rebuild half the roster after his first season. Thus, an intriguing question: What does Smart want the Texas roster to look like in the years ahead? “Obviously, you can’t have a team full of guys that are my height,” the 5-foot, 10 1/2-inch coach said. “There are some great players that were quote, unq

  • Oklahoma City Energy FC to break ground on training facility

    By Chris Brannick | Published: Tue, Aug 25, 2015

    The training facility, built in a partnership with the Oklahoma City-County Health Department and Blue Cross Blue Shield of Oklahoma, will be located at 2600 NE 63rd Street on the Northeast Regional Health and Wellness campus.

  • Oklahoma State football: Blake Jarwin's relentless drive puts him in focus

    By John Helsley | Published: Tue, Aug 25, 2015

    Jarwin has done plenty right in his three-plus years at Oklahoma State, rising from way off the radar as an unknown walk-on to what appears to be a significant role in the offense’s intriguing new position of “Cowboy back.”

  • Minnesota gives Pitino $400K annual raise, 2-year extension

    Updated: Tue, Aug 25, 2015

    MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — Minnesota has finalized a two-year contract extension for coach Richard Pitino through the 2020-21 season, including a $400,000 raise. The university released the details Tuesday, months after the terms were agreed to while Norwood Teague was the athletic director. Pitino, who finished his second year as coach of the Gophers, will now make $1.6 million annually. His $500,000 base salary stayed the same; his supplemental compensation was bumped up from $700,000 to $1.1 million. Pitino is still well within in the bottom half of the Big Ten, in terms of money being made by the men's basketball coaches in the conference. Pitino has a 43-28 record at Minnesota. The Gophers won the NIT in 2014 but missed

  • District A-2 preview: Big linemen lead way for district favorite Hollis

    BY SCOTT WRIGHT | Published: Tue, Aug 25, 2015

    If you follow football recruiting, you might be familiar with Hollis offensive lineman Jace Webb. The 6-foot-5, 300-pound senior has a handful of Division I scholarship offers and will be a major factor in Hollis’ pursuit of the District A-2 title this season. But he isn’t the only big guy opening holes in Hollis. He’ll be joined on the line by fellow senior Daequon Bell, 6-foot-2, 280 pounds, with 6-foot-2, 225-pound fullback Dal Williams also assisting the blocking chores. Behind all that beef will be the small but speedy Malic Johnson, a 5-foot-8, 140-pound senior running back and dual-threat quarterback Gunnar Ewing.

  • OU notebook: Quarterback commit Austin Kendall falls on Rivals250 list

    By Jason Kersey and Ryan Aber | Published: Tue, Aug 25, 2015

    Kendall, from Waxhaw, N.C., was ranked No. 72 overall, but is now 161st on the list.

  • Minnesota Pitino Raise

    Updated: Tue, Aug 25, 2015

    FILE - In this Sunday, March 8, 2015, file photo, Minnesota head coach Richard Pitino watches his team play against Penn State during the first half of an NCAA college basketball game in Minneapolis. On Tuesday, Aug. 25, 2015, Minnesota finalized a two-year contract extension for Pitino through the 2020-21 season, including a $400,000 raise.

  • High school notebook: OSSAA calls special board meeting to address Emerson attendance issue

    BY JACOB UNRUH | Published: Tue, Aug 25, 2015

    The Oklahoma Secondary School Activities Association called a special board meeting Thursday to address the ongoing average daily attendance issue regarding Emerson High School. The meeting is set for 2 p.m. and the first item on the agenda is for the board to consider a request by Oklahoma City Public Schools to reconsider the application of the average daily membership from the alternative school among other OKCPS schools. OKCPS is taking the stance that no other school district in the state is being asked to take an accredited high school and divide its ADM among other schools.

  • Media notes: John Brooks returns to play-by-play to call package of Putnam City football games on new FM translator station 98.5.

    By Mel Bracht Staff Writer mbracht@oklahoman.com | Published: Tue, Aug 25, 2015

    John Brooks, a former OU and Oklahoma City Blazers radio voice, will return for his 51st year of play-by-play when he calls a 13-game package of Putnam City football games on translator station FM 98.5, which was expected to launch Wednesday with a Regional Mexican format. Mike Baldwin, a former sportswriter for The Oklahoman, will be the analyst for the 13-game package, which includes all 10 Putnam City High School games, Putnam City North vs. Putnam City West, Putnam City North at Southmoore and Capitol Hill at Putnam City West. Most recently, Brooks broadcast Tulsa Union football games for five seasons (2009-13), but lost the position last year when the school changed radio stations.

  • Martin Kaymer loses PGA Tour membership for the year

    Updated: Tue, Aug 25, 2015

    EDISON, N.J. (AP) — As golf has become more global and the wealth of the PGA Tour has made it the premier destination, there has been grumbling over the years that it has become easier for international players to earn a PGA Tour card through world rankings that get them into the biggest events. This year shows another side to that equation. The penalty for not meeting membership requirements is far stiffer than it is for Americans. Martin Kaymer of Germany, a two-time major champion and former No. 1 player in the world, joined the PGA Tour in 2013. As a European, he is entitled to the "home circuit" policy that allows him to play unlimited European Tour events. However, he is required to play a minimum of 15 events o

  • Rison, Bell to enter Michigan State University hall of fame

    Updated: Tue, Aug 25, 2015

    EAST LANSING, Mich. (AP) — Andre Rison and Charlie Bell are among the six new members who will be inducted into Michigan State's athletics hall of fame next month. The inductions will take place Sept. 17. Mary Kay Itnyre, Pat Milkovich, Doug Weaver and Mike York are also going in. Rison led the Spartans in receptions for three straight seasons before going on to a fine career in the NFL, and Bell played for Michigan State's national title-winning basketball team in 2000. Itnyre is the women's basketball team's career leader in double-doubles. Milkovich won wrestling national titles at 126 pounds in 1972 and 1974. Weaver played football at Michigan State from 1950-52 and was the athletic director from 1980-90.

  • Dez Bryant lands on Rolling Stone magazine's 'NFL Special' cover

    Erik Horne | Updated: Tue, Aug 25, 2015

    Dallas Cowboys receiver Dez Bryant is continuing to reach new heights as a football player and a marketing star. The former Oklahoma State all-american revealed that he'll be on the cover of Rolling Stone's upcoming NFL special issue, on newsstands Sept. 10. Bryant posted a photo of the cover on his Instgram on Tuesday. Bryant will be the subject of a story entitled "The Trials and Triumph of Dez Bryant."   I'm blessed and no one in this world can take that away from me... I wouldn't change a inch of me for the world... God wanted me this way.. so I embrace it and try to be a strong example for the ones who struggle and think it's

  • Spieth comes full circle to New Jersey at No. 1 in the world

    Updated: Tue, Aug 25, 2015

    EDISON, N.J. (AP) — The words were big and bold coming out of Trump National. Only this time, it wasn't The Donald doing the talking. It was a 15-year-old from Texas. Jordan Spieth had just won the U.S. Junior Amateur on Trump's course in Bedminster for the biggest trophy of his young career. In an interview with a Pennsylvania newspaper, Spieth was talking about his future when he said, "I want to win the Masters." He told this story at Liberty National to a group of kids from The First Tee. Spieth told them how he fell in love with golf on his own, and that his parents encouraged him to set goals. It was that win in New Jersey when Spieth knew he wanted to play golf for a living. He set the bar high.

  • Seahawks' Bennett calls out Sam Bradford, mediocre quarterbacks as protected, overpaid

    Published: Tue, Aug 25, 2015

    Seahawks defensive lineman Michael Bennett made it clear Tuesday that he isn't a fan of the inflated market for NFL quarterbacks. He's also not fond of the way some of them react to getting hit. Former OU quarterback Sam Bradford falls into both categories for Bennett, who is wrangling for a new contract.  During an interview with Brock and Salk  on 719 ESPN Seattle on Tuesday, Bennett said that "quarterback is the only position in the NFL you can be mediocre at and get paid," using quarterbacks such as Philadelphia's Bradford and Miami's Ryan Tannehill as examples. "At every other position, you can't be mediocre," Bennett said. "If I was Ryan Tannehill and the most games I ever won was seven, how could you get a $100 million for that? I guess that's the value of the position." Bennett then brought up Bradford, who has been the focus of a controversial play involving Baltimore Ravens linebacker Terrell Suggs. In a preseason game last Saturday, Suggs was flagged for roughing the passer on a hit on Bradford  that was later deemed a legal play by the NFL . Bradford was playing in his first game since tearing his ACL in 2014 playing for the St. Louis Rams. "There's some mediocre quarterbacks in the NFL that make a lot of money," Bennett said. "You take a guy like Sam Bradford -- he's never played really in the last three years, but he's made more money than most guys in the NFL. Bennett continued: "Then quarterbacks get protected more than any other player. I mean, he gets hit in his knees and he's about to cry. 'They hit me in my legs.' Everybody gets hit in their legs. Every play somebody tries to hit me in my legs. So what makes him different? What makes his life better than mine? I've got kids. I've got stuff I like to do on the weekend. But because he gets hit in his legs, he gets a flag. He gets up with a sad face like the world just ended because he got hit. I mean, you got hit in an NFL game. Who cares? Get back up and be like, 'Good job.'"

  • OU football: Pay-per-view details released for Sooners opener vs. Akron

    FROM STAFF REPORTS | Published: Tue, Aug 25, 2015

    NORMAN — Fox Sports Oklahoma has announced Oklahoma's football season opener vs. Akron on Sept. 5 will be made available via pay-per-view. The game is being televised on a pay-per-view basis because it was not selected for over-the-air broadcast or cable television coverage. It will be available on a dedicated pay-per-view channel on participating Oklahoma program providers, and nationwide via participating satellite and Telco distributors. Pricing will vary by distributor. Ron Thulin, Dave Lapham and Chad McKee will call the game, with kickoff scheduled for 7 p.m.. Viewers outside the state of Oklahoma can purchase a live stream of the pay-per-view broadcast on SoonerSports.tv. The online pay-per-view price is

  • Villanova names USC's Mark Jackson athletic director

    Updated: Tue, Aug 25, 2015

    VILLANOVA, Pa. (AP) — Villanova has hired USC's Mark Jackson to succeed Vince Nicastro as the program's athletic director. Jackson was senior associate AD and chief innovation officer at USC. Nicastro left after 15 years to become the associate director of the Jeffrey S. Moorad Center for the Study of Sports Law at the Villanova's law school. Jackson also served as the director of football development with the Oakland Raiders. He was the vice president of athletic development at A2P Holdings, a sports marketing company. He was the executive senior associate director of athletics at Syracuse University from 2005-06.

  • How the Cowboy back will impact Oklahoma State's offense

    FROM STAFF REPORTS | Updated: Tue, Aug 25, 2015

    OSU UPDATE -- The Cowboy back position is going to be a bigger part of the Oklahoma State offense this fall. Jenni Carlson and John Helsley discuss how Blake Jarwin in particular fits into the role.

  • Oklahoma football: Quarterback commit Austin Kendall drops 89 spots in latest Rivals250

    Jason Kersey | Updated: Tue, Aug 25, 2015

    NORMAN — Oklahoma 2016 quarterback commitment Austin Kendall fell 89 spots in the latest Rivals250, ranking the top college football prospects in the country. Kendall, from Waxhaw, N.C., was ranked No. 72 overall, but is now 161st on the list. He committed to the Sooners on Aug. 7. “Kendall has a chance to be prolific in Oklahoma’s offense, but this offseason could have gone better for him,” wrote Rivals Mid-Atlantic recruiting analyst Adam Friedman. “He throws the ball with great accuracy and his mechanics are crisp, but there were moments when he had trouble matching his timing with the receivers and hitting them in stride. Those things will come as he gains more experience.