Coach Bob Stoops confirmed Monday that senior middle linebacker Ryan Reynolds has lost his appeal to the NCAA for a hardship waiver that would have given him an extra year of eligibility because of injuries. Instead, Reynolds, who overcame three major knee injuries while in college, will play his final game as a Sooner in the Sun Bowl. Reynolds missed OU’s regular-season finale against Oklahoma State with a strained hamstring. Stoops, however, said Reynolds has been practicing and should be fine for the bowl game.
VINSON TO TRANSFERReserve offensive lineman Jeff Vinson, who didn’t step on the field this year, has decided to transfer. "He’s had an injury and feels he has a better opportunity somewhere else to be able to handle his injury and still play,” said Stoops, who was not specific with Vinson’s injury. Vinson came to OU as a junior-college transfer out of Lackawanna (Pa.) Community College, the same school linebacker Mike Balogun transferred from.
TWO-MINUTE DRILLThe Sooners will leave for the Dec. 31 Sun Bowl on Saturday morning and practice in El Paso later that day; OU won’t celebrate the New Year in El Paso, though — the team will return to Norman shortly after the game. ... OU will auction off its Nike Pro Combat all-white uniforms worn in the Texas Tech game and donate the proceeds to undisclosed charities. ... Stoops said offensive tackle Donald Stephenson, who’s been suspended this season for academic reasons, will be reinstated after the bowl game; Stephenson could give the Sooners some much-needed depth at tackle. ... Stoops said he believes he’ll have at least five early enrollees for spring ball; four of those are expected to be Mustang offensive lineman Bronson Irwin; Rockwall, Texas, offensive lineman Austin Woods; and safety Tony Jefferson and receiver Kenny Stills, both California products who committed to OU over the weekend. ... Stoops said there have been no academic casualties following last week’s finals period and that he has not been notified that any player is academically ineligible for the Sun Bowl.
QUOTABLE→Stoops: "Everybody cuts their players loose to some degree, and we’re no different than anybody else. But Mexico won’t be an option. I’d like to have a few of my players ready to play.”