Jay Bulldogs football
|6 - 5||2 - 3||4 - 2||.545||273||227|
|2013-09-06||vs||Vinita||L||7 - 13|
|2013-09-13||vs||Grove||W||13 - 9|
|2013-09-20||@||McDonald County. Mo.||W||27 - 12|
|2013-09-27||@||Hilldale||L||14 - 36|
|2013-10-04||vs||Lincoln Christian||L||21 - 38|
|2013-10-11||vs||Locust Grove||L||3 - 40|
|2013-10-17||@||Westville||W||45 - 6|
|2013-10-25||vs||Seq. Tahlequah||W||48 - 14|
|2013-11-01||@||Keys (Park Hill)||W||42 - 6|
|2013-11-08||@||Blackwell||W||40 - 16|
|2013-11-15||@||Checotah||L||13 - 37|
|Player Name||Number||Year||Height||Weight||Position (main)|
|There are no players associated with this team.|
Jay football News
NewsOK articles about Jay football, or articles mentioning current or former Jay football players.
Jay High School Varsity Boys Football
Media notes: John Brooks returns to play-by-play to call package of Putnam City football games on new FM translator station 98.5.
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...
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 email@example.com | Aug 25, 2015John 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. Brooks said he is well-acquainted with new Putnam City coach Preston Pearson, who spent the past eight seasons as a Union assistant coach, including the past four four as offensive coordinator. After Pearson got the Putnam City job, Brooks said he approached him with the idea of putting together a radio package and then reached an agreement with Kelly Sports Properties of Columbia, Mo., which handles broadcast rights for the school district. Brooks, a member of the Oklahoma Association of Broadcasters Hall of Fame whose signature phrase is "Geeminy Christmas!", said he began calling game in 1962 when he got out of the Army and has called games since except for three years (1964, 2008 and 2014). He was voice of the Sooners from 1974-91 and called Blazers games from 1965-2005. "It's evident I can't retire," said Brooks, 76. "I'm fired up. I feel like I'm 55." Bill Hurley, iHeartMedia market president, said his company planned to launch FM 98.5 (KBRU HD2) on Wednesday. He said the station would cover north and west Oklahoma City, Edmond and hoped to reach part of south Oklahoma City. Norman sports talk station KREF also operates at FM 98.5, as well as AM-1400. Hurley noted that Brooks is fluent in Spanish and said he wouldn't be surprised if he incorporated it into the game broadcasts on the Regional Mexican station. Short takes •Jim Nantz, Phil Simms and Tracy Wolfson will return as CBS' lead NFL broadcast team and call Super Bowl 50 on Feb. 7, 2016, the network announced Tuesday. Ian Eagle and Dan Fouts serve as No. 2 announce team and call the network’s top game on Sundays when Nantz and Simms don't call a game. Greg Gumbel teams with Trent Green for the second year in a row. Other announce teams are Kevin Harlan-Rich Gannon; Spero Dedes-Solomon Wilcots; Andrew Catalon, Steve Tasker and Steve Beuerlein; Tom McCarthy-Adam Archuleta; and Brian Anderson-Chris Simms. Other sideline reporters are Evan Washburn with Eagle-Fouts and Jamie Erdahl with Gumbel-Green. •CBS' pregame show, "The NFL Today," will have a new look with a redesigned set, and a new feel, as the show’s traditional format is being changed to incorporate a faster-paced, high energy and rapid fire format, according to a news release. Anchor James Brown, along with analysts Boomer Esiason, Bill Cowher, Tony Gonzalez and Bart Scott will be stationed at various areas around the studio, including in-front of the newly designed, floor-to-ceiling, high-tech video wall, a living room setting and a desk. •ESPN’s top analysts are uniting to preview the college football season in a variety of studio shows, including the 13th annual "Herbies Pre-Season Special" at 5 p.m. Thursday with Kirk Herbstreit, the "College GameDay Preview Special" at 10 a.m. Saturday and "Heisman Trophy Preview Show" at 1 p.m. Sunday •Jay Crawford has signed a multiyear contract extension to remain with ESPN, continuing his role as "SportsCenter" anchor as well as a regular host of ”SportsCenter on the Road” stops at big events. •Longhorn Network (Cox 274) has hired former ESPN host Alex Loeb to join the Austin, Texas-based studio team of Lowell Galindo and reporter Jane Slater beginning Monday. Loeb joins the network after spending the past two years hosting a daytime sports show on The Horn 104.9 in Austin.
Aug 20, 2015
INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — Three years ago, Andrew Luck walked off the field in Chicago and promised to learn from a forgettable NFL debut.The Colts rookie had just thrown three interceptions, one touchdown pass and barely completed half of his 45 throws in a 41-21 loss to the Bears.He's come a long way since. On Saturday, Luck will be back on his home turf ready to face Chicago again — this time as...
Luck, Cutler follow different paths through NFL
By MICHAEL MAROT, Associated Press | Aug 20, 2015INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — Three years ago, Andrew Luck walked off the field in Chicago and promised to learn from a forgettable NFL debut. The Colts rookie had just thrown three interceptions, one touchdown pass and barely completed half of his 45 throws in a 41-21 loss to the Bears. He's come a long way since. On Saturday, Luck will be back on his home turf ready to face Chicago again — this time as the presumed standard bearer for the next generation of NFL quarterbacks. "I would like to think I have grown mentally, emotionally, physically. I think I have a better understanding of what it means to be an NFL quarterback," Luck said Thursday before Indianapolis' second practice against the Bears. Whatever the explanation, the Colts and Bears — and their two quarterbacks — have gone in drastically different directions since the 2012 season opener. Back then, Luck was viewed as the young gun, running an offense in rebuild mode. Indianapolis wasn't even supposed to be a playoff contender. Bears fans, in contrast, viewed Jay Cutler as their long-term answer at quarterback, someone who could finally turn the Bears from a solid playoff team into a legitimate title contender. Instead, Indy's stability wound up paying big dividends. Luck has led the Colts to three consecutive 11-win seasons, back-to-back division titles, an AFC championship game, and perhaps now the role of biggest threat to dethrone Super Bowl champion New England. The secret of Luck's success is no secret. "Sometimes it's hard for guys to take constructive criticism. I think Andrew takes it very well," backup quarterback Matt Hasselbeck said. "If you tell him something, he'll write it down, say 'Thank you very much,' and he works on it." Hasselbeck also has seen enough in his 17-year career to understand that a good, smart quarterback doesn't win games by himself. The decline of Cutler, who played high school football in southern Indiana, is a perfect example. While Luck enters his third season under offensive coordinator Pep Hamilton and his fourth with head coach Chuck Pagano, Cutler has played for three head coaches and five offensive coordinators since joining the Bears in 2009. This year, Cutler's favorite receiver, Brandon Marshall, was dealt to the Jets, and now the Bears' projected starting receivers, Alshon Jeffery and Kevin White, are both hurt. Jeffery missed both practices in Indy this week with a strained calf. White is expected to miss a large part of the season after undergoing surgery on his shin. Without them, Cutler acknowledged the Colts' starting defense outplayed the Bears' No. 1 offense on Wednesday, and it may not get much better Saturday. "I would like to work with Alshon and Kevin, but it is what it is," Cutler said Wednesday. "We're shifting some guys in there, some guys are getting some work with the ones, and some of the threes are getting work with the twos, so it's a good thing we're seeing everybody right now." Cutler also is to blame for Chicago's struggles. His 44 turnovers over the past three seasons rank fourth in the NFL, just ahead of Luck at 43, according to STATS. And while Cutler has completed a higher percentage of passes than Luck (62.9 percent to 58.6) and thrown for nearly as many yards per attempt as his counterpart (7.0 to 7.1), Luck has thrown 20 more TD passes and won 36 games, including three in the playoffs. Cutler is 20-21 over that span and hasn't appeared in the postseason since Chicago's NFC championship game loss to Green Bay in January 2011. There's one other problem: The Bears' once feared defense allowed the two highest point totals in franchise history in 2013 and 2014, forcing Cutler to play catch-up much of the time. That's not a winning recipe for any quarterback. Meanwhile, the Colts understand they're fortunate to have gotten Luck, who has made people forget about those bad initial impressions. "If I had to pick one thing that's different, I'd say his voice in the locker room," Hasselbeck said. "He's a lot more confident since I've been here. He's always been good, but he's really comfortable with it now." NOTES: Jeffery, cornerback Tracy Porter, offensive lineman Jason Weaver, running back Daniel Thomas and tight end Chris Pantale all missed practice with injuries. Linebacker Jared Allen was given an extra day off for Chicago. ... Three other Bears — linebacker Pernell McPhee (knee), defensive lineman Brandon Dunn (quad) and offensive lineman Jordan Mills (calf) — all left practice early. ___ Online: AP NFL website: www.pro32.ap.org and AP NFL Twitter feed: www.twitter.com/AP_NFL
Aug 20, 2015
The Norman North sophomore had two interceptions in a strong debut performance in the scrimmage at Moore Stadium against Westmoore, Edmond Santa Fe and Tulsa Union.
High school football: Isaac Stoops has big debut in scrimmage for Norman North
BY JACOB UNRUH | Aug 20, 2015Isaac Stoops was ready for his varsity moment, and it didn’t take long Thursday evening to see why. The Norman North sophomore had two interceptions in a strong debut performance in the scrimmage at Moore Stadium against Westmoore, Edmond Santa Fe and Tulsa Union. “It was a good experience,” said Isaac, who along with his twin brother Drake is the son of Oklahoma coach Bob Stoops. “I was just happy to contribute to the team finally. It was a great feeling.” Stoops had an interception on the second series of a half game against Edmond Santa Fe. He later had the momentum-changing play with an interception that would have been a pick-six if the play was not blown dead due to being a scrimmage. That play sealed a 31-14 win over Santa Fe and also impressed first-year coach Brent Barnes. “Age isn’t really anything to us,” Barnes said. “If you’re ready to play, you’re ready to play. The best guys are going to play. We’ve got a lot of guys competing. Isaac ended up making the plays tonight, but we’ve got four guys that are playing corner competing for a spot and they all can play and they all did great things tonight, too. He just happened to be in the right spit at the right time and he stepped up and made a momentum-changing play when we needed it.” Drake had a nice diving touchdown catch from Cameron Hardesty in the rapid fire portion of the scrimmage to open the day. WILLIAMS HEADLINES RB SHOW With three of Class 6A’s top running backs in one place, it was Edmond Santa Fe’s Darran Williams who had the best night. He had a few nice gains along with a long touchdown run in the half game. “Darran’s special,” Edmond Santa Fe coach Kyle White said. “He makes us right a lot up front. He played well.” Norman North’s Quan Hogan did not play in the rapid fire portion. He carried the ball multiple times in the half game. Tulsa Union’s Tyler Adkins was also limited, but did score a touchdown against Westmoore. Tulsa Union coach Kirk Fridrich said Adkins’s slow night was planned. “We think that Tyler is who he is and we’re very proud of who he is and what he can do,” he said. “He doesn’t have to prove anything to us.” WESTMOORE PLEASED WITH RUN DEFENSE Even with Adkins being limited, Westmoore coach Adam Gaylor was pleased with the Jaguars’ run defense. “We stopped the run,” he said following the 27-10 loss to Tulsa Union. “That’s what we’ve been preaching. We’ve got some green guys, so we’re learning how to finish. But so pleased with how we stopped the run.” On offense, Gaylor said he would like to see the Jaguars run the ball more effectively. He was pleased with quarterback Braxton Bohrofen, who had a nice touchdown pass to DeShawn Lookout. “I didn’t think we did too bad tonight,” Bohrofen said. “We’ve got to get better on sustaining drives and we’ll be good.” SANTA FE PLAGUED BY TURNOVERS White described Santa Fe’s performance as sloppy, and it certainly was that. The Wolves were burned for a 65-yard TD pass on the opening play from Norman North. Then on their first offensive play, a handoff from Drew Rasmussen to Williams was fumbled and Norman North’s Jay Bobb recovered. The Rasmussen and Julian Hoskins each threw an interception to Isaac Stoops. “Offensively speaking, the first we’ve got to do is we better take care of the ball and learn how to protect it and learn how valuable it is,” White said. “I think we showed flashes of being really good. I think we were just inconsistent tonight and they were good. When you play a good team, they’re going to make you look bad and inconsistent at times, and they did that. We sure didn’t help ourselves, though.” TULSA UNION’S MCQUEEN HAS HIGHLIGHT-REEL NIGHT Tulsa Union senior Kameron McQueen made the highlight plays of the night. First, he made an incredible one-handed catch against Westmoore’s Wyatt Duvall, who left little breathing room and even grabbed McQueen’s facemask as he made the catch. “My number was called and I just did my best to make the play,” McQueen said. “One hand was all I could get up, and thankfully I came down with the catch.” He also made another great catch in the final quarter over the shoulder.
Aug 18, 2015
GLENDALE, Ariz. (AP) — Chris Johnson came to the Arizona Cardinals with no assurances about what role he will play, and he says "that's cool with me."After surviving a shooting five months ago, he's just glad to be back playing in the NFL."When he first called me and we talked, I told B.A. (coach Bruce Arians), 'I don't want you to promise me anything or anything like that,'" Johnson said on...
Chris Johnson knows he has to earn playing time in Arizona
By BOB BAUM, Associated Press | Aug 18, 2015GLENDALE, Ariz. (AP) — Chris Johnson came to the Arizona Cardinals with no assurances about what role he will play, and he says "that's cool with me." After surviving a shooting five months ago, he's just glad to be back playing in the NFL. "When he first called me and we talked, I told B.A. (coach Bruce Arians), 'I don't want you to promise me anything or anything like that,'" Johnson said on Tuesday before his first practice with his new team. "'I'm willing to come in and work for whatever my role is and whatever y'all need me to do.'" The three-time Pro Bowl player signed a one-year contract with the Cardinals on Monday. Although he still has the bullet inside him, Johnson has recovered from a gunshot wound to the shoulder. He was injured in the early morning hours of March 8 when someone opened fire on a van in which he was riding in his hometown of Orlando, Florida. The driver of the van was killed and another passenger injured. Johnson said that after the shooting he had bed rest for six weeks and lost 25 pounds. "I just prayed a lot," he said. "I grew up in the church so I just prayed a lot, and working out helped me out a lot." His arm still was in a sling when he went to Los Angeles to work out with Jay Glazer, a Fox Sports analyst and MMA trainer. "Of course it changed how you look at life," he said of the shooting. "Sometimes you just got to live life and not worry about those things so much. Getting a chance to play in the NFL makes it better. ... At the end of the day, that was a situation that happened. I'm just trying to put it behind me and look forward. I'm just ready to start playing football." Johnson rushed for 663 yards with the New York Jets last year after topping 1,000 in each of his first six NFL seasons, all with the Tennessee Titans. According to azcentralsports, Johnson signed for the veteran's minimum of $870,000, a figure that can rise to $2 million if he gains 1,300 yards and makes the Pro Bowl. "I don't have no problem with that situation," he said. "You've just got to work for what you want. Even me coming from high school to college to the league, nothing was ever given to me easy. I always had to work. Even with this situation it wasn't even about the money thing to me. It was just a situation when the last time I've been to the playoffs was my rookie year. I want to win and continue to play football." Johnson, who turns 30 on Sept. 23, said the quality of the team and its style of play were big reasons he signed with Arizona. "Coming here, looking at their offense, they've got great guys on the outside that can stretch the field and got a quarterback that can get it down the field," he said. "My whole career I've kind of been dealing with eight or nine in the box and not having a quarterback like Carson (Palmer) and not having receivers out there that stretch the field for me. I just felt like this would be a good situation for me — a team that's been winning, going to the playoffs." Arians said Johnson had been "on our radar for some time. "He's a home run every time he touches the ball," the coach said. Arians was asked if it was possible for Johnson to supplant Andre Ellington as the No. 1 running back. "If he wins it," the coach said. "I'm open to anything once you win it." Johnson has missed one game in his eight NFL seasons, and that was in 2008, his rookie year. He disputes the notion that he's lost a step, noting that if he had gotten the same number of touches as he did in Tennessee, he would have topped 1,000 yards with the Jets. "If people actually watch the film and watch the tape, they'll see a guy that's still got it," Johnson said, "especially at my age. If you mention some of the top guys — Marshawn Lynch, Adrian Peterson, those guys — we're all around the same age." Johnson said he's not out to prove something to others, "just to prove something to myself." "The situation I went through, I'm just happy to be back playing football on Sundays," he said, "and I'm just going to put my best foot forward." Notes: Starting left guard Mike Iupati left Tuesday's practice accompanied by a trainer. ___ Online: AP NFL website: www.pro32.ap.org and www.twitter.com/AP_NFL
Aug 18, 2015
Benton O’Neal is a 1958 OU letterman whose brothers, Jay and Pat, also played football for Bud Wilkinson. Benton O’Neal emails me from time to time, reminiscing about the old days. I find his stories fascinating and revealing. Here’s his latest: “After spring practice each year, Coach Wilkinson would schedule a one-on-one individual meeting with each sophomore, junior and senior returning for...
Did Bud Wilkinson cut players from the team?
Berry Tramel | Aug 18, 2015[img width="" height="" style="" render="w620"]3777715[/img] Benton O’Neal is a 1958 OU letterman whose brothers, Jay and Pat, also played football for Bud Wilkinson. Benton O’Neal emails me from time to time, reminiscing about the old days. I find his stories fascinating and revealing. Here’s his latest: “After spring practice each year, Coach Wilkinson would schedule a one-on-one individual meeting with each sophomore, junior and senior returning for the next fall. It was an intense meeting. If in his estimation you were not the caliber of player he was looking for at OU, he would tell you that and you were not invited back to the team next fall. If those not invited back were a scholarship player, he (Wilkinson) would offer them to keep it and complete their degree. Some did; however, most opted to transfer to Division II, NAIA, etc. Word would get around to the ones invited back and they were heartless to the non-invitees by playing some sad song about them losing their saddle. “He (Wilkinson) would point out to the players invited back for fall practice, which was about 65 to 70, to work on their weaknesses during the summer. New freshmen were not eligible for the varsity team. Bud knew through injuries, flunkouts, dropouts and normal matriculation that number would drop down to about 55 to 60 sophomores, juniors and seniors after two-a-day practices. Out this group he would put together five teams capable of playing offense, defense and special teams being five deep at all positions. That meant five deep at right end, right tackle, right guard, center, left guard, left tackle, left end, quarterback, right halfback, left halfback and fullback. “Coach Wilkinson was opposed to changing the rules back to single platoon football in the early ‘50s. So, he decided if that was the new rules, he would put together two teams of fairly equal ability of both offense and defense to keep fresh teams on the field. Other teams tried to beat you with their best 11 players and not substitute as often as OU did. That's how OU won 47 games in a row.” Lots of good information there. First, the 21st-century trend of cutting players is not so new. According to O’Neal’s take on Wilkinson’s method, the prime difference is scholarship retention, but with a twist. Some negative peer pressure. Not necessarily to be gone, but to be shamed. Which often is the same. Some modern coaches readily admit to running off players. Some don’t do it but do admit to telling players they won’t play. As for the single-platoon stuff, college football established substitution rules in the early days, went away from them after World War II and returned to single-platoon football in 1954. Basically, players who left the field couldn’t return until the end of the quarter. That style of play remained until 1964. It led to great two-way players, like Billy Vessels and Clendon Thomas and Jerry Tubbs at OU. Centers were usually linebackers, quarterbacks were safeties, etc. O’Neal is right. Wilkinson used his second unit extensively. And it indeed paid off.
Aug 4, 2015
Josh Frost is learning to live with the split-second decision not to don a helmet before stepping onto his longboard. He's lucky at that; many people don't survive the type of traumatic brain injuries that helmets are designed to prevent.
Living — or dying — with the decision not to wear a helmet
Lois M. Collins, Deseret News | Aug 4, 2015Josh Frost and two friends were enjoying a sunny late-June evening, celebrating his new job. But his decision not to wear a helmet when he stepped onto his longboard means that for the foreseeable future at least, he will have to wear a helmet even to walk across the room or to ride in a car. No one can predict whether he will be completely restored when his body’s done healing, or if he will live with residual effects of the injuries he suffered on June 29. Frost, 18 years old and a recent high school graduate, describes the crash that left him with a badly fractured skull and other injuries: “I was riding down slowly to make sure it was safe, and woke up in the hospital.” That’s all the detail he recalls. By the time his friends ran to him, bystanders — who watched him lose control and repeatedly bounce his head as he tumbled down a hill in a lower Avenues neighborhood — had called an ambulance. He was not breathing; he was revived in the emergency room at University Hospital, his injuries extensive, his prognosis unclear. His brain swelling was so severe that doctors had to remove a large chunk of his skull. Until surgeons put it back, a medical helmet is a fact of life — albeit an uncomfortable one — for Frost. Traumatic brain injury is a major cause of death and disability in the United States. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says TBIs contribute to about a third of all injury deaths, which it numbers at about 138 a day across age groups nationwide. Falls are the leading cause of traumatic brain injuries (40 percent) resulting in hospitalization, emergency room visits or death. Among kids, 55 percent of TBIs result from falls. Such injuries are more common for males than for females. In 2010, 2.5 million emergency room visits included a traumatic brain injury — and 50,000 of those individuals died. The year before, the CDC said, an estimated 249,000 kids (those under 19) were treated for “sports and recreation-related injuries that included a diagnosis of concussion or TBI.” Clearly, helmets won't prevent all head injuries, but health experts repeatedly list helmets as a proven tool to save lives. They protect kids playing sports, cycling and climbing, among other pursuits. Getting over it Adam Bullough, 31, works with people who have suffered severe brain injury in his job as a resource facilitator at the Brain Injury Alliance of Utah in Salt Lake City. He also knows what it’s like to lose bits and pieces of yourself to brain injury. Seven years ago, he was riding his bike without a helmet in Orange County, California, where he lived at the time, when he tipped over. He was in a coma for a couple of months, and his dad, Robert Bullough Jr., chronicled his first year of recovery in the book “Adam’s Fall: Traumatic Brain Injury the First 365 Days.” The CDC says that while millions of Americans ride bikes, fewer than half wear helmets, holding true for both children and adults. In 2010, 800 bicyclists were killed and more than 500,000 required emergency department care, half of them children. Bullough has completed college and moved on with his life, but recovering is not the same as being the way you were before the injury, he warns. “There are problems that I’ll always have: I have problems with vision, problems with balance, problems with language. I don’t think there’s anything I can do about that except learn to deal with them and just keep going and hope for the best.” He gradually relearned old pursuits, like playing soccer or rock climbing or riding a bike. But they’re different. “I can do all the same things I did before, but I am not as good at them,” he said. “They were things I had some level of pride in.” Had he worn a helmet, he notes, he’d have been scraped and bruised for sure. But that’s about all. “My life would be very, very different. I don’t know what it would be like, but it would be different.” What he misses most, he adds, is singing. Since his injury, he’s lost control over his voice and his vocal range has shrunk, which makes him sad. Music “was my identifying passion,” he said. “A bunch of little things” were left behind when his unprotected head hit the pavement. That it was preventable makes it harder. ‘If only’ Helmets are a cause for the American College of Emergency Physicians, whose members struggle to save lives disrupted by such injuries. One of the college spokesmen, Dr. Howard Mell, who works at Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center in Winston-Salem, North Carolina, said just in the past month, three children have been rushed to his emergency department with serious brain injuries that a helmet might have prevented. Two were hospitalized. The third, a skateboarder, died. Traumatic brain injuries linger after the initial assault on the brain, often conferring long-term challenges. “Parents may lose the child that could have been,” Mell said, recalling children left with severe developmental and intellectual delays, possible personality shifts, and changes that interfere with learning, personality and judgment. Modern medicine cannot always overcome the change. Those who survive may struggle with impaired thinking, memory and movement. They may be plagued by disrupted sensory processes like hearing and sight, as well as personality changes, depression and more, the CDC says. The effects spread past individuals into families and communities. Mell wonders how many people would stay on a plane if, as they boarded, the pilot said he thought he’d skip the safety checklist to save time or because he didn’t feel like doing it. That’s essentially what parents do when they let kids skip wearing helmets. Some of the planes would be just fine, and so would some of the helmetless kids. For others, the result would be devastating. Mell often hears this refrain as he talks with distraught parents after a catastrophic injury: “Just this one time, I let them do ____.” It’s followed by explanations like, “I didn’t think he was going that far.” “Helmets need to be an every-time event. It just takes one fall to change someone into a totally different person. It’s a really tragic event. … You never want to ask yourself ‘what if' over something as silly as a helmet,” he said. It’s especially problematic if someone has already suffered a recent brain injury and gets hurt again, Mell noted — a problem that’s raised considerable concern about youths (and adults) who play football. Repeat concussions provide cascading damage. Marisa and Jay Frost, Josh’s parents, were told a brain injury increases the chance of subsequent brain injury because people with traumatic brain injury often lose self-awareness and inhibitions most people have, which increases their risk of further injury. Mell's four children aren’t allowed to get on scooters, bikes or skateboards without helmets. “I have never seen somebody show up to the emergency department with a head injury who was wearing a proper-fitting helmet,” said Mell. “I’ve seen other injuries, but the head was OK. And the head is the toughest thing to fix. Brain surgery is hard to do and not always as successful as we’d like.” Just another day June 29 started as just another day at the Frost house. An ambitious kid, Josh had just completed training for his second job, at Salt Lake City International Airport, and was getting ready for his first real work day. His mom stopped in his room to tell him she loved him and wish him luck — and to remind the good-humored, boisterous youth that 7 a.m. is a bit early to be playing his guitar. "Seriously. 'Cut it out.' I gave him a hug. 'Enjoy your work day. Love you.' And I left. He was gone with his friends when I got home," she said. The Frost family, which includes Josh's younger siblings Sofia, 17, and Ben, 5, were getting ready for a move to a different house, so the injury came during a time of controlled chaos. They dropped everything and rushed to the intensive care unit, where early medical reports were grim. They were told he might be in a coma for some time. His future hinged on what happened moment to moment. Word spread quickly among Frost's friends. The waiting room began to fill, and Marisa Frost said the outpouring stunned her. "To see how much people care for the people you love … to see his friends coming. I definitely didn't expect the parents to show up, but we had parents come to the hospital — a crowd of people." While his family kept watch over Josh, Jay and Marisa Frost's friends got a moving trailer and packed the family, then moved and unpacked them. "I can't find anything," his mom said with a laugh, "but I am so grateful." Josh, she noted, would have been the first to show up if someone else had been injured. Once they knew he would live, friends wondered how much he'd change. Some wondered, especially, about his sense of humor and playfulness. Would it be the same? He's not sure, he said, what will be easy and what will be hard in the future. But he is getting stronger every day and he is able to articulate his thoughts clearly, which is comforting to all of them. He doubts he’ll longboard again. He knows he’ll never do it without a helmet. He tires easily, hates his medical helmet and is frustrated by progress that seems slow to him, but amazing to everyone around him. He was released from the hospital recently but will soon go back to have the piece of skull put back. He has occupational speech and physical therapy sessions, and will have to prove he is capable in order to drive again. He’s working on balance and coordination and making sure he can safely do some daily living tasks, like cooking. Returning to work and school may take months. "I hope hearing what happened to me will help others be sensible," he said. "It could save lives. I wish I'd worn a helmet."
Good evening. Here's a look at how AP's general news coverage is shaping up in Louisiana. Questions about coverage plans are welcome and should be directed to the AP-New Orleans bureau at 504-523-3931 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Chevel Johnson is on the desk. AP-Deep South Editor Jim Van Anglen can be reached at 404-653-8460 or JVanAnglen@ap.org.A reminder this information is not for publication or...
BC-LA--Louisiana News Digest Advisory 6 pm, LA
Associated Press | Jul 20, 2015Good evening. Here's a look at how AP's general news coverage is shaping up in Louisiana. Questions about coverage plans are welcome and should be directed to the AP-New Orleans bureau at 504-523-3931 or email@example.com. Chevel Johnson is on the desk. AP-Deep South Editor Jim Van Anglen can be reached at 404-653-8460 or JVanAnglen@ap.org. A reminder this information is not for publication or broadcast, and these coverage plans are subject to change. Expected stories may not develop, or late-breaking and more newsworthy events may take precedence. Advisories and digests will keep you up to date. All times are Central. Some TV and radio stations will receive shorter APNewsNow versions of the stories below, along with all updates. TOP STORIES: SCHOOL MONEY BATON ROUGE, La. — Louisiana owes local public schools $137 million because state lawmakers didn't properly pass previous school funding formulas, a state district judge ruled Monday. The St. John the Baptist Parish School Board filed a lawsuit claiming the Legislature didn't meet passage requirements for the formula used in the 2013-14 budget year. Thirty other local school boards, nearly half of Louisiana's parish school boards, joined the lawsuit. By Melinda Deslatte. SENT: 535 words. JET CRASH-INVESTIGATION NORFOLK, Va. — A decorated combat veteran who died in an F-15 crash in the George Washington National Forest in Virginia was incapacitated and unable to eject, according to an Air Force investigation released Monday. Lt. Col. Morris "Moose" Fontenot Jr., a member of the Massachusetts Air National Guard, was killed in the Aug. 27 crash near Deerfield, about 135 miles northwest of Richmond. By Brock Vergakis. SENT: 606 words. DEAD ZONE LAWSUIT NEW ORLEANS — It will be at least spring before there's a new ruling by the federal judge who ordered the Environmental Protection Agency in 2013 to act to regulate farm runoff and other pollution blamed for the Gulf of Mexico's annual oxygen-depleted "dead zone." An appeals court ordered District Judge Jay Zainey in March to reassess his order telling EPA to set limits on the nutrients nitrogen and phosphorous in U.S. waterways. Those elements feed huge algae blooms that contribute to loss of oxygen in part of the Gulf of Mexico every summer, killing or chasing away marine life. An order signed Friday says Zainey will base his ruling on written motions and responses from both sides. The schedule's final deadline for those filings is March 16. SENT: 238 words. FROM AP MEMBERS: EARLY COLLEGE OPTION GONZALES — A River Parishes Community College program that lets students simultaneously earn a high school diploma and an associate's degree will have its largest freshman class yet when school begins Aug. 10. More than 100 ninth-graders have enrolled in what's called the Early College Option program, a partnership of the community college and the Ascension Parish school district. Early College Option lets public high school students attend the college in Gonzales for all four years of high school while they are still considered enrolled in their home high schools. Students enroll in the program a year at a time, and will take both high school and college classes. When they graduate, they'll have both a high school diploma and an associate's degree in humanities. SENT: 314 words. YOUNGSVILLE GROWTH YOUNGSVILLE — Officials are debating whether to levy a fee for each new residential permit issued in Youngsville that would generate income needed to maintain infrastructure in the coming years. Mayor Ken Ritter said Youngsville's robust population growth — over a thousand permits for new homes issued over the past two years — is putting a strain on the roads, sewer system and other public works responsibilities. Ritter is proposing charging residential developers and home builders a $2,250 impact fee that ultimately would be paid by home buyers. Ritter said the fee is a figure he came up with to get the discussion started. If the five-member City Council approves its passage, Youngsville would be the first government in Lafayette Parish to impose the fee. SENT: 348 words. LAFAYETTE-RETAIL SALES LAFAYETTE — Lafayette Parish retail sales were down by 9 percent in May 2015 compared with May 2014. It's a dip local economic development officials blame on weak oil prices slowing activity in the oil patch. The figures, the most recent available because reporting is behind actual sales by several weeks, were released Friday by the Lafayette Economic Development Authority. May 2015 saw $484 million in sales, compared with $535 million in May 2014. April 2015 sales were off by 5 percent — $494 million in 2015 compared with $522 million in 2014. Year-to-date sales as of May are down 2 percent from 2014, which was a record year for retail in Lafayette Parish. SENT: 278 words. IN BRIEF: --LOUISIANA GOVERNOR-FUNDRAISING — U.S. Sen. David Vitter continues his strong fundraising in the Louisiana governor's race. The Republican candidate for governor said Monday he raised more than $1.3 million in the most recent fundraising quarter ending July 16. SENT: 140 words. --ST TAMMANY FRACKING — St. Tammany Parish says it has told Helis Oil & Gas to stop work on an exploratory well for a proposed fracking project near Mandeville. SENT: 128 words. --VANDALS ARRESTED — Three people have been arrested in connection with vandalism of logging equipment earlier this month in Ouachita Parish. SENT: 140 words. --SHRIMP SEASON-LOUISIANA — The Louisiana Wildlife and Fisheries Commission has scheduled a special meeting for Thursday to consider open dates for the 2015 autumn shrimp season. That means the season will likely open before the commission's next regularly scheduled meeting on Aug. 6. SENT: 133 words. --LAKE PONTCHARTRAIN DEATHS — New Orleans police say a 5-year-old boy died Sunday evening in Lake Pontchartrain at about the same spot where a 7-year-old girl drowned Saturday. SENT: 119 words. --LOTTERY RESULTS — The Louisiana Lottery Corp. says nobody won three big weekend drawings, so the jackpots are growing. SENT: 67 words. --TICKFAW POLICE — After serving as Tickfaw's police chief for six months, Frank DiBenedetto feels the department is moving in the right direction. SENT: 129 words. --LOUISIANA REGIONAL AIRPORT — The Louisiana Regional Airport just outside Gonzales grew by about 30 acres last week. SENT: 130 words. --SEX TRAFFICKING SENTENCE — U.S. Attorney Kenneth Polite says a 26-year-old Dallas man who created a radio program called "Cheap Hoes Gotta Go" has been sentenced after admitting he brought a 16-year-old to Louisiana as a prostitute. SENT: 130 words. --PONZI SCHEME — U.S. Attorney Stephanie Finley says a Lake Charles man has pleaded guilty to one count of wire fraud in a $5.8 million Ponzi scheme. SENT: 121 words. --OFFSHORE STUDENTS — Marine zoology students at Nicholls State got a rare chance to study offshore aquatic life, thanks to a Mississippi research vessel. SENT: 137 words. --NIGHTCLUB SHOOTING — Three teenagers are recovering after being shot during a fight outside of a Kenner nightclub. SENT: 121 words. IN SPORTS: SUN BELT-MEDIA DAY NEW ORLEANS — Sun Belt Conference commissioner Karl Benson wants the league's football programs to work on shedding their "addiction" to big-money, non-conference matchups with heavily favored, Power Five programs. More non-league games with "peer conferences" would improve the chances of a Sun Belt team going unbeaten and getting a bid to one of six prestigious New Year's Day bowl games, the commissioner said at the conference's media day Monday. By Brett Martel. SENT: 834 words. SPORTS IN BRIEF: --PELICANS-BABBITT — The New Orleans Pelicans have re-signed free agent forward Luke Babbitt, who has become one of the club's most accurate long-range shooters. The 6-foot-9 Babbitt played in 63 games with 19 starts last season, averaging 4.1 points in 13.2 minutes per game. He shot 51.3 percent from 3-point range. SENT: 140 words. --LSU-ATHLETIC FUNDS — LSU's athletic department says it'll transfer $10 million to the university -- about $3 million more than its required payment. SENT: 123 words. _____ If you have stories of regional or statewide interest, please email them to firstname.lastname@example.org. If you have photos of regional or statewide interest, please send them to the AP state photo center in New York, 888-273-6867. For access to AP Exchange and other technical issues, contact AP Customer Support at email@example.com or 877-836-9477. MARKETPLACE: Calling your attention to the Marketplace in AP Exchange, where you can find member-contributed content from Louisiana and other states. The Marketplace is accessible on the left navigational pane of the AP Exchange home page, near the bottom. For both national and state, you can click "All" or search for content by topics such as education, politics and business.
Jul 16, 2015
The school board of Jay, Oklahoma, approved a plan to establish a life-size bronze bust of heavyweight champion Tommy “The Duke” Morrison on the school’s campus.
Jay school officials approve plan for statue honoring late boxer
By Sheila Stogsdill For The Oklahoman | Jul 16, 2015JAY — The Jay School Board unanimously approved a proposal to establish a life-size bronze bust of heavyweight champion Tommy “The Duke” Morrison on the school’s campus. Jim Roach, American Boxing Association president, briefly addressed the five-member board Tuesday saying that a larger percentage of money raised through the Tommy Morrison 8-man boxing tournament would be earmarked for scholastic endeavors. “I think this wonderful,” said Trisha Morrison, Morrison’s widow, in a telephone interview after the vote. About 50 people attended the regular school board meeting. Superintendent Charles Thomas recommended approving the monument with the stipulation that all legal arrangements will be reviewed and approved by the school’s attorney. Thomas said earlier the best interest of the school and the community would be a top priority of the school board when they make their decision. “It (the board’s approval) means a lot to me,” said Kenzie Morrison, Morrison’s son. Morrison said “he and his brother are extremely proud of their dad and honored that the bust was even considered. “Everyone knows where Dad came from and what he accomplished,” Morrison said. “It’s in our hearts — I'm from Jay myself.” “This means a lot,” said Trey Lippe-Morrison, another son. “He deserves it,” referring to the elder Morrison. For what Tommy Morrison accomplished — it a “good way to honor his memory,” Lippe-Morrison said. Both sons are undefeated heavyweights and bear a strong resemblance to their father. The bust will be more than 36-inches tall and will weigh about 100 pounds. Some of Morrison’s ashes will be encased in one of the boxing gloves. The $12,000 monument tab will be picked up by the association and unveiled at the Tommy Morrison 8-man boxing tournament, set for Jan. 2. That date is also Morrison’s birthday. Morrison, also a football standout, graduated from Jay High School in 1988. “Tommy was a tremendous athlete,” Roach said in an earlier interview. Morrison's legacy The young boxer who was just few years removed from the quite rural community of Jay shot to fame at the top of the boxing world with its bright lights and trappings. Morrison’s had a 48-3-1 record, knocking out 43 opponents and won a unanimous decision against George Foreman for the WBO Heavyweight Championship in 1993. His boxing reputation landed him a role as “Tommy Gunn” in the 1990 film "Rocky V" with Sylvester Stallone. Morrison had his run-ins with the law on weapon and drug violations. In 1996, the Nevada Athletic Commission suspended Morrison after he tested positive for HIV. Morrison later disputed the test results saying additional tests showed no virus, said his widow. “He went through rehab,” she said. “He turned himself around in the last part of his life.” Medical tests from other physicians and medical institutions revealed Morrison did not have HIV, she said. Morrison died Sept. 1, 2013, at age 44 from cardiac arrest, multiple organ failure, septic shock and pseudomonas aeruginosa.
Jul 13, 2015
Oklahoma’s high school football playoffs began in 1944, and Ada got in the championship business in 1951, winning the Class A title. The Cougars liked the feeling. In 15 years, Ada won nine state championships. 1951, 1952, 1954, 1955, 1956, 1957, 1959, 1962, 1964 and 1965. And that was in the days of limited classes — three through 1952, four from 1953-63 and five starting in 1964. Plus only...
Tramel: Ada to honor the football team that won only a mythical title
Berry Tramel | Jul 13, 2015[img width="" height="" style="" render="w620"]3732998[/img] Oklahoma’s high school football playoffs began in 1944, and Ada got in the championship business in 1951, winning the Class A title. The Cougars liked the feeling. In 15 years, Ada won nine state championships. 1951, 1952, 1954, 1955, 1956, 1957, 1959, 1962, 1964 and 1965. And that was in the days of limited classes — three through 1952, four from 1953-63 and five starting in 1964. Plus only conference champions made the playoffs. And Ada was in the big-school class for those first two titles, competing against Norman, Lawton and the schools in Tulsa and Oklahoma City. But this is not about the titles that Ada won. This is about the title Ada could have won. On Monday in Ada, the annual Cougar golf scramble will be held, and the team of honor will be the undefeated 1954 squad. Benton O’Neal, who played at OU and is the brother of former Sooner quarterback Jay O’Neal, sent me the following email: “There have been a lot of stories about the '54 team, but let me start from way back before that controversial year. From in the ‘40s or before, the Sooner Star Conference consisted of usually Ada, Ardmore, McAlester, Henryetta, Seminole, Wewoka, Holdenville and Durant. There were only three classes: A, B & C. Ada and the Sooner Star was in the largest class, A. The state playoffs were determined by the conference champion only. In 1950, my brother Pat was a senior and the Ada High QB. Ada won the conference and lost to Muskogee in the playoffs. The next year, 1951, my brother Jay was the QB and they won the state championship beating Ardmore, Sand Springs, then Ponca City in the finals. Next in 1952 Ada again won state knocking off Poteau, Ponca City again, then Midwest City in the final game. “Remember these are Oklahoma's largest schools that choose to be in the playoffs. For some reason not all did. In 1953 Seminole defeated us to win the Sooner Star Conference then went on to beat Muskogee in the state finals for the championship. They were a great team with many returning for the next year. “After five weeks in 1954, both Seminole and Ada were undefeated and ranked No. 1 and No. 2 respectively and was rated the No. 1 game in the state by The Oklahoman. We beat the lineback s**** out of them 26-0. The Ardmore team was very good and only lost one game that year to us. It was our closest game, 20-7. The rest of the games we rolled big time averaging 46-plus per game. We were astounded when Coach (Elvan) George told us there would be no playoffs that year. The Oklahoman declared we were the mythical state champions, but the Tulsa paper said Muskogee was the champion even though they had a tie on their record. “In 1994, the OSSAA gave us a plaque designating us as undisputed mythical state champions, but it is still not officially counted of record. We were a great team and many thanks for all of the recognition you give us. “I went to (then Ada) coach Larry McBroom about trying to count the '54 year as a state champion and he said we were changing history. I said, ‘THIS IS HISTORY,’ but to no avail.” O’Neal’s recollections are largely true. In 1954, the Oklahoma High School Athletic Association, the forerunner of the OSSAA, voted to abolish the football playoffs. The OSSAA website reports that in 1954, “No championships due to membership vote of ‘too much football.’ Had regular season games only, but were reinstated the next year.” The Oklahoman reported that some of the reasons given were 1) too much emphasis on winning; 2) increased pressure on coaches; 3) a longer season. In 2011, our man Jason Kersey wrote an interesting account of that strange season, which you can read here.
Jul 4, 2015
NORMAN — Logan Roberson might not have been speechless but he was awfully close last month when the Harrah offensive lineman committed to Oklahoma. Roberson grew up dreaming of playing for the Sooners and hadn’t even allowed himself to think much of it being a real possibility until OU offensive line coach Bill Bedenbaugh extended the offer. Once the offer was there, though, Roberson didn’t...
OU football: Sooners making a strong in-state recruiting push
By Ryan Aber | Jul 4, 2015NORMAN — Logan Roberson might not have been speechless but he was awfully close last month when the Harrah offensive lineman committed to Oklahoma. Roberson grew up dreaming of playing for the Sooners and hadn’t even allowed himself to think much of it being a real possibility until OU offensive line coach Bill Bedenbaugh extended the offer. Once the offer was there, though, Roberson didn’t need any time to think, committing on the spot. Roberson is one of three in-state players among OU’s six commitments for the 2016 class, joining Victory Christian linebacker Jon-Michael Terry and NEO and former Lawton High cornerback Maurice Chandler. Whether it’s a renewed focus on recruiting the state or the high number of Division I-caliber players the state is producing in not only the upcoming class but the one after that, the Sooners are riding a wave of recruiting momentum in Oklahoma this year. They’ve even continued to strengthen their 2015 class within the borders as NEO defensive end Austin Roberts committed to the Sooners in early June, not long before Chandler officially jumped aboard. Chandler’s high school coach, Randy Breeze, said the Sooners’ never stopped pursuing the corner, even after he had to go the junior college route after signing with Texas Tech out of high school. “Every time they’d come by to look at someone, they’d ask how Maurice was doing and talk about him,” Breeze said. “They stayed with him the whole time. That was a big plus.” Oklahoma has offered at least two other state high school players from 2016 — John Marshall offensive lineman Tramonda Moore and Edmond Sante Fe defensive back Calvin Bundage. Several others, including Broken Arrow’s Rowdy Frederick, Southmoore’s Noah Jones and Idabel’s K.J. Wells, have stayed on OU’s radar despite not yet receiving an offer from the Sooners. “I think more and more, OU’s doing a better job of building those secondary relationships,” Josh McCuistion, who covers OU recruiting for SoonerScoop.com, said. “It may not be be the first guys they offer, or the first guy they’ve wanted, but they are making sure those guys know that, ‘Hey, we like you,’ and if we have a spot open up or whatever the hangup they may have is — whether it’s grade issues or they don’t have a scholarship spot for them or whatever it may be — they’re communicating those things better to the kids. “I think it shows up more because you get less and less of these stories of kids that have animosity or are hostile about, ‘Why isn’t this school recruiting me when all these are other schools are?’” Breeze has seen that first hand, whether it’s with Chandler or other athletes he’s had in recent years. “They have broken down the recruiting, where I think each coach has a piece of Oklahoma now,” Breeze said. “I think that was a good change they’ve made to get coaches more involved in the state of Oklahoma.” OU running backs coach Jay Boulware is responsible for the Lawton area and Bedenbaugh spent plenty of time there when the Sooners made a strong push for lineman Jalin Barnett last year. Barnett eventually signed with Nebraska. At some points during the Bob Stoops era, the Sooners have been criticized for not making the most of in-state recruiting opportunities or for “slow-playing” local recruits as they make offers to players in other states. “That’s a touchy situation,” Breeze said. “What people in Oklahoma have got to realize is that the program that the University of Oklahoma has now, they can recruit any kid in the country. They don’t have limitations. It’s danged if you do, danged if you don’t. “Our kids love Oklahoma. I’d like to see them stay close to home because maybe I can slip off and watch them on a Saturday if they’re fairly close.” That criticism has been at least partially unfair, McCuistion said. “If you’re recruiting in your own stats and you offer a kid, it’s probably a 50-50 bet right that minute that you get that kid,” McCuistion said. “I think some people forget and say, ‘Well, OU hasn’t offered that many guys.’ When OU offers an in-state kid, they have to be 100 percent they want to take that kid. You can’t just throw that offer out. When Arizona State comes to Oklahoma, for example, and offers a kid that kid’s not going to commit on the spot. They can offer a kid earlier so if a kid blows up, they can say they were on him from very early on. “That’s something out-of-state schools can do and Oklahoma does it in other states. But when you’re in-state and you’re the school that has the dynamic pull that Oklahoma does, you have to know that you want that kid and he’s as good as anybody you could go to Texas and get or go to California and get.” Staff changes the last few years — adding Boulware, Bedenbaugh and the now-departed Jerry Montgomery a few years ago and now adding Lincoln Riley, Diron Reynolds and Kerry Cooks this offseason — have helped as well. “It’s hard to argue that it’s coincidence,” McCuistion said. “Maybe it is but it’s really hard to make that case when the timing of everything matches up so perfectly. YOu just look at it and these things stopped happening or at least slowed down. You’re always going to have kids that are disgruntled but for the most part you don’t hear kids saying, ‘I haven’t heard from Oklahoma in a month,’ or, ‘They offered me and they never called me again.’ You don’t hear stuff like that. “It sounds so simple. It’s tough on the kids because it makes them sound petty. But this is the biggest decision in their lives. They want to communicate with the people that are going to be responsible for their future. That’s reasonable.”
Jun 25, 2015
Reader responses to our Bob Barry Jr. tributes have been overwhelming. I thought I would share some with you: Bill Khourie: “Just finished reading your piece on BBJ and yes, so many thousands felt like they knew him and knew him well. I lost my only son over Christmas break while in his last year at OU, Jan. 6, 2009. Many of his friends started a memorial golf tournament and banquet to honor...
Readers lament the loss of Bob Barry Jr.
Berry Tramel | Jun 25, 2015[img width="" height="" style="" render="w620"]3714772[/img] Reader responses to our Bob Barry Jr. tributes have been overwhelming. I thought I would share some with you: Bill Khourie: “Just finished reading your piece on BBJ and yes, so many thousands felt like they knew him and knew him well. I lost my only son over Christmas break while in his last year at OU, Jan. 6, 2009. Many of his friends started a memorial golf tournament and banquet to honor his life and his dedication to his younger sister that he dearly loved. She was born with a very rare syndrome that drastically altered her life. She graduated as a special education student, but her brother took her to the senior prom so she could enjoy the same experience as the other high school students. It was her only time to ever experience a prom. My son was an SAE at OU. BBJ caught wind of the event from SAE alumni and volunteered to emcee his memorial banquet fund raiser without compensation. I had never met him. However, when I introduced myself at the beginning of the banquet, I stuck my hand out to shake, but instead, he gave me a hug and said, ‘As a parent, my heart bleeds for you and I pray God will bring healing to you and your entire family.’ He asked to meet Billy's sister and mother to express his condolences to them as well. His kindness, compassion and generosity was only a part of what made him such an incredibly special husband, father, friend and professional. When my wife and I heard the news Saturday, like so many thousands, we were crushed. Even thou we only got to meet and spend time with him on the one occasion, we felt like we lost a loved one. Yes, you are correct, Berry, the condolences offered by thousands were perhaps for ourselves as well. He may have departed our Earthly life, but his incredible spirit, special smile and kindness to all will continue to loom larger than ever as he and Bob Sr. are broadcasting to a new audience.” Sounds like Bobby. I know he was a loyal SAE alum and was dismayed at the actions of the SAE knuckleheads earlier this year. Bobby also was dismayed at David Boren’s swift rebuke of the fraternity, closing the chapter and the house on the OU campus. Bobby believed that the actions of a few shouldn’t offset the actions of the many. Brent Taliaferro: “Very nice article yesterday — a good tribute. His smile and warmth came through the radio.” I agree. Bobby didn’t have the most provocative radio show. But he might have had the most pleasant. It’s kind of difficult to describe, but the melodic rhythm of Bobby’s voice served to almost relax the sports radio listener. Which is against the grain. Jim Snow: “I have loved your coverage on the loss of Bob Barry, Jr. I think many people, including me, forget how tight the sportscasting fraternity is. The unfortunate thing about losing BBJ is that he was not able to see and receive the accolades that were bound to come his way (even on top of what he has already received). He could have so easily ridden the coattails of his dad, but that was not his style, and you know that far better than me. I am sure that Crossings (church) will be standing room only come Friday. I feel so much for his wife and family. Such a premature loss. I am sure that there will be a lot of weeping on Friday, but I pray that BBJ’s service will truly be a celebratory one.” It is a shame that we wait until such a time as this to tell people how we feel. But maybe BBJ has had an impact on us. I did almost three hours of radio on the Sports Animal with Craig Humphries and Al Eschbach on Monday, and as we left, Craig told me that he loved me. Ben McCain: “Just watched your tribute to Bob Barry Jr. It touched me. You nailed it! My brother, Butch, and I worked with Bob and his dad for several years at Channel 4. We always had a good time on the air and off the air with both of them. They were great broadcasters and great people. Seems like we always ended up laughing about something when we talked to Bob Jr. When I think of Bob Barry Jr., I think of laughter and good feelings. That’s not a bad way to be remembered.” Butch and Ben McCain. The brother duo that news and weather and a variety of entertainment shows at Channel 4 from 1981-87, and at Channel 5 from 1987-94. They’ve been gone from the market 21 years. Gone from KFOR for 28 years. And yet they worked with Bob Barry Jr. That is a stout legacy. Jari Askins: “Count me among the many of your readers who say ‘well done’ on the tribute to BBJ.” Yep. The former lieutenant governor was a big fan of BBJ. More from NewsOK Tramel: I wish Bob Barry Jr. had stayed off 'the death machine' Wright: How Bob Barry Jr. kick-started my career What they're saying about the death of Bob Barry Jr. Carlson: People loved Bob Barry Jr. because he loved people Kevin Durant on Bob Barry Jr.'s death: "It just wont' be the same" Tramel: Fans came to know the real Bob Barry Jr. Verl Brorsen: “I remember when Junior came to Perry some years back playing on a Channel 4 basketball team against some put-together locals for a community fundraiser. He was raining in threes that night like an NBA 3-point champ. He had a great time loving every minute of it.” The Foul Shots, they called their team. I actually saw Bobby play high school basketball team. He was the seventh man in a six-man rotation at Norman High School, but he in all fairness was a solid player on a really good team. State semifinalist as a senior. Left-handed, and liked to shoot. Had quite the flair for fashion, even on the basketball court. Patty Cox Hampton Roloff: “I've enjoyed your writing regarding Bob Barry Jr. In the mid 1970s, Oklahoma City was on the verge of losing professional baseball. My late husband Bing and I appealed to the local sports media to help us find an investment group that would insure that the OKC 89ers would not just survive but thrive in the coming future. Having known Bob Barry Sr. ince our school days, he and other broadcasters jumped on the bandwagon, and our attendance at All Sports Stadium soared from 42,000 in 1975 to over 250,000 per season for the next 15 years. Bobby Jr. followed in his dad's footsteps, not just as an excellent broadcast journalist, but as an avid supporter, booster and true fan of local high school, college and minor league teams throughout the state. A hole was left in my heart after the passing of Bill Teegins, Volney Meece, Bob Hersom, Jerry Park, Bob Sr. and now Bobby Jr. I am thankful that our mayor, Mick Cornett, who was a friend and colleague of all of these great men, exemplifies what they all knew and believed: that no city becomes a great major League city without first being a GREAT minor league city. Bobby Jr. didn't just report Oklahoma sports news but made fans of Oklahoma sports teams in and out of the state through his enthusiasm, knowledge and love of Oklahoma athletes, coaches and administrators. My family's condolences go out to Bobby’s family, friends, colleagues and all of the people who watched, loved and will miss his broadcasts. He was a true ambassador of this great state and will always be greatly missed.” Patty and Bing Hampton indeed rescued baseball in the mid-‘70s. Interesting to know the credit she gives the media for the success of the 89ers. Larry Freeman: “Since Saturday, I have been in absolute mourning — for a man I never met. Your article was astute: we offer condolences not necessarily for you but for us. Bob Barry Jr. was pure joy....excitable...always optimistic. I always wanted to PROTECT him. Never have him change. Hated when people attacked Bob Barry Sr. in great part because I knew it would hurt his son. Loved the way he treated ALL people (just like his dad). Bottom line is this: for better or worse, you guys in the media are in our homes, our cars, our lives. You have been with us so long in great part, because we trust you. You are like family to us. Our connection to the sports world, and it hurts when something like this happens to family.” Exactly. And trust this, Larry. Most of us know it. Most of us know that we have a sacred trust to live up to. Bobby knew it for sure. Bill Plummer: “Excellent piece this morning on BBJ. Like father, like son. Bob was one of a kind and what a great loss. He will be missed by many people. Perhaps his high school would name an award or have a scholarship in his name. I would gladly donate to it.” Norman High School in BBJ’s day certainly was a bastion of future Oklahoma sports media. Dean Blevins was a ’74 grad. BBJ ’75. Me in ’79. Mike Steely, now with The Franchise, in ’81. Heath Holt: “Everybody here at the office is still in shock from the news of the passing of Bob Barry Jr. It is hard to believe that we won’t hear his Oklahoma twang voice over the airwaves each day. Just unbelievable. Most times when a person leaves, they just get replaced by somebody else and everything just keeps on rolling. Sometimes, though, it is just a loss. Things aren’t as good as they were before and we just live with less than we had. Bob Barry Jr. is one of those people that won’t be replaced. Several of us University of Texas graduates that reside around Oklahoma City and Norman feel that loss as well. The passing of Bob Barry Jr. isn’t just a loss for the state of Oklahoma, it is simply a huge loss.” I love the phrasing. Sometimes, you just have to live with less. Mike Skinner: “I know Friday will be a long, tough day. Sending a note now thinking there might be a ‘middle time’ of anguish as those close to BBJ felt he would have wanted you to carry on but feeling a group reluctance to be the first to step out to reach toward what might be a ‘new normal.’ All you've said and written is spot on. Senior and Junior were two in a million, yet we see many of these every day in the middle of America and take them for granted. Hoping we are all reminded of that and send more notes of thanks, etc. Hang tough. It's probably a generational thing (being almost 60), but can't help but think that good and greater times are yet to come as we continue to be better from knowing the best and emulating the best.” Interesting idea. We’ve talked incessantly about BBJ the last few days. So what can we learn from him? Enjoying what we do. Treating strangers well. Throwing ourselves into multiple endeavors. Lots of things are on the list. Coleen Adair: “You put into words exactly what I was feeling. That I had lost a friend. I can't even imagine the hurt all of you that knew him are feeling.” I remember something my friend Greg Blackwood said at Bill Teegins’ funeral. Greg was a long-time videographer for Teegins at Channel 9. Greg spoke and told everyone, “all of you who felt like you knew Bill? You did.” Same with BBJ. He was as he seemed. Scott: “Great article on Bob Barry Jr. I had met Bob but didn't know him. Your article described Bob as exactly the person I thought he was.” Thanks. Phillip Cody: “I went to OSU in 1969 to play football. Later on I remember how proud we were when Bob Barry Sr. became the voice of the Cowboys and still remember how heartbroken we were when he went back to the Sooners. Through the years I continued to respect Senior and then found an admiration for BBJ. Like you eluded to in the article, it's hard to be on a radio show three hours a day and not get to know someone. In essence, if you were passing through Oklahoma and happened to click on his radio show, I would guess most listeners would think this dude is all right. Always humble. That's the difference in BBJ and most of his peers. When you really get down to it, he had enough of his pops in him and I presume family, religion, etc., that he was a voice that from that perspective, was just different. From my perspective, it's something we could all learn from. A little less know it all, talk a little less, listen a little more, search others out who know more about what we talk about and be truly thankful for another day on this Earth to get to do it. I've always detested the way OU and OSU boo each other and how little respect can be shown to the ones that play the game. In regards to that lack of respect, the most decent thing OSU ever did was showing our great respect for Senior the last time he came to Stillwater. I know Junior was in that same mold, no doubt a chip off the old block, a very special individual. I also know he will be missed by so many and especially by people like you, who truly knew him.” Junior grew up in Norman and obviously was an OU graduate. But he never aligned himself with the Sooners at the expense of the Cowboys. He would be found at the best game. Or both games, if possible. Bowls for example. I think he had the respect of both OU and OSU fans. R.J. Johnson: “Listening to BBJ made me feel better about myself. He was the face up front for us average Joes who never had much success in sports. On the radio he wasn't the tough guy, the clown, the jerk, or the know-it-all. He just had a good time, treated everyone fair and gave us the inside scoop on the sports world.” I can’t disagree. Pat Ownbey: “Thank you for your article this morning on Bob Barry Jr. I believe you hit the nail squarely on the head. I am originally from OKC but have lived the last 40 years in Ardmore. When I was younger, I worked at KWTV as a film editor while I attended OU. I teamed with Bob Jr.'s brother, Frank, at KGOU. I did play by play and Frank did color. We broadcast several Norman High School games together and most of the time we would see Bob Sr. at some point in the pressbox. During my stint at Channel 9, I went to see Bob Sr. about sports broadcasting. Long story short, I didn't know him, but the moment I walked in he made me feel like he was my best friend. Bob Jr. was the same way. They didn't seem to ever take themselves too seriously in terms of who they were, and they loved people. I saw that over and over again in the times I was around Bob Sr. Most of the time that was a play by play seminar or at the Oklahoma Association of Broadcasters meetings. I stayed in the field for more than 35 years, later working as sports director at KXII-TV in Sherman before running and owning radio stations in the Ardmore market. Today I serve as state representative for District 48, in my eighth year. When Bill Teegins died and now Bob Jr., the shock and grief is that of losing a close friend. I made it a point to listen to Bob Barry Jr. on WWLS partly because of his attitude and his knowledge of sports. I really appreciated how he treated others no matter what the caller was like. I believe all of us would like our lives to matter, to make a difference in the lives of others, to touch people in a positive way. I believe Bob Sr. and Jr. have left a mark on many across this country, certainly here in Oklahoma. For me, as a young man, that message translated into treating everyone with respect, everyone matters. Don't take yourself so seriously and enjoy every moment. To many of us, we have lost a friend that can't be replaced. Our prayers go out to Bob's family and those of you who were close to him.” That’s another thing that can’t be replaced. The decades-long roots established by the Barrys. Robert Leslie: “Shocking and a truly sad moment for Oklahoma. You didn’t have to be only a sports fan for it to hit a nerve. Even if you didn’t really know Bobby, you felt you knew him. I knew Bob Barry Sr. better – what a gentleman and nice, classy person – but Junior was cut from the same cloth. My wife actually called Junior before her weight-loss surgery because he’d been through it, too. She said he was so nice and supportive on the phone and answered every single question she, a total stranger, had. It helped her decide also to have the surgery. Just another story pointing out what a good person Junior was.” That’s the thing about a lot of media people. We are accessible. That doesn’t mean we automatically are amenable to that access. Junior was. Robert Heard: “I too am one of those who never met Bob but feel the loss of such a fine and talented sports person. Most every day I looked forward to Bob and Coach Pat on the Animal. They were like a tag-team of greatness. I've learned at 68 that our life is very uncertain and bad things do happen to good people. Bob will be missed for a long time to come.” Jones and BBJ indeed were an excellent combo on the radio. Think about it. Bob Barry Sr. called the games of Jones’ great OSU teams from the 1980s, then Bob Barry Jr. teamed with Jones on the radio for many years. DeLinda Cole: “I wanted to write to express my condolences to you and the Sports Animal staff for the loss of BBJ. I also want to say that the tribute and expression of love and respect that has been shared about him throughout the past two days has been honoring, and I'm quite certain that BBJ is smiling down from heaven with pride. This is a horrible tragedy, but you all have done an excellent job in honoring him.” Thanks. The reaction from the Sports Animal personalities has been very telling to me. I’ve seen and heard things I never thought I would see and hear. And that’s a good thing. Jerry Isbell: “Oklahoma has lost a broadcasting legend and I’m mourning the loss of a dear friend. I can’t believe I just wrote that sentence. Bobby was a rock star. Surely he’d never leave us this soon. He was always the life of the party. Junior never needed sleep or an on-air script. He could ad-lib better than anyone. As a young journalist, Bobby taught me there were only three things to ask… Why, why and why? I can’t figure it out. ‘Why?’ He was killed on his motorcycle as a scumbag with no license, carrying drugs, made a U-turn in his pathway. As always, Bobby was full speed ahead and bringing it peddle to the metal. His heart and peddle were always jammed to the floorboard for us all. That’s why we loved him. I first met Bob Barry Jr. in 1985. I was a freshman at the University of Oklahoma and wanted to be in the TV sports business. But more importantly, I wanted to learn marketing. I realized he ‘had it.’ He knew marketing. I clung to his every move and knew I was watching a legend. Bobby took me under his wings and for some reason liked me. I was an 18 year-old punk from Broken Bow, OK. He treated me like royalty. Why? I made him laugh a lot…he loved to laugh. From scores of chuckles, a great friendship was born. I learned how to ask questions from him. I learned how to work a room from him. I learned how to speak in front of people from him. I learned how to deliver a sales pitch from him. I learned how to love people more… because of him. He always found something great in everyone. Bobby loved people. He craved interaction with others…he needed it like oxygen. No time for ‘downtime.’ He had to hang with folks. His father was the legendary Bob Barry Sr. He was born into Oklahoma broadcasting royalty but never showed it. Bobby worked his tail off. 18-20 hour days…I saw it. He’s helped me immensely through the years. A reference from Bob Barry Jr. was golden. Bobby helped me many times. Anything I needed, he’d do it. We enjoyed hundreds of hours together in news helicopters, satellite trucks, stinky vans and horrible press conference buffets. We spent time together with legends like Gary Player, Barry Switzer, Barry Sanders, Brian Bosworth, Monica Seles and James Garner. I could name drop hundreds more. He connected with them all and they loved him. Why? We last spoke a couple of weeks ago. He’d been wanting to play Cedar Creek Golf Course in Beavers Bend and take his wife to our Mountain Visa cabin. He was planning something great for her…only he knew why. I’ve been fortunate to be around many national media people through the years. None were better than Bob Barry Jr. Especially behind the scenes. He could prepare a sportscast in a matter of minutes. Bobby was lightning fast as a deadline approached. He could work under pressure like none other. There are so many emotions flowing now as tears pound my keyboard. I’d thought several times to tell him, ‘wear a helmet on your motorcycle.’ I was going to tell him the next time we spoke. Why didn’t I tell him sooner? Why did the guy with no license and dope in his vehicle make a U-Turn in front of him? Bobby, you’ve always had the scoop. We’re struggling. We need one last breaking story. Please help us understand ‘why?’” Not really any doubt that BBJ evoked passion and loyalty. Jay Badry: “Having just read of the untimely death of Bob Barry Jr., my heart sank. Of course, I had never met him personally, but he and his dad were such a part of my life as an Oklahoman and a lifetime OU fan. And then I thought of you and others who had a personal connection with BBJ and I can't imagine how this affects you. In the book of James we read that life is like the morning fog that appears for a short time and is soon gone. What a reminder to hold every moment and everyone we love close and never miss a chance to squeeze the very marrow out of life. Certainly, those of us who hope in Christ have assurance of a life beyond this one, yet it's hard to say goodbye, especially when those we love are taken so suddenly.” The suddenness of BBJ’s death is startling. To everything there is a season, but a 58-year-old man still in his prime — Bobby seemed a decade younger — makes us all take stock.
Jun 21, 2015
Oklahoma City homebuilder Jack Evans, who is managing partner of TimberCraft Homes, recently talked with The Oklahoman about the effect growing up with deaf parents had on his life and career.
Executive Q&A: Self-described 'hooligan' in high school finds his strong suit is in building houses
By Paula Burkes Business Writer firstname.lastname@example.org | Jun 21, 2015During their childhood, when televisions had on/off knobs, Oklahoma City homebuilder Jack Evans and his identical twin, Jay, didn’t know — until their friends told them — that the same TV knob also controlled sound. Their deaf parents never turned up the knob, and communicated with their sons through sign language, which was the twins' first language. They needed speech therapy to perfect their English. From a model home in the Pleasant Grove addition near Memorial and Council, Evans, who is managing partner of TimberCraft Homes, recently talked with The Oklahoman about the effect his silent household had on his life and career. Evans, 47, not only had an unconventional upbringing, but also was a nontraditional college student and worked several different jobs before finding his niche in homebuilding 10 years ago. His twin since has followed him into the industry. TimberCraft had annual revenues last year of $16.5 million and employs 16, including an interior designer and two planners who draw the firm’s unique blueprints, Evans said. With paintable exterior sidings, open floor plans, multiple windows and cathedral ceilings, his homes, even those smaller than 2,000 square feet, “give the illusion of volume and a cleaner feel,” said Evans, who’s built in northwest Oklahoma City, Surrey Hills, a little in Mustang and around to Edmond. He’s also built on 42 tornado-ravaged lots in Moore. The following is an edited transcript of the sit-down with Evans: Q: Who’s older, you or your brother, and how identical are you? A: I’m seven minutes older than Jay. We were born, two months premature, in Ponca City, where our parents were passing through. We lived our first two years in Afton, my mom’s hometown, so that my grandparents could help care for us. Then, we moved to Enid. My mom didn’t identify us in most of the pictures from our childhood, because she couldn’t even tell us apart. Today, we don’t look so much alike. But when people see us separately, they still struggle with who’s who. Q: What did your parents do? A: My dad, who was born deaf, and mom, who lost her hearing at age 4 or 5 after getting tuberculosis, met at the Oklahoma School for the Deaf in Sulphur. My mom, at 20, was about to graduate and dad, at 32, had returned for a football game. He had trained as a pressman at the school, but worked 29 years as a butcher for the Enid State School for the intellectually disabled. He died of kidney cancer at age 60, shortly before he’d planned to retire. The most he ever earned was $17,000, but he left a good pension for my mother, who’s retired and lives outside Lawton. My mom worked as a housekeeper for the school, until she was hurt in a car accident. She was riding a Vespa and turning back into the school after a lunch break, when she was hit. Afterward, she couldn’t work and, until she was approved for disability benefits, we for a few years were on food stamps. It was not great. Jay and I can remember standing in line to get cheese and pinto beans. We were old enough, at 11 or 12, to know our friends were not doing that. We have a sister, a few years younger, who has her own business as an interpreter for the deaf in Fort Worth. Q: In which extracurricular activities were you involved in school? A: Jay and I just hung out, often with two other friends. We were hooligans and not the best kids. Our parents taught us a good work ethic and the value of keeping our credit clean; we threw morning and afternoon papers from the time we were 11 or 12 and saved and bought our own motorcycles and cars. But they were satisfied with only passing grades. Meanwhile, largely unsupervised and with an accomplice in each other, we vandalized and shoplifted. Some of our teachers are probably surprised we’re not in jail. Q: And college? A: I’d graduated high school four or five years before I started college, and that was mainly because I wasn’t getting the kind of job I wanted. Having worked as a supervising night stockman for United Foods in Enid and a day stockman for a grocery in Fort Worth, I started at Northern Oklahoma College in Enid toward earning my associate’s in business administration and becoming a food broker. But after I graduated, I decided to continue, commuting to UCO in Edmond. I figured I could always go back and be a food broker, but after earning my bachelor’s in finance, I joined MidFirst Bank and worked five years as a servicing and acquisition analyst in the administration of home mortgages. Q: What made you decide to work for yourself? A: Though I enjoyed working for MidFirst, and got great training in understanding finance and contracts, I didn’t like being chained to the office from 7 a.m. to 6 p.m. Theresa already had started her own business doing title work for banks on repossessed cars, and I saw how she could come and go as she wanted. My first venture was buying a commercial industrial paint business that was a wholesale supplier to area manufacturers. It was successful, but I hated it. It was a culture shock, coming from a professional bank environment. I found my niche in the housing market, blending white- and blue-collar work by working with banks on financing, but overseeing construction outside of the office. Before I was a builder, I fixed up and flipped homes I bought in sheriff sales, doing most of the work myself. But after shows on flipping houses starting airing in 2005 on HDTV, there no longer was any money in it, and I transitioned to homebuilding. Within six months after the house flipping shows started, the number of people showing up at foreclosure sales ballooned from 50 to 400, including stay-at-home moms pushing baby strollers who thought they could make a little money on the side. Q: Did you and Theresa ever plan children? A: I joke that Jay had my share. He has five kids, ages 8 to 25. And on Theresa’s side, we have 29-year-old fraternal twin nieces, who lived with us for a time when they were attending OU. Theresa had a hysterectomy before we married, so we knew we wouldn’t have biological children. We’d considered adopting, but when the time came, after I’d completed my degree and we’d started our separate businesses, it just wasn’t part of our life. Q: Is it hard competing against your twin brother, Jay Evans of Two Structure Homes, who also builds houses in the same additions as you? A: I don’t see it as business he gets, I lose. Our products are as different as a Subaru and Ford Truck; my homes are more modern and his, more traditional. In general, my buyers are younger, ages 28 to 32, but they’re sophisticated buyers. Many are buying their first homes, only these aren’t cracker box stereotypical starter homes or tract homes, but distinctive homes that reflect them. As twins, Jay and I have competed our whole lives, and the competition has — and still does — make both of us better.
TUSCALOOSA, Ala. (AP) — Deontay Wilder's fight at Bartow Area in Birmingham on Saturday night is being dubbed a homecoming for the World Boxing Council world heavyweight champion.In some ways it is. He will be fighting some 60 miles from where he was born and raised. The Tuscaloosa fighter will have massive support in what is expected to be a capacity crowd for the first defense of the title he...
Wilder blocked in bid for heavyweight bout in Tuscaloosa
By D.C. REEVES, Associated Press | Jun 8, 2015TUSCALOOSA, Ala. (AP) — Deontay Wilder's fight at Bartow Area in Birmingham on Saturday night is being dubbed a homecoming for the World Boxing Council world heavyweight champion. In some ways it is. He will be fighting some 60 miles from where he was born and raised. The Tuscaloosa fighter will have massive support in what is expected to be a capacity crowd for the first defense of the title he won in Las Vegas in January. The event itself is called "Sweet Home(Coming) Alabama." However, the opportunity for the heavyweight champ to have a true homecoming, a fight in his hometown of Tuscaloosa, hasn't been such a sweet proposition between Wilder and the University of Alabama. "Some people may question, hey, we've got the University of Alabama, which in reality for me fighting in Coleman Coliseum was one of my dreams," Wilder, 29, told The Tuscaloosa News. "When I go in there to watch an Alabama basketball game, I look around and I saw this is beautiful for boxing, this is a perfect place for boxing, but on the other hand I feel I've been done wrong many times when dealing with Alabama." Despite interest from Wilder and his management and promotional team, the university's lack of interest in hosting the bout at Coleman Coliseum originated with university President Judy Bonner, who informed the athletic department in April that she had reservations about allowing Wilder's title defense to be held on campus. Bonner notified the athletic department even before Alabama was contacted by representatives of Wilder or the Tuscaloosa Sports and Tourism Commission about potentially hosting the June 13 bout. So instead, Wilder (33-0, 32 KOs) will fight Eric Molina (23-1, 17 KOs) at 9,000-seat Bartow Arena, the University of Alabama at Birmingham's on-campus facility, in the first-ever world title bout in any weight division to take place in the state of Alabama. "Dr. Bonner's concerns about the use of Coleman Coliseum were based on UA's ability to provide the significant logistical support that would be required to host an event of this size — with minimal planning time and the necessity of involving already committed campus resources — during a very busy time on our campus, as well as the potential disruption to the thousands of students, parents and visitors participating in already scheduled orientation sessions, classes, camps and events," Alabama spokesperson Deborah Lane said. "She continues to wish Deontay much success in his upcoming bout." Wilder and his team see it differently. Wilder's co-manager, Jay Deas, said he contacted Alabama promptly after Wilder's management team agreed with a television partner, Showtime, on a June 13 fight date to gauge the university's interest in holding the fight at Coleman Coliseum. Deas said he "never personally heard back." "We wanted to do the fight, initially, in Tuscaloosa, and Coleman Coliseum was the place to do it," Deas said. "The city of Tuscaloosa expressed a lot of interest in it, and so they reached out to the university and for whatever reason it died right there." Jay Casten, director of sports for the Tuscaloosa Tourism and Sports Commission, said his office received feedback that the venue was already booked that weekend. No details regarding an alternate date, event operations, expenses, obligations or financial terms were ever discussed. "It never got that far," he said. "I'm extremely disappointed we're not hosting it, but I'm extremely optimistic we're going to host a title fight as long as Deontay continues to win," Casten said. Conversely, Deas said that UAB, along with the city of Birmingham, moved quickly when presented with the idea of hosting Wilder's first title defense. "We reached out to UAB and were called back the same day. And basically they said 'Yes, we want it, what do we have to move around? What do we have to reschedule? Anything we need to do, we're going to do. We want this event, this is huge, this is historic, we want it,'" Deas said. "With UAB, it went from A to Z in less than an hour. With the (University of Alabama), I never heard back after A." There is no obligation for the University of Alabama to hold external events at Coleman Coliseum, but when the university does host those events it can be a financial and exposure boost to the community. Coleman Coliseum is the only indoor venue in Tuscaloosa large enough to host a world title fight, and a heavyweight title bout would be the most prestigious non-Alabama sporting event held in Tuscaloosa in years. Lane confirmed the university is open to external groups using Coleman Coliseum, citing recent high school graduations held at the facility in May and a recent event held by the Alabama League of Municipalities. Casten said that event, which was held May 18, included a 750-person dinner on the coliseum floor. When asked about specific conflicts that prevented the Wilder bout, Alabama cited two summer camps, a sold out Alabama gymnastics camp running from June 10-13 and new basketball coach Avery Johnson's first basketball camp starting Sunday, June 14, the day after the fight. The basketball camp, however, was not announced publicly until May 15, weeks after Bonner's message to the athletic department and inquiries from Deas and Casten. The gymnastics camp, which ends at 4 p.m. on June 13, is typically held in the team's practice facility in the back of Coleman Coliseum, not on the coliseum's main floor. For Wilder, the first American world heavyweight champion since 2006, the university's lack of interest in even entertaining a potential bout on campus has become a point of frustration. A lifelong University of Alabama fan, Wilder has contributed on campus. He has been asked to speak to the football team and gymnastics team, he is a regular at basketball games and he was honored on the floor of Coleman Coliseum at a game after winning the WBC title this winter. He said the resistance to even get into a discussion about hosting a fight bothers him. "Until we get a venue built (in Tuscaloosa) or something like that, my business will be in Birmingham," Wilder said. "They've welcomed me with open arms, they beat a lot of (venues) for this fight, they outbid a lot of people, and I'm looking toward targeting the BJCC (Birmingham-Jefferson Convention Complex) to be my home territory. We're going to bring all the money to Birmingham." ___ Information from: The Tuscaloosa News, http://www.tuscaloosanews.com
Jun 2, 2015
A number of vintage television programs dominate new DVD releases this week, including complete-series sets of “The Saint” and “The Nanny.”
Vintage TV series dominate new DVD releases this week
Chris Hicks, Deseret News | Jun 2, 2015Roger Moore as “The Saint” and Fran Drescher as “The Nanny” lead the new DVD releases of television series, which are dominated by vintage programs from the 1960s, ’70s, ’80s and ’90s. “The Saint: The Complete Series” (Timeless/itv/DVD, 1962-69, b/w and color, 33 discs, 118 episodes, audio commentaries). Roger Moore warmed up to his 1970s and ’80s role as James Bond with this amusing British series based on the Leslie Charteris novels about the suave womanizing thief Simon Templar, who prides himself on stealing from rich criminals. Nicknamed “The Saint,” Templar is often described as a sort of Robin Hood, though as far as I can see he keeps all the money for himself. He also helps the dogged Inspector Teal (Ivor Dean) put the crooks he robs behind bars, though Teal would love to put Templar there as well. Later episodes take on more of a “spy” vibe in this engaging adventure series that has Templar globetrotting through exotic locations, with the first 71 episodes in black and white, and the remaining 47 in color. One episode has a gag about Templar being mistaken for James Bond, and Lois Maxwell, who played Miss Moneypenny in the Bond films, guests in two episodes. Other guests include “Bond girls” Shirley Eaton and Honor Blackman, as well as Julie Christie, Edward Woodward, Donald Sutherland, Oliver Reed, Samantha Eggar and Jean Marsh. “The Nanny: The Complete Series” (Shout!/Sony/DVD, 1993-99, 19 discs, 146 episodes, audio commentaries, featurettes). Fran Drescher stars in this popular sitcom as Fran Fine, the pushy, nasal-voiced but charming title character, who falls into the job of caring for the three children of a widowed British Broadway producer (Charles Shaughnessy), ingratiating herself into high society with street smarts and blunt honesty. A surprising roster of guest stars includes Elizabeth Taylor, Bette Midler, David Letterman, Jane Seymour, Dan Aykroyd, Rita Moreno, Ben Vereen, Bob Barker, Hugh Grant, Donald O’Connor, Joan Collins, Jay Leno, Jon Stewart, Roseanne, Celine Dion, Elton John, Chevy Chase, Ray Romano and Whoopi Goldberg. “Hill Street Blues: Season Five” (Shout!/DVD, 1984-85, five discs, 23 episodes). This early series from Stephen Bochco (“NYPD Blue,” “L.A. Law”) is a first-rate ensemble look at the lives and cases of officers in an urban police precinct, with stories that mix high drama, tragedy and comedy. Daniel J. Travanti and Veronica Hamel lead the cast. “The Wonder Years: Season Three” (StarVista/DVD, 1989-90, four discs, 17 episodes, featurettes). Aimed at baby boomers that grew up in the 1960s, this half-hour comedy-drama set in ’60s suburbia follows the ups and downs of teenager Kevin Arnold (Fred Savage, with Daniel Stern providing the adult Arnold’s narration). This season has Kevin in the eighth grade with episodes about football, a school play and, of course, teenage crushes. “Welcome Back, Kotter: The Complete Third Season” (Shout!/DVD, 1977-78, four discs, 27 episodes). Very broad sitcom stars Gabe Kaplan as Gabe Kotter, a high school teacher at the Brooklyn school he attended, helping remedial students known as “sweathogs,” with John Travolta chief among them. This season has Gabe and his wife Julie (Marcia Strassman) becoming parents to twins. “Major Crimes: The Complete Third Season” (Warner/TNT/DVD, 2014-15, four discs, 19 episodes, deleted scenes, bloopers). A spinoff of “The Closer,” this police procedural stars Mary McDonnell (“Dances With Wolves,” “Battlestar Galactica”) as the head of LAPD’s (fictional) Major Crimes Division. This season sees the return of Tom Berenger as the chief’s husband. (Season 4 begins June 8.) “Murdoch Mysteries: The Movies” (Acorn/DVD, 2004-05, three discs, three movies). Three Canadian TV movies that predate the “Murdoch Mysteries” series about an 1890s Toronto detective using then-new forensic science, with the characters played by different actors. Peter Outerbridge is Murdoch and Colm Meaney, a regular on two “Star Trek” series, is his boss, Brackenreid. “Sons of Liberty” (History/Lionsgate/Blu-ray/DVD/Digital, 2015, two discs, three episodes, featurettes). This five-hour miniseries fictionalizes the early events of the American Revolution that led to the title group becoming activists in the fight to achieve freedom for the colonies from British rule. “Ray Donovan: Season Two” (Showtime/CBS/Blu-ray/DVD, 2014, four discs, 12 episodes, audio commentaries, featurettes). The title character is a Los Angeles-based Hollywood fixer played with intensity by Liev Schreiber. This season his ex-con father (Jon Voight) is causing problems and his wife and children are slipping away. Guests include Ann-Margret, Elliott Gould, Sherilyn Fenn and Hank Azaria. (Beware of Showtime’s usual R-rated excesses.) “Hello Ladies: The Complete Series and Movie” (HBO/DVD, 2013, three discs, eight episodes, TV movie, deleted scenes, featurette). Raunchy HBO sitcom starring British comic Stephen Merchant and based on his stand-up comedy routines about being an English bachelor in Los Angeles trying to find Ms. Right. Includes the TV-movie that came after the series was canceled. (Nicole Kidman has a cameo in the movie.) “Jurassic: Monsters of the Deep” (BBC/DVD, 2015). Zoologist Nigel Marven leads a documentary crew (along with computer-graphic re-creations) to explore underwater life from seven of the world’s time periods. From the folks who created “Walking With Dinosaurs.” “Max & Ruby: Sharing & Caring” (Nickelodeon/Paramount/DVD, 2012, four episodes). Four episodes, each with three stories, gleaned from this popular animated series for preschoolers, with lessons on kindness and listening, among other social skills.
May 30, 2015
Fayette, Iowa, native started as high school baseball, then an assistant softball coach at University of Southwestern Louisiana — now Louisiana-Lafayette — while a graduate student
Alabama softball coach Patrick Murphy takes unique path to success
By Jason Kersey, Staff Writer | May 30, 2015Alabama softball coach Patrick Murphy led the Crimson Tide to their 10th Women’s College World Series appearance this season, beating Oklahoma in a Super Regional last weekend in Tuscaloosa. Murphy has become one of the most successful head coaches in college softball, but took a unique path to get there. He grew up in Fayette, Iowa, and graduated from Northern Iowa in 1988 with a bachelor’s degree in history education. After coaching high school baseball two years in Sumner, Iowa, he enrolled at the University of Southwestern Louisiana — now Louisiana-Lafayette — for graduate school in communications. While there, softball coach Yvette Girouard asked him to also help her team as an assistant coach. He spent one year as interim head coach at Northwest Missouri State in 1995, then joined Alabama as an assistant coach in 1997, the program’s first year of existence. Two years later, Murphy took over as the Crimson Tide’s head coach. In the summer of 2011, he briefly accepted LSU’s head coaching position — replacing Girouard, his old mentor who had retired — but changed his mind and went back to Alabama a few days later. Less than a year after that, he led Alabama to its lone national title by beating Oklahoma in the WCWS championship series. Murphy is very media-friendly and engaging in press conferences. He’s also very active on social media with over 30,000 Twitter followers. I can remember back when I was probably 5-years old, we would go to family reunions at my grandparents’ farm in Dumont, Iowa. My mom has five siblings, and two of her brothers have farms, and they were right in a row. Three gravel roads apart. At grandma’s house, we had a huge front lawn, and after everyone got done eating, invariably we’d go out to the lawn and play softball. Two of my uncles played fastpitch in the Army in the '50s and ‘60s. They all had daughters, and they played fastpitch, so that was naturally the game we played from when I was 5 until I graduated high school. When I got to college, I did work study in sports information at Northern Iowa. I got to work with all these different teams and coaches, and that’s what started the bug. I thought I was gonna be the next Bobby Knight. I was a huge college basketball junkie. In the winter in Iowa on a Saturday, there’s nothing to do if you’re snowed in. I’d watch NBC Sports, Don Criqui and Dick Enberg would do Notre Dame basketball, and I would sit with a frozen, microwave pizza and watch basketball from 1 to 5 p.m. every Saturday, and think I would be the next star at Notre Dame. I’m an Irish, Midwest Catholic, but I didn’t grow too tall so I didn’t get to play basketball and didn’t coach basketball. When I went to grad school in Lafayette, Yvette Girouard, who was the coach at the time, lost her assistant. I’m going in there thinking I’m gonna work in the SID office, and she took me out for pizza and said, "Hey, do you want another duty?" So I was taking classes, working in sports information, doing my thesis, but I thought, "What the hell? Yeah I’ll do it." It was $6,000, no benefits. I didn’t have a car. She let me borrow her dad’s 1974 Ford pickup. You couldn’t open the door from the inside; I had to roll down the window and open the door from the outside. I think having that communication background has really helped me. I still was the SID three years into the assistant job at Lafayette, so I was feeding stuff to the media as an assistant coach, which was really weird. But I could tell you what everybody hit, their ERA, how many walks, everything. I just think I’ve kept up with that a little bit and pay attention to details. They were very good. They had two pitchers who were incredible, and Girouard had worked her butt off for years and years and years, and I was just the beneficiary of being in the right place at the right time. It was such an awesome game and the fans there were incredible. We went to regionals every year. After we made it to the World Series the first time in 1993, I was hooked. It was such a fun game, fast-paced. Lots of strategy. It was too good to pass up. I went to Northwest Missouri as an interim coach for one year. I wanted to be a head coach and I knew some kids on that team who were from Iowa. I only spent one year there because they wanted somebody with a PE master’s who could teach, and I didn’t have that. I’d probably still be there if I’d gotten the job, because I really enjoyed it. I never expected to be at Alabama this long. I mean, I had an apartment for 12 years. I was stupid for wasting all that money. I thought, it’d be three or four years and then I’d go back to the Midwest. I never, ever dreamed that I’d be in the football capital of the United States and that softball would be so accepted. They love it, so it’s hard to leave. In our hallway in the Coleman Coliseum, the guy next to me is Mic Potter. He won a women’s golf national championship. The guy next to him is Jay Seawell, he won the men’s golf back-to-back. Down the hall was Sarah Patterson, who won six national championships in gymnastics. So you had 10 national titles in one hallway, and football was across the street. I think everybody in the hallway secretly competed against each other, but we tried to keep up with each other. I think it’s that way with every sport now. We’ve improved in so many sports since I’ve been there. It’s unbelievable, but you can’t not use that tradition to your benefit. My biggest professional challenge was probably the very first year as head coach at Alabama. I was the assistant for two years, and everybody loves the assistant. I remember playing in a tournament at Arizona State, and my star player was Kelly Kretschman, who became an Olympic gold medalist. I recruited her daily. I was a good friend to her. Now I’m the head coach, and I’m not a friend. She was at third base in a game against New Mexico, and it was 0-0. She took a big lead, and I said, "Do not get picked off. We’re not scoring many runs today." The next pitch, she got picked off. I looked at her and said, "On the bench." As soon as I did it, I thought, "Oh my God. I hope she comes back. I hope she doesn’t quit." I look up in the stands, and her mom and dad get up to leave. I thought, "Oh my God. The best player I’ve ever had is gonna quit." It turned out, they had to catch a flight. They were upset with the kid and fine with me. It was a lesson she needed to be taught. Right then and there, I learned the biggest lesson between being an assistant and a head coach. You have to make some decisions that aren’t gonna be very favorable with some people, but that’s part of the job. I’ve tried to keep that in mind with every decision I’ve made ever since. The thing that helped us out the most was getting our stadium. We played at a city park for three years, and then in 2000, they finally started to break ground. That was the biggest key to the program, because then you could take a recruit. It was basically modeled off of Hall of Fame Stadium. I don’t know what I really expected, but I knew with that passionate fan base, you could do something good. There are too many rabid fans. You could win in bowling, and they would come to watch. We won a conference title one year, and got our rings at halftime of a football game. At the time, Bryant-Denny seated about 90,000. I thought to myself right then, “If I can’t get 2,000 of these rabid fans to come to our games — a great, fun sport to watch — they need to get rid of me.” That was the year we really pushed to sell season tickets. We sold almost 2,200 season tickets this year. We try to go where the girls are from at least once in their career, so we’ve played in Maryland, Miami, Houston, all over the country, really. And almost every time, we have more fans than the home team. It’s a lot of fun to see. There’s a lot of red and white, but it makes for a better atmosphere, and the home team loves it because they’ve got a sellout crowd. The fans follow us a lot. I could tell you what every former player is doing, whether they’re married, if they have kids, what their husbands name is, just everything, because I’ve been here from Day One. I used to joke that I was the Tom Landry of college softball, but that’s the neat part. I have everybody’s email address, everybody’s address. When we have alumni functions, it is a lot of fun because about 80 percent of the kids come back and it’s like one big family. We’d just come back from the 2011 World Series, and we had lost Sunday night. It was a rough game. Got off the plane, got a phone call from LSU. When you’re down in the dumps and all of a sudden, somebody says, ‘You’re the one we want.’ Wow. Then the whole week was a roller coaster. You go over there and feel the love, and then you don’t get the right feeling. It just didn’t feel right. It was nothing against the people or the program, because obviously they’re doing really well right now. It was probably a rushed decision. I would probably tell everybody in the same situation to take your time and really, really look it over. Alabama is kind of like the top dog to me. There’s not a bigger stadium. The winning tradition is there. The kids are still coming. The fans are awesome. The administration is great. There’s not much more that you could want. This year, our theme was grit. We started on August 25 at the very first team meeting. I watch a lot of TED talks and read a lot of books, and grit is the number one factor in predicting success later on in life. Not IQ, not a bunch of other things. It’s the ability to bounce back after failure. That’s what softball does to a kid. Softball, baseball, any sport where you lose, are you gonna bounce back or are you gonna pout for a month or two? That’s teaching you the most incredible life lesson of all. All of these girls know what it means to have grit now. So when they get that job, maybe they don’t get the boss that they like or maybe they get fired, or maybe they can’t stand their job, but they’re gonna be the one who is able to keep pushing forward and making things better.
The 50th annual Oklahoma/Texas Faith 7 Basketball Bowl will be held at 7 p.m. June 6 at Oklahoma Baptist University. Here’s some information about the 10 players selected to play for the Oklahoma team, provided by Faith 7 organizers: A.J. Cockrell, 6-8, 220, Tulsa Memorial: Coached by Robert Allison, Cockrell led the Chargers to a 19–8 […]
High school basketball: Oklahoma Faith 7 player profiles
Scott Wright | May 28, 2015The 50th annual Oklahoma/Texas Faith 7 Basketball Bowl will be held at 7 p.m. June 6 at Oklahoma Baptist University. Here’s some information about the 10 players selected to play for the Oklahoma team, provided by Faith 7 organizers: A.J. Cockrell, 6-8, 220, Tulsa Memorial: Coached by Robert Allison, Cockrell led the Chargers to a 19-8 record and the 2015 state semifinals, as well as to state championships in 2013-14. Bound for the University of Texas-San Antonio, Cockrell averaged 17.4 points, 14.3 rebounds, and 1.8 assists while shooting 59 percent from the field and 65 percent from the free throw line. Chris Crawford, 6-2, 177, Victory Christian: Bound for Oral Roberts University and coached by Ryan Wakley, Crawford averaged 21.6 points, and 4.3 assists while leading the Conquerors to a 22-6 record and district and regional championships. An all-stater, Crawford holds school career records for assists (403) and steals (306), and is 2nd in scoring (1,881). Hayden Howell, 6-7, 220, Carl Albert: Howell, the Suburban Conference Player of the Year, is bound for Abilene Christian. Coached by Jay Price, Howell led the Titans to a 25-4 record and to the state finals while averaging 18.3 points, 11 boards, and 2.5 assists. An all-stater, Howell shot 67.6 percent from the field and 70.7 percent from the free throw line. DaQuan Jeffries, 6-5, 200 pounds, Edmond Santa Fe: Jeffries, an all-stater and Central Oklahoma Athletic Conference Defensive Player of the Year, led the Wolves to the Class 6A finals. Coached by Lenny Hatchett, Jeffries led Santa Fe to a 22-8 record while averaging 16 points, 8 rebounds, and 2 assists. He shot 68 percent from the field and 75 percent from the free throw line. Jeffries will play collegiately at Oral Roberts University. Tyson Jolly, 6-4, 190, Putnam City West: Coached by Lenny Bert, Jolly averaged 20 points, 9.1 boards, and 3 assists while leading the Patriots to a 24-3 record and the state semifinals. An all-stater and Big 10 Conference MVP, Jolly shot 59.7 percent from the field and 74.8 percent from the line. Jolly will play collegiately at the University of California-Berkeley. Cory Kilby, 6-7, 190, Ada : An all-district first-team selection and a football all-stater, Cory is Ada’s career scoring leader (2,013 points). Bound for Mercer University, Kilby led the Cougars to a district championship and a 20-8 record. Coached by Ron Anderson, Kilby averaged 20.8 points, 10.2 boards while shooting 65 percent from the field. Ty Lazenby, 6-5, 205, Glencoe: Lazenby, an all-stater and District Player of the Year, led the Panthers to three consecutive state titles. He was named the MVP of the state tourney and holds Glencoe's career scoring record (2,610 pts.). Coach by his father John Lazenby, Ty led the Panthers to a 29-3 record, averaging 26 points and 9 boards while shooting 52 percent from the field. Lazenby is bound for Northern Oklahoma College at Enid. Curran Scott, 6-4, 195, Edmond Memorial: Coached by Shane Cowherd, Scott average 22.1 points, 5 boards, and 2.4 assists while leading the Bulldogs to a 24-5 record. Scott, an all-stater, set Memorial’s single season scoring record, 635 points, while shooting 55 percent from the field and 81 percent from the line. Curran has signed to play for coach Mark Price at the University of North Carolina-Charlotte. Cade Upshaw, 6-0, 160, Verdigris: Upshaw, an all-stater, led the Cardinals to a 24-5 record and the state finals. Coached by his father, Randy Upshaw, Cade will play collegiately at Northern Oklahoma College of Enid. Upshaw averaged 18.5 points, 4 rebounds, and 4 assists while shooting 51 percent from the field and 85 percent from the free throw line. Jamey Woods, 6-3, 217, Lawton Eisenhower: Woods led the Eagles, coached by Bruce Harrington, to a 22-4 record and a 2015 state championship in Class 5A. Woods averaged 16 points, 4.5 rebounds, and 4 assists. An all-stater, he shot 48 percent from the field and 70 percent from the free throw line. Woods is second all-time in scoring for Lawton Ike (1,188 points) and will play collegiately at East Central University in Ada.
May 22, 2015
BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (AP) — The Southeastern Conference agenda for spring meetings leans heavily toward ensuring other leagues don't have any competitive advantage, either from satellite camps or graduate transfers.Coaches have grumbled about outside competitors like Penn State's James Franklin and Michigan's Jim Harbaugh holding football camps as guest coaches in the SEC's fertile recruiting...
SEC agenda includes graduate transfers, satellite camps
By JOHN ZENOR, Associated Press | May 22, 2015BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (AP) — The Southeastern Conference agenda for spring meetings leans heavily toward ensuring other leagues don't have any competitive advantage, either from satellite camps or graduate transfers. Coaches have grumbled about outside competitors like Penn State's James Franklin and Michigan's Jim Harbaugh holding football camps as guest coaches in the SEC's fertile recruiting territory. It's something the league doesn't allow its own coaches to do elsewhere, though that's subject to change if the SEC fails to get the practice banned. Satellite camps will be a hot topic when the retiring Slive presides over his final spring meetings next week in Destin, Florida. "We prefer our current legislation," Commissioner Mike Slive said Friday in an interview with The Associated Press. "It gets complex when that legislation is not national legislation, so we would like to see our rule become national legislation. The real question is if it doesn't, what are we going to do? That'll be basically one of the primary subjects. I don't have an answer, but we hope an answer will emerge out of Destin." NCAA rules allow football programs to hold camps on their campus, inside their state or within a 50-mile radius of campus, but coaches can guest coach at another school's camp all the way down to the high school level. The SEC doesn't want to concede a recruiting edge with a practice also employed by Notre Dame and Ohio State. "We've tried to have a rule that we think is sane and doesn't make it more intense than it already is," Slive said. "If the rest of the country sees it differently, we're going to pay attention to that." Also on the agenda will be the SEC's rule requiring schools to seek waivers before accepting graduate transfers for athletes who have had significant off-the-field troubles. It's a subject that surfaced when ex-Notre Dame quarterback Everett Golson, who is from South Carolina, was searching for a new school. He considered several SEC schools before choosing Florida State. The ACC has no such restrictions. "We had some general discussions with some of our institutions but we never had any formal action taken by the league," Slive said of Golson's recruitment. Auburn athletic director Jay Jacobs believes the policy on graduate transfers needs to change. He notes that no such rule exists for undergraduates with at least two years of eligibility remaining, even when they've had discipline problems. "That doesn't make any sense," Jacobs said. "It's a double standard. We're holding a group that has proven that they can compete academically at a high level (to a higher standard) than a group that we're not sure about." Jacobs and Auburn will also propose a rule counting state-funded scholarships against athletic totals for sports like baseball and softball which typically have to divvy up dollars to offer partial scholarships. "This is an unfair competitive advantage," Jacobs said. Other topics Slive addressed include: —Paying full cost of attendance. Alabama football coach Nick Saban recently said that the method could be "a nightmare" where some schools manipulate the numbers. Slive notes the numbers are based on a federal formula stemming from the Ed O'Bannon lawsuit. "We're in an evolutionary period and the end result is that everything isn't necessarily going to be the same for everybody," Slive said. "That's a difficult concept for them and it flies in the face of the experience of our coaches and our institutions for decades. "The days of everything and every rule being grounded in a level playing field are gone." —His health after undergoing treatment for prostate cancer as well as back surgery. "I'm feeling better than I've felt in a very long time," said Slive. He is in "a quiet period" for treatment before his next doctor's visit. —New rules in college basketball reducing the shot clock from 35 to 30 seconds and expanding the arc for block and charge calls from 3 to 4 feet. The changes still must be approved by the NCAA's Playing Rules Oversight Committee. Slive was "very much in favor" of both rules. "I think we need some more offense in college basketball," he said. "I think these rules are good for the game. I'm glad that the rules makers are paying attention to the game. These two steps are in the right direction." ___ Follow John Zenor on Twitter: www.twitter.com/jzenor
May 21, 2015
Foster was known more for his family — five high-achieving, high-character kids — and his Christian walk and his love of people than for gridiron greatness.
Former OU All-American offensive tackle Eddie Foster was the rarest of football heroes
By Berry Tramel | May 21, 2015MOORE — Dewey Selmon, just recently arrived on the OU campus as a freshman in 1972, sat in his dorm room with brothers Lee Roy and Lucious one day when a huge shadow passed by his open door. “What was that?” Dewey asked. Lucious informed him it was Eddie Foster. Later that night, Dewey suggested to Lee Roy that they avoid Foster. “Guys that big can hurt you.” That might have been the last time anyone wanted to avoid Edward Jay Foster, a prince of a man who died last week at age 63 and was memorialized Thursday in a 190-minute service at LifeChurch. Foster, an All-American offensive tackle and co-captain for Barry Switzer’s first OU team in 1973, is the rarest of football heroes. Known more for his family — five high-achieving, high-character kids — and his Christian walk and his love of people than for gridiron greatness. “If anybody was made in God’s image, it was Eddie Foster,” said Billy Sims, who came to OU three years after Foster’s final season but who joined Dewey Selmon as one of the speakers Thursday. Joe Wylie, the grand halfback in the early wishbone years, was Foster’s OU roommate and became his lifelong friend. Wylie said that after Foster married Kim Watson, his Monahans (Texas) High School sweetheart, Wylie was so inspired by their relationship, he proposed to his girlfriend. Wylie and Karen Pilgrim are married still. Max Barnett, who led the Baptist Student Union when Foster was in school, said that Wylie and Foster were such leaders that when they were juniors, they visited 26 of OU’s 43 signees in their homes, inviting them to the Bible study they had established in their dorm. From the stage Thursday, Wylie admitted there had been a time or two when he figured his bride could be a better wife. “But I’ve never in my life thought that Ed could be a better friend.” Wylie said OU gave him great blessings, including a great education and 70,000 screaming fans on Saturdays. “But Ed was the best gift OU ever gave to me.” Old football tales were fun, but the core of Foster’s life was his family. He and Kim home schooled their children and pioneered home school athletics in Oklahoma. Eddie coached his sons to national success in home school basketball. All five of Foster’s grown children spoke glowingly, so much so that LifeChurch pastor Michael Metcalf said his son asked him during the service, “Are you that good of a dad?” Charles Foster, the second-born son, recounted the story of the summer before his senior year, driving a car his grandmother had given him and having spent his money on new CDs instead of getting leaky radiator fixed. One night in Edmond, the car overheated, and Eddie’s suggestion was to spend the night with cousins, then try to drive home the next morning, so if there was trouble along the road, it would be daylight. But Charles told his dad he was determined to drive home. Long about Crossroads Mall, going south on I-35, Charles noticed a set of lights following him. Followed him off the interstate exit, through the streets of Norman and into the Fosters’ neighborhood and driveway. It was Eddie, having driven north to meet his son and make sure he got home safely. Usually, it was the other way around. Foster taking the lead. Kim Foster talked about the old Monahans days, when the star quarterback revealed the Loboes’ secret play. “Someone would get the ball and follow Eddie.” Following Eddie Foster never was a bad idea. “His heart completely dwarfed his physical status,” said eldest son Neal. Charles Foster told the story of the national home school tournament in Wichita, when the Oklahoma City Knights were in the national semifinals. In the final seconds of a tie game, a Knights player became confused and intentionally fouled an opponent. Eddie Foster was a competitor. You didn’t block for Joe Wylie and Joe Washington without being a competitor. And those who remember Foster coaching youth sports knows he could raise his voice. But he also knew when to lower it. As timeout was called and the Knights trudged to their sideline, knowing victory was slipping away, Eddie Foster didn’t map a strategy. He grabbed the player who had committed the foul and embraced him. The opponent made a foul shot, the Knights lost and settled for third place in the national tournament. Lost a game but won a heart. Berry Tramel: Berry can be reached at (405) 760-8080 or at email@example.com. He can be heard Monday through Friday from 4:40-5:20 p.m. on The Sports Animal radio network, including FM-98.1. You can also view his personality page at newsok.com/berrytramel.
May 17, 2015
Perris, Calif. native dismissed for violating unspecified team rules
Oklahoma football: Sophomore wide receiver K.J. Young dismissed from the team
By Jason Kersey, Staff Writer | May 17, 2015NORMAN — Oklahoma redshirt sophomore wide receiver K.J. Young has been dismissed from the team for violating unspecified team rules, an OU spokesman confirmed Sunday. Young, from Perris, Calif., started three games last season and appeared in 12, catching 19 passes for 215 yards and a touchdown. He signed with the Sooners in their 2013 recruiting class. Young is the second wide receiver from that signing class to leave the team. San Antonio native Dannon Cavil announced his intention to transfer in October. He’s also the second 2013 signee to leave the team within the last week. Running back Keith Ford announced he would transfer last week after being suspended during spring practices. In the Red-White spring game last month, Young caught three passes for 28 yards. As a senior at Citrus Hill High School, Young caught 91 passes for 1,593 yards and 18 touchdowns. He picked the Sooners over offers from Boise State, Colorado, Colorado State, Iowa State, UNLV and UTEP. Young’s departure continues a troubling trend for OU receivers. Of the 25 wide receivers OU signed out of high school or junior college between 2008 and 2014, very few have become any more than a role player, and several have left because of legal problems, transfers or dismissals. OU coach Bob Stoops fired receivers coach Jay Norvell after last season — when the Sooners had arguably the worst receivers in the Big 12 — and replaced him with Cale Gundy coaching inside receivers and Dennis Simmons coaching outside receivers. Norvell already had 2015 commitments from John Humphrey and junior-college transfer Dede Westbrook before his firing. After Simmons was hired, the Sooners added Westmoore’s Dahu Green and A.D. Miller — from Bishop Dunne High in Dallas — to the signing class. OVERTON ELIGIBLE Oklahoma defensive tackle signee Marquise Overton scored a 19 on his ACT and has qualified academically to enroll at OU this summer, Overton tweeted Friday night. Overton, a former Jenks standout, committed to the Sooners on Jan. 3, 2014 — one day after OU’s Sugar Bowl win over Alabama — but before signing day, there was some concern that he might not make it academically. Overton ended up signing a National Letter of Intent with OU, though, and as of this weekend, is heading to Norman after all. He is one of four defensive line signees in the Sooners’ 2015 recruiting class, and one of four in-state signees, joining Westmoore wide receiver Dahu Green, Midwest City safety Will Sunderland and McAlester tight end Dalton Wood.
NORMAN — Oklahoma dismissed redshirt sophomore wide receiver K.J. Young from the team, continuing a troubling trend of receiver busts over the past several years. OU coach Bob Stoops fired receivers coach Jay Norvell after last season — when the Sooners had arguably the worst receivers in the Big 12 — and replaced him with […]
Oklahoma football: K.J. Young the latest in troubling trend of OU receiver busts
Jason Kersey | May 17, 2015NORMAN -- Oklahoma dismissed redshirt sophomore wide receiver K.J. Young from the team, continuing a troubling trend of receiver busts over the past several years. OU coach Bob Stoops fired receivers coach Jay Norvell after last season -- when the Sooners had arguably the worst receivers in the Big 12 -- and replaced him with Cale Gundy coaching inside receivers and Dennis Simmons coaching outside receivers. Here is a look at every wide receiver prospect signed in the seven seasons Norvell was in charge of the position group. There have been legal problems, lack of on-field development, transfers and dismissals. Of the receivers Norvell signed, very few became much more than a role player. Here's a look at all 25 wide receivers signed by the Sooners between 2008 and 2014. (NOTE: This does not account for NCAA Division I transfers Justin Brown and Jalen Saunders. This chart only includes players signed out of high school or junior college). 2008 JOSH JARBOE Hometown (School): Ellenwood, Ga. (Cedar Grove) Rivals ranking (stars): No. 10 receiver; No. 69 overall prospect (4-star) What happened: Jarboe picked OU over offers from Florida, Georgia and LSU and was one of the Sooners' prized commits in 2008, but he was arrested in March 2008 on felony gun charges. He pled guilty and was expelled from school, but OU gave him another chance after he finished graduation requirements online. After he arrived at OU, a video of Jarboe rapping about guns and violence surfaced online and Stoops dismissed him before he even played in a game. He transferred to Troy and was kicked off the team there after two arrests, but eventually got things turned around and recorded 1,300 receiving yards and six touchdowns over two seasons at Arkansas State. JAMEEL OWENS Hometown (School): Muskogee (Muskogee) Rivals ranking (stars): No. 8 receiver; No. 52 overall prospect (4-star) What happened: Owens joined the Sooners along with high-school teammate and highly-touted defensive tackle prospect Stacy McGee. He played some as a true freshman, but fell out of favor with coaches and transferred to Tulsa, where he only played one season. DEJUAN MILLER Hometown (School): Metuchen, N.J. (Metuchen) Rivals ranking (stars): No. 32 receiver; No. 232 overall prospect (4-star) What happened: Miller played four seasons at OU, recording a total of 75 receptions for 892 yards and two touchdowns. But after Miller's final game at OU -- a 31-14 Insight Bowl win over Iowa in 2011 -- Miller's father ripped Norvell on Twitter, calling him "flaky" in a rant about his son not getting more snaps in the bowl game. 2009 CAMERON KENNEY Hometown (School): Dacula, Ga. (Garden City CC) Rivals ranking (stars): No ranking (4-star) What happened: Kenney became a solid contributor in two seasons at OU, finishing his career with 55 catches, 812 yards and five touchdowns. JAZ REYNOLDS Hometown (School): Aldine, Texas (Eisenhower) Rivals ranking (stars): No. 92 receiver (3-star) What happened: Reynolds was suspended multiple times throughout his OU career -- including for the entire 2012 season -- but finished with 68 career catches for 1,187 yards and six touchdowns. He was signed as an undrafted free agent by the Tennessee Titans but didn't make the team. In a lengthy May 2013 interview with The Oklahoman, Reynolds praised Bob Stoops for giving him so many chances. 2010 TREY FRANKS Hometown (School): Orange, Texas (West Orange-Stark) Rivals ranking (stars): No. 74 receiver (3-star) What happened: Franks was one of three receivers suspended for the entire 2012 season. During that suspension, he still practiced with the team and switched to safety, but was back at receiver by the time the 2013 season began. He didn't record any statistics that year, but appeared in 12 games and started once. Franks chose to end his college football career with a year of eligibility still remaining. JUSTIN MCCAY Hometown (School): Shawnee, Kan. (Bishop Miege) Rivals ranking (stars): No. 6 athlete; No. 52 overall prospect (4-star) What happened: McCay redshirted in 2010 and made only three appearances with no catches in 2011, then decided to transfer to Kansas to be closer to his family. The NCAA denied his appeal for immediate eligibility -- despite Bob Stoops and Joe Castiglione supporting his transfer -- and only caught 27 passes for 273 yards and three touchdowns in two seasons at KU. JOE POWELL Hometown (School): Dallas (Skyline) Rivals ranking (stars): No. 57 athlete (3-star) What happened: Powell was at OU for two seasons -- switching to defensive back -- before he was arrested on felony drug charges and kicked off the team. SHELDON MCCLAIN Hometown (School): Cibolo, Texas (Steele) Rivals ranking (stars): No. 94 receiver (3-star) What happened: McClain tore an ACL during his senior year of high school and redshirted as a true freshman. He left the team before OU's 2011 Insight Bowl appearance. KENNY STILLS Hometown (School): Carlsbad, Calif. (La Costa Canyon) Rivals ranking (stars): No. 23 receiver; No. 147 overall prospect (4-star) What happened: Stills became one of the best players on the Sooner offense, finishing his career with 204 catches, 2,594 yards and 24 touchdowns. He's already had a productive NFL career with the New Orleans Saints, and was traded to the Miami Dolphins during this offseason. 2011 KAMEEL JACKSON Hometown (School): Arlington, Texas (Sam Houston) Rivals ranking (stars): No. 34 receiver (3-star) What happened: Jackson caught 12 passes for 165 yards during his true freshman season, but was suspended indefinitely after the 2012 spring, and then dismissed a few months later. TREY METOYER Hometown (School): Whitehouse, Texas (Whitehouse) Rivals ranking (stars): No. 2 receiver; No. 12 overall prospect (5-star) What happened: Metoyer was one of the most hyped OU signees of the Stoops era, but couldn't qualify academically in time for the 2011 season. He spent that year at Hargrave Military Academy in Virginia and got eligible, then shined in the 2012 spring game. He started the first few games of his freshman year, but fell out of the lineup after Fresno State transfer Jalen Saunders was granted eligibility. A few games into the next season, he was kicked off the team after being charged with indecent exposure. A judge recently sentenced Metoyer to eight years probation. 2012 LACOLTAN BESTER Hometown (School): Scooba, Miss. (East Mississippi CC) Rivals ranking (stars): No ranking (3-star) What happened: Bester appeared in 24 games over two seasons at OU, saving his best game for last. He caught six passes for 105 yards and a touchdown in the Sooners' Sugar Bowl upset of Alabama. He also made "The Play That Changed It All" in Bedlam 2013. COURTNEY GARDNER Hometown (School): Roseville, Calif. (Sierra CC) Rivals ranking (stars): No ranking (4-star) What happened: Gardner was unable to qualify academically and never made it to campus. DURRON NEAL Hometown (School): St. Louis (DeSmet) Rivals ranking (stars): No. 9 receiver; No. 62 overall prospect (4-star) What happened: Neal was the Sooners' second-leading receiver last season, but on the whole, hasn't contributed nearly as much as anyone expected. He's got 60 career catches for 764 yards and three touchdowns. STERLING SHEPARD Hometown (School): Oklahoma City (Heritage Hall) Rivals ranking (stars): No. 20 receiver; No. 131 overall prospect (4-star) What happened: Shepard has become -- arguably -- the best player on the current OU football team. He would've easily surpassed 1,000 yards receiving last season if not for a nagging hamstring that essentially sidelined him for the final six games of the season. DERRICK WOODS Hometown (School): Inglewood, Calif. (Inglewood) Rivals ranking (stars): No. 31 receiver; No. 216 overall prospect (4-star) What happened: Woods redshirted as a true freshman, only caught two passes during his career and was booted from the team in the middle of last season for unspecified team rules violations. 2013 AUSTIN BENNETT Hometown (School): Manvel, Texas (Manvel) Rivals ranking (stars): No. 71 receiver (3-star) What happened: Bennett played some as a true freshman, but entering his junior season only has three career catches for 42 yards. DANNON CAVIL Hometown (School): San Antonio (Madison) Rivals ranking (stars): No ranking (3-star) What happened: Cavil redshirted as a true freshman and never saw any action in 2014. He announced his decision to leave the program midway through that season. JORDAN SMALLWOOD Hometown (School): Jenks (Jenks) Rivals ranking (stars): No. 46 receiver (3-star) What happened: Smallwood suffered an ACL tear during fall camp before his true freshman season and redshirted. He appeared in all 13 games last year, but only caught three passes for 21 yards. He tore another ACL during spring practices and is expected to miss at least the first couple games of next season. K.J. YOUNG Hometown (School): Perris, Calif. (Citrus Hill) Rivals ranking (stars): No ranking (3-star) What happened: Young redshirted as a true freshman and started three games last season, ending the year with 19 catches for 215 yards and a touchdown. He was dismissed from the team Sunday. 2014 MARK ANDREWS Hometown (School): Scottsdale, Ariz. (Desert Mountain) Rivals ranking (stars): No. 25 receiver; No. 176 overall prospect (4-star) What happened: Andrews redshirted last year and switched positions to tight end. He apparently had a huge spring and is expected to really take off in Lincoln Riley's new offense. JEFFERY MEAD Hometown (School): Tulsa (Union) Rivals ranking (stars): No. 75 receiver (3-star) What happened: Mead played some early last season, but fell out of the regular receiver rotation by the end of the year. A big, tall receiver, Mead could find a more consistent role in the new offense. MICHIAH QUICK Hometown (School): Fresno, Calif. (Central East) Rivals ranking (stars): No. 4 athlete; No. 76 overall prospect (4-star) What happened: It took Quick a few games to get going last year as a true freshman, but he ended up catching 25 passes for 237 yards and a touchdown. He's expected to be a big part of the offense moving forward. DALLIS TODD Hometown (School): La Mirada, Calif. (La Mirada) Rivals ranking (stars): No. 50 receiver (4-star) What happened: Todd redshirted last season.
Here's a look at how AP's general news coverage is shaping up in Louisiana and Mississippi. Questions about coverage plans are welcome and should be directed to the AP-New Orleans bureau at 504-523-3931 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Jack Elliott Jr. is on the desk. AP-Deep South Editor Jim Van Anglen can be reached at 404-653-8460 or JVanAnglen@ap.org.A reminder this information is not for publication or...
AP-LA-MS--Louisiana-Mississippi News Digest 1:30 pm, LA
Associated Press | May 9, 2015Here's a look at how AP's general news coverage is shaping up in Louisiana and Mississippi. Questions about coverage plans are welcome and should be directed to the AP-New Orleans bureau at 504-523-3931 or email@example.com. Jack Elliott Jr. is on the desk. AP-Deep South Editor Jim Van Anglen can be reached at 404-653-8460 or JVanAnglen@ap.org. A reminder this information is not for publication or broadcast, and these coverage plans are subject to change. Expected stories may not develop, or late-breaking and more newsworthy events may take precedence. Advisories and digests will keep you up to date. All times are Central. Some TV and radio stations will receive shorter APNewsNow versions of the stories below, along with all updates. TOP STORIES DEAD ZONE LAWSUIT NEW ORLEANS — A federal judge who ordered the Environmental Protection Agency to take action to regulate farm runoff and other pollution blamed for the Gulf of Mexico's annual oxygen-depleted "dead zone" must take a second crack at his ruling. An appeals court has ordered U.S. District Judge Jay Zainey to reassess his 2013 order telling the EPA to set federal limits on the nutrients nitrogen and phosphorous, which feed huge algae blooms that contribute to loss of oxygen in part of the Gulf of Mexico every summer, killing or chasing away marine life. By Janet McConnaughey. SENT: 678 words. MISSISSIPPI-CONGRESS JACKSON —Thirteen candidates are competing in a special congressional election in north Mississippi. With so many on Tuesday's ballot, the race is expected to go to a June 2 runoff between the top two. The winner will serve the final year and a half of a two-year term started by Republican Rep. Alan Nunnelee, who died of brain cancer in February. By Emily Wagster Pettus. SENT: 330 words, photos. With: BC-Mississippi-Congress-Glance. By Emily Wagster Pettus. PLAYER ELIGIBLE CHALLENGE OLIVE BRANCH — The Mississippi Supreme Court has ruled a high school athlete can challenge a decision that barred him from playing football for Olive Branch High School. The ruling came Thursday in a lawsuit filed by the family of Ross Trail. The case now returns to DeSoto County Chancery Court. SENT: 411 words. (Eds: Also filed to sports lines) IN BRIEF VICKSBURG BAR SHOOTING — A Louisiana man will stand trial Nov. 30 on charges in a fatal shooting at a Vicksburg nightclub in February. SENT: 130 words. OFFICER INVOLVED SHOOTING — A Jefferson Parish deputy fatally shot a Harvey man Friday night after the man reportedly threatened officers with a gun. The victim was identified Saturday as 48-year-old Dedrick Marshall. SENT: 165 words. LAFAYETTE-VA FACILITY — The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs says it has identified a location for a clinic in Lake Charles. Deputy Secretary of Veterans Affairs Sloan Gibson says in a letter than a lease for a temporary clinic in Lake Charles could be awarded by the end of the summer. SENT: 130 words. DOUBLE SLAYING-METAIRIE — A Jefferson Parish jury has convicted a New Orleans for his role in a 2013 double slaying in Metairie. Jason Thomas faces a mandatory life sentence in the deaths of Demektric Anderson and Tacara Williams-Moss, both of Memphis, Tennessee. SENT: 125 words. COACH-SEX-SENTENCE — The former coach of the Moss Point High School boys' basketball team has been sentenced to 25 years in prison for having sex with a student. SENT: 128 words. CARJACKING CONVICTION — A Jackson man convicted on two counts each of armed robbery and armed carjacking and one count of receiving stolen property will be sentenced May 18. SENT: 129 words. BROOKHAVEN SLAYING — A Brookhaven man has pleaded guilty to charges involving a 2013 fatal shooting in Brookhaven. SENT: 126 words. FBI MEMORIAL — A memorial service is set in New Orleans for FBI agents who have died in the line of duty. The FBI says Monday's service will be held at the New Orleans Museum of Art at City Park. SENT: 80 words. CHILDREN'S ADVOCATE — Former East Baton Rouge Parish Juvenile Judge Kathleen Stewart Richey has landed a position heading a statewide children's advocacy association. SENT: 109 words. MEMBER EXCHANGE EXCHANGE-FEMALE-OFFENDERS SOUTHAVEN — The road to a new life for Crystal Dye and her young son is a long, narrow one, lined with years of group sessions for her addiction, after-care and counseling for 3-year-old Evan, visits to state drug court and random drug screenings. By Henry Bailey, The Commercial Appeal. EXCHANGE-WATER QUALITY PROJECT DIAMONDHEAD — Over the past year, while many peers were shopping for formal dresses, Rutherford spent time collecting water samples from the Bay of St. Louis and Mississippi Sound as part of an expanding science project she started in sixth grade. By Justin Mitchell, The Sun Herald. EXCHANGE-LOUJISIANA TRIBES HOUMA — For local Indian tribes seeking federal recognition, congressional pushback is disappointing, but nothing new. U.S. Rep. Rob Bishop, R-Utah, is demanding the Obama administration hold off on new rules that could make it easier for Indian groups to win federal recognition as tribes. By Jacob Batte, The Courier. EXCHANGE-FARM TO TABLE LAFAYETTE — The growing farm-to-table movement seems like it would be a win-win for Louisiana. Farmers get to sell and spotlight their products on local restaurant menus. Chefs get to work with the freshest local ingredients. Customers get to support and learn more about local agriculture. But the movement hasn't given Louisiana farmers the financial backing they'd like. By Megan Wyatt, The Advertiser. GUAM HOSPITAL CHIEF HAGATNA, Guam —Theodore "Ted" Lewis said he's no stranger to managing struggling stateside hospitals. So when the chance came up to be the next chief executive officer for financially strapped Guam Memorial Hospital, he saw an opportunity that others might run away from. Lewis has more than 25 years of experience in the hospital industry including, senior leadership positions at Riverside Medical Center in Louisiana and Baton Rouge General Medical Center. By Gaynor Dumat-ol Daleno, Pacific Daily News. SPORTS PLAYER ELIGIBLE CHALLENGE OLIVE BRANCH — The Mississippi Supreme Court has ruled a high school athlete can challenge a decision that barred him from playing football for Olive Branch High School. The ruling came Thursday in a lawsuit filed by the family of Ross Trail. The case now returns to DeSoto County Chancery Court. SENT: 411 words. ___ If you have stories of regional or statewide interest, please email them to firstname.lastname@example.org. If you have photos of regional or statewide interest, please send them to the AP state photo center in New York, 888-273-6867. For access to AP Exchange and other technical issues, contact AP Customer Support at email@example.com or 877-836-9477. MARKETPLACE: Calling your attention to the Marketplace in AP Exchange, where you can find member-contributed content from Louisiana, Mississippi and other states. The Marketplace is accessible on the left navigational pane of the AP Exchange home page, near the bottom. For both national and state, you can click "All" or search for content by topics such as education, politics and business.
Former Abilene Christian football players Damon Williams and Nick Richardson will both be in NFL camps this weekend.Williams, a 6-foot-3, 340-pound defensive lineman from Duncanville, recently signed a free-agent deal with the Atlanta Falcons. He will participate at the Falcons' three-day rookie minicamp, beginning Friday.Richardson, a 6-1, 240-pound defensive end, has been invited to the...
ACU's Williams, Richardson going to NFL rookie camps
Abilene Reporter-News, Texas (TNS), Associated Press | May 7, 2015Former Abilene Christian football players Damon Williams and Nick Richardson will both be in NFL camps this weekend. Williams, a 6-foot-3, 340-pound defensive lineman from Duncanville, recently signed a free-agent deal with the Atlanta Falcons. He will participate at the Falcons' three-day rookie minicamp, beginning Friday. Richardson, a 6-1, 240-pound defensive end, has been invited to the Detroit Lions' rookie free-agent tryout camp this weekend. Richardson was second in the Southland in both sacks (9.0) and tackles for loss (16.5) in 2014, en route to earning first team all-conference honors. He finished his career with 32½ sacks for his career, which is second in ACU history behind Reuben Mason (34 sacks from 1976-79). Hassell takes over Texas-Tyler program Kendra Hassell, a former Hardin-Simmons All-American player and Abilene Christian assistant coach, has been named the head women's basketball coach at Texas-Tyler. Hassell is the fourth coach in the Texas-Tyler women's basketball program history. She replaces Kevin Baker, who resigned last month after compiling a 72-16 record in three seasons. Baker is now the women's basketball coach at Angelo State. Hassell takes over a program that went 27-3 last season and lost to Texas-Dallas in the second round of the NCAA Division III playoffs. Hassell spent the last two seasons as an assistant coach for the ACU women's basketball team. She also had stints at Carroll University in Wisconsin, Texas Woman's University, Fort Worth Paschal High School, Charleston Southern and Forney High School. Hassell played four seasons at HSU, before graduation in 2003. McMurry names Rees golf coach McMurry athletic director Sam Ferguson announced Wednesday that former Texas-Arlington men's golf coach Jay Rees has been named coach for both the War Hawks' men's and women's teams. Rees is a 26-year coaching veteran, spending 24 years as a head coach. Reese spent 16 years at UTA before stepping down in January. His teams won three Southland Conference championships, and he was named conference coach of the year three times. During his time with the Mavericks, UTA produced three All-American golfers and 45 all-conference picks. Rees began his coaching career at 21 years old at Emporia State, his alma mater, in 1989. In his four seasons at ESU, the Hornets won four Missouri Intercollegiate Athletic Association titles and Rees was named MIAA coach of the year all four years. That was followed by one-year stints as an assistant at Louisiana State and Arizona State before he became head coach at Scottsdale Community College in 1995. He spent three years as men's and women's coach at Texas Lutheran before moving to UTA in 1999. ——— ©2015 the Abilene Reporter-News (Abilene, Texas) Visit the Abilene Reporter-News (Abilene, Texas) at www.reporternews.com Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.
GAINESVILLE, Fla. — Just days after a legendary coach and dear friend embarked on a new challenge, UF athletic director Jeremy Foley looked to sum up coach Billy Donovan’s impact on him, the Gators and the Gainesville community.Foley rarely is at a loss for words, but his silence Monday as he choked back tears spoke volumes.“Basketball games come and go,” Foley concluded. “Relationships like...
Billy Donovan bids farewell to Gators as search for his successor begins
By Edgar Thompson, Associated Press | May 4, 2015GAINESVILLE, Fla. — Just days after a legendary coach and dear friend embarked on a new challenge, UF athletic director Jeremy Foley looked to sum up coach Billy Donovan’s impact on him, the Gators and the Gainesville community. Foley rarely is at a loss for words, but his silence Monday as he choked back tears spoke volumes. “Basketball games come and go,” Foley concluded. “Relationships like this are once in a generation.” Foley, 61, also knows change is the name of the game in college athletics. Once Donovan made peace with his decision last Thursday to leave UF after 19 seasons for the NBA’s Oklahoma City Thunder, Foley had no choice but to move on himself. “We’ve been dealing with a lot of sadness around here,” he said. “But at some point you have a job to do and you have to get beyond that.” Foley and his staff met Monday afternoon to map out a plan to hire Donovan’s successor. UF’s search actually began weeks, if not months, ago while coach Scott Brooks’ future in Oklahoma City was in doubt. When the Thunder fired Brooks April 22, Donovan became the frontrunner based on his Hall-of-Fame résumé, NBA itch and a relationship with Thunder general manager Sam Presti. Donovan said he has a shared vision with Presti similar to his interactions with Foley. “I was just not going to pick up and walk out of Florida unless it was something really unique and special in my mind,” Donovan said during his farewell news conference Monday. “That’s what I feel the situation is in Oklahoma.” Foley said UF also is a special place to coach basketball. A big reason is the success of Donovan, who coached the Gators to two national titles, four Finals Fours and 14 trips to the NCAA Tournament. Foley also pointed to UF’s academics, SEC membership and commitment to basketball, including a planned $60 million renovation of the O’Connell Center. “There are a lot of pieces here,” Foley said. “Certainly the tradition piece that we were missing through the years, that’s what Billy put on the table.” Finding someone to continue the tradition will be a formidable challenge. Foley said he has not contacted any coaches, and will cast a wide net during a search that could last weeks. “The key is to have something in place obviously sometime in June because July is a huge recruiting month,” Foley said. “So, we have some time to do our due diligence.” Donovan made a strong pitch for longtime assistant coach John Pelphrey, a former head coach at South Alabama and Arkansas before he returned four years ago to UF. Anthony Grant, a longtime assistant re-hired last month, is the former head coach at VCU and Alabama but could join Donovan with the Thunder. “Jeremy knows the way I feel about John Pelphrey and just the way he’s been by my side,” Donovan said. “He was a vital part to the success of the program. I’d put Anthony in the same category.” Chances are the Gators look outside for their next coach, with potential targets including Dayton’s Archie Miller, Xavier’s Chris Mack and Villanova’s Jay Wright. But Monday was about Donovan, not who will succeed him. With the Gators’ logo serving as a backdrop for a final time, Donovan reflected on his arrival in 1996 when UF was known only as a football school in the hey-day of Steve Spurrier. Donovan quickly established the Gators in basketball, reaching the 2000 Final Four. Over the years, he and his wife, Christine, raised four children in Gainesville and helped establish St. Francis Catholic High School. With his 50th birthday four weeks away, Donovan’s hopes he is remembered at UF as more than a coach. “I just hope that I brought value,” he said. “I hope I made Florida better. I’m not talking about from wins and losses. I hope I made Florida better as an institution. “I cared deeply about Florida, and just wanted to leave a dent and to bring value.” Donovan clearly leaves a lasting mark. While out to dinner Sunday night, Foley said people approached him repeatedly to ask him to thank Donovan. Foley now has to show Gator basketball is bigger than one man. “We’re not taking a step back,” Foley said. “We want to keep this thing going in the right direction. I think there are a lot of people doubting that we can do that, and that fires us up because we have a good job here.” ——— ©2015 The Orlando Sentinel (Orlando, Fla.) Visit The Orlando Sentinel (Orlando, Fla.) at www.OrlandoSentinel.com Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.
Apr 30, 2015
ASHBURN, Va. (AP) — Brandon Scherff played tennis — at 250 pounds! — in high school, along with baseball, basketball and throwing the shot put and discus in track and field. After taking Scherff with the fifth pick in the NFL draft Thursday night, the Washington Redskins are hoping his athleticism and versatility will improve their offensive line.Redskins coach Jay Gruden said in a news...
Redskins take OL Brandon Scherff with 5th pick in NFL draft
By HOWARD FENDRICH, Associated Press | Apr 30, 2015ASHBURN, Va. (AP) — Brandon Scherff played tennis — at 250 pounds! — in high school, along with baseball, basketball and throwing the shot put and discus in track and field. After taking Scherff with the fifth pick in the NFL draft Thursday night, the Washington Redskins are hoping his athleticism and versatility will improve their offensive line. Redskins coach Jay Gruden said in a news conference at Redskins Park that the team plans to use Scherff at right tackle; he played left tackle in college at Iowa. Asked on a conference call with reporters how he'd describe himself as a player, Scherff replied: "Nasty, physical, likes to finish blocks, likes to get after people." That's exactly what the Redskins were looking for, Gruden said, explaining that he envisions Scherff helping to "get us back to the glory days of running the football and being physical." Scherff, listed now at 6-foot-5 and about 320 pounds, is new general manager Scot McCloughan's first draft pick for Washington, which went 4-12 last season to finish last in the NFC East for the sixth time in seven years. "There's a lot of things that we need to fix, obviously," Gruden said. Scherff won the Outland Trophy in college, starting all 26 games over his last two seasons. He is considered talented as a run blocker but might need to improve in pass protection. There was some thought he might leave after his junior year, but he stayed at Iowa. And Scherff gained quite a bit of attention when a video of him doing three lifts of nearly 450 pounds from his knees to his shoulders while being cheered by teammates was posted online by Hawkeyes strength and conditioning coach Chris Doyle. As a high schooler, Scherff said, "Freshman year, I went from track practice to tennis practice to baseball practice, all in the same day." So Gruden expects Scherff to have no trouble moving from the left side to the right side of the line — or even switching to guard if that's where the Redskins eventually decide to use him. "He's very versatile. Heck, he could probably play center, if he wanted to. But I think, Day 1, we'll start him out at right tackle ... see how he does, and I'm sure he'll pick it up quickly," Gruden said. "The thing we liked about him also: He's a very smart guy." Scherff is McCloughan's first significant addition to the offense after a series of offseason changes to the defense. Leading up to the draft, it was thought the Redskins might trade down from the fifth overall spot in order to acquire extra picks. McCloughan said Monday that he'd "love to get 10-plus" choices, instead of the seven he started with. But he held onto the fifth pick and got the sort of player Washington hopes will wind up teaming with Pro Bowl left tackle Trent Williams, taken No. 4 overall in 2000, to fend off opposing defenders. "Not a lot of action," Gruden said about the possibility of trading down. "We had some phone calls here and there." This was the first time the Redskins drafted a player in the first round since using the No. 2 overall selection in 2012 to get quarterback Robert Griffin III. That pick was obtained in a trade with the St. Louis Rams that cost the Redskins a bevy of choices, including first-rounders in 2013 and 2014. Griffin led the Redskins to the 2012 NFC East title and was the NFL Offensive Rookie of the Year, but he tore knee ligaments in a playoff loss to Seattle that season. He's been in and out of the lineup since, because of injuries and coaches' decisions, but McCloughan announced this week that the Redskins planned to exercise their fifth-year contract option on the quarterback for 2016. ___ Follow Howard Fendrich on Twitter at http://twitter.com/HowardFendrich ___ Online: YouTube video of Scherff: http://www.ubersense.com/video/view/vni2RbGy AP NFL website: www.pro32.ap.org and AP NFL Twitter feed: www.twitter.com/AP_NFL
When critiquing college basketball from a pro basketball summit, you’re always at risk of sounding like an NBA snob.So be it.“It’s uglier than ugly, and it’s evidenced by the scoring going down. When the NBA went through that, we changed things.”That’s Dallas Mavs owner Mark Cuban doing the critiquing.And he’s spot-on about the trouble with college hoops.Far too often, it’s unwatchable.True,...
Brian Schmitz: Mavs owner Cuban spot-on in college hoops critique
By Brian Schmitz, Associated Press | Apr 11, 2015When critiquing college basketball from a pro basketball summit, you’re always at risk of sounding like an NBA snob. So be it. “It’s uglier than ugly, and it’s evidenced by the scoring going down. When the NBA went through that, we changed things.” That’s Dallas Mavs owner Mark Cuban doing the critiquing. And he’s spot-on about the trouble with college hoops. Far too often, it’s unwatchable. True, March Madness is must-see TV. But it can’t obscure the fact that the regular season is awkwardly reaching The Big Dance on two left feet. Take an interminable 35-second shot-clock, add control-freak coaches, mix in physical defenses … and you have a slow, grinding game that’s an eyesore. Forget the style points for a minute. How about scoring points, period? Mar. 22, 2015: Michigan State 23, Virginia 18 at the half. Scoring was at a record low heading into the NCAA tourney (66.85 points per game, according to analyst Ken Pomeroy). Just last month Sports Illustrated studied the issue in a piece entitled, “Crisis On The Court: Why College Basketball Needs An Extreme Makeover.” ESPN analyst and former Duke forward Jay Bilas has been talking about how “brutal” the game is for viewers for years. While some coaches and purists feel critics are overreacting, average attendance for Division I games has declined steadily for the past seven years, according to the Sports Business Journal. The NCAA showed enough concern to experiment with a 30-second shot-clock in the NIT. The NCAA largely has wanted to keep its amateur appearance and separate itself from the NBA, thus its resistance to the 24-second shot-lock. Try it, you’ll like it. Reducing the time it takes to launch a shot is a start, creating more possessions and, hopefully, more points. With 35 seconds at their disposal, I’ve seen teams run three-man weaves at the top of the key — just to work the clock before getting into their offenses. Clothes go out of style while players stand around and casual fans grab the remote to channel-surf. “It’s horrible. It’s ridiculous,” Cuban told reporters. “It’s worse than high school. You’ve got 20 to 25 seconds of passing on the perimeter and then somebody goes and tries to make a play and do something stupid, and scoring’s gone down.” Unlike the NBA, coaches are the strutting stars of the college game. Many like nothing better than to have 35 seconds to call every play, stifling the creativity by gifted players. Less talented teams also use the clock to shorten games. College basketball coaches could improve their sport by taking a cue from college football coaches. The off-tackle curmudgeons have evolved, much to the delight of TV execs, making games high scoring and entertaining with no-huddles and spread offenses. College hoops also needs to widen the lane from 12 feet to 14 feet and extend the 20-foot three-point line a little — all to create more spacing. And please — pretty please — cut down on all the timeouts that interrupt the flow of games. Cuban’s off-base when he says the sorry state of the college game is hurting the NBA. It’s not supposed to be a farm system for the select few – no matter how many Kentucky Wildcats leave in a stretch limo. But, as Michigan State coach Tom Izzo has said, the NCAA could — and should — look to the pro game to improve its product. ——— ©2015 The Orlando Sentinel (Orlando, Fla.) Visit The Orlando Sentinel (Orlando, Fla.) at www.OrlandoSentinel.com Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC _____ Topics: t000003277,t000003183,t000040506,t000404471,t000003278
Mar 26, 2015
Upstate New York is a beautiful part of the country. Mountains. Lots of waters. Lots of quaint villages. Now, upstate New York in March is no fun. The snow can be gorgeous for about 15 minutes, but I’m already tired of it, after about 30 hours in Syracuse. I’m sure the locals, after a long, […]
Syracuse travelblog: A trip to Cooperstown
Berry Tramel | Mar 26, 2015[img url=http://blog.newsok.com/dittocontent/uploads/sites/3/2015/03/babe-ruth.jpg]3614906[/img] Upstate New York is a beautiful part of the country. Mountains. Lots of waters. Lots of quaint villages. Now, upstate New York in March is no fun. The snow can be gorgeous for about 15 minutes, but I'm already tired of it, after about 30 hours in Syracuse. I'm sure the locals, after a long, hard winter, can't wait for spring. Wednesday was our dead day in Syracuse. No basketball business. So we drove over to Cooperstown. We had visited Halls of Fame both Monday and Tuesday, no reason to stop now. The Baseball Hall of Fame waited in Cooperstown, so off we went. THE VILLAGE A copy of the weekly Cooperstown newspaper, The Freeman's Journal, sat on a counter, proclaiming “COOPERSTOWN’S NEWSPAPER FOR 207 YEARS.” Made us who work at The Oklahoman and the Tulsa World and the Norman Transcript, all in the neighborhood of 120 years old, feel like whippersnappers. Yep, Cooperstown is old. Founded by the father of author James Fenimore Cooper. Incorporated in 1807, named Cooperstown in 1812. James Fenimore Cooper wrote his series, The Leatherstocking Tales, based around Cooperstown. The Last of the Mohicans. The local high school team is called the Hawkeyes. Cooperstown sits on the shores of massive Lake Otsego, which can be beautiful but was frozen over Wednesday. Cooperstown is a seasonal town. Lots of beautiful homes sit in and around Cooperstown. An Opera company operates outside town during the summers. The village is home to the Farmers Museum and the Fenimore Art Museum. It has a huge medical center that doesn't fit at all, with architecture that looks like it belongs at 33rd and Classen, not in a Dickens village. The town's population in 2010 was 1,852. Much of the commerce in the village has dissipated, replaced by tourist enterprises on the charming stretch of Main Street. Cooperstown can remind you of the village in "Funny Farm," the Chevy Chase comedy in which Chevy and his wife move to a charming little town that is inhabited by kooks. I came across no kooks in Cooperstown, but the village was completely charming. Much of the business in town is baseball-related. Shops named Yastrzemski's and Shoeless Joe's. The town was mostly dead on Wednesday. In the summers, the place is hopping. Induction Weekend, I'm told, you can't even move up and down the streets. But things were slow Wednesday. We parked just down the street from the Hall of Fame, on the street. Two-hour parking. I went out and moved the car after awhile, got even a closer spot. Probably not necessary. I doubt the meter maid was on duty. BASEBALL'S SHRINE [img url=http://blog.newsok.com/dittocontent/uploads/sites/3/2015/03/cooperstown-fans1.jpg]3614910[/img] Here's my lasting impression of the Baseball Hall of Fame. As I walked up a wide staircase to reach the second floor of the exhibits, a boy about 10 years old sat on a step, playing on his cell phone. I couldn't really blame him. Let's see. I first went to Cooperstown in 1976. Went back in 2000. First went to Canton in 1998; went back in 2004 and 2006. So that's baseball '76, football '98, baseball '00, football '04, football '06, football Monday, baseball Wednesday. I consistently have said that Canton's Hall of Fame trumps Cooperstown's Hall of Fame. Monday, I wavered. Just wasn't wowed by the Pro Football Hall of Fame anymore. I remain unwowed. But I rescind my order of preference. The Baseball Hall of Fame wows me even less. It sits in a gorgeous, stately building on Cooperstown's Main Street. It's OK. But it's nothing special. Especially after going to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame the day before. The gallery of Hall of Famers, for instance. Plaques on a wall in a high-ceilinged room that makes you think you're in a library. Jim Traber called me while I was touring the gallery. I was ashamed when my phone rang; like I had allowed my phone to ring in church or something. The exhibits lack pizazz. There's a room that dedicates a locker to each major league team. Inside each locker are a few items, most of them contemporary. Why not uniform progression for each team? Why not tribute to the ballparks of each team? The Hall of Famers for each team? The Babe Ruth exhibit is cool. Lots of interesting stuff in there. And a decent Hank Aaron section. The African-American experience and the Latin experience both are well-displayed. But the exhibit to women in baseball is almost as big as either. Cooperstown has been victimized by baseball's sins. A tribute to baseball records specifies that all records are through 2006. It's not Cooperstown's fault that baseball history stopped with Barry Bonds. But it is Cooperstown's fault that it thinks fans want to celebrate Frank Thomas in a Blue Jays jersey and Tom Glavine wearing the threads of the Mets. Thomas and Glavine, two of the most recent inductees, are honored in an early exhibit. Thomas hit his 500th homer with Toronto. Glavine reached 300 victories with New York. The Hall of Fame lacks much in the way of interaction. The videos seem outdated. There's a heavy reliance on words, which will be the death of any museum. Heck, on the plaques themselves, modern curators have gotten fat. Babe Ruth's plaque has about 28 words of description. Ty Cobb's about 25. The 21st-century inductees include about 80 words. If you need three times as many words to describe the feats of Bert Blyleven as you need for Babe Ruth, there's a problem. The museum costs $23 to enter, and I'd still say a baseball fan needs to go. Once. Not necessarily thrice. I'd like to come back to Cooperstown some day. Bring the Dish. But if I do, I don't know if I'll go to the Baseball Hall of Fame. COOPERSTOWN DINER [img url=http://blog.newsok.com/dittocontent/uploads/sites/3/2015/03/burger.jpg]3614907[/img] We grabbed a late lunch/early dinner at the shotgun-shaped Cooperstown Diner. A place with about four tables and maybe eight chairs. Typical diner fare. But atypical cheeseburgers. We ordered the jumbo cheeseburger and were rewarded with the tallest hamburger I've ever seen. Literally. It was two inches tall. The meat was shaped like, I don't know, two hockey pucks stacked on top of each other. I have no idea how we were supposed to eat it, but the bread was thin -- which is good, breads weighs you down -- so I mashed mine down and was able to get it in my mouth. I don't know how you cook a burger that thick, but the diner pulled it off. I also had mashed potatoes and brown gravy; any place that serves brown gravy is OK by me. The Cooperstown Diner has been in business since 1921. I'm telling you. This is an old place. NEW YORK STATE OF MIND Despite its beauty, upstate New York is in many ways a depressed place. The slow loss of industry over the last 50 years has hurt the economy in places like Rome and Utica and Schenectaday. The drive from Syracuse east on I-90 takes you over the Erie Canal, which sounds majestic but isn't all that impressive. The Verdigris River at the Port of Catoosa is much more impressive. The Erie Canal is just not that wide. The drive from I-90 to Cooperstown is charming. Go along two-lane highways through quaint villages and pretty lakes when not covered by snow. Lots of interesting houses back up to Schuyler Lake and I'm sure make for great summer homes. SYRACUSE HISTORY My old pal Ed Frost sent a note after he found out I was in Syracuse. Ed is always good for some historical perspective: "'If you were in Syracuse on October 11, 1959, you could have bought a grandstand ticket for $2.50 to watch Mickey’s All-Stars vs. Willie’s All-Stars with former middleweight champion Carmen Basilio as umpire. There was a home run hitting contest, too.' "That’s a quote between pages 240 and 241 in the Mickey and Willie book I’m reading. It’s on a page of pictures. Mickey, Willie, Rocky Colavito and Hank Aaron were all there, but the book doesn’t say who won the home run contest. It does say Willie hit a grand slam and his team beat Mickey’s 8-2 in the game. It was at Syracuse’s MacArthur Stadium, says the book. Funny. I don’t think I ever thought of Syracuse in connection with baseball, but I just encountered this passage a while ago when I was reading after our hail and wind and rain settled down. I’m still just a little over halfway through the book and enjoying it. Thought I’d give you a little history on the city’s sports history. Of course, I’m more prone to think of Jim Brown there, and Bud Wilkinson working on his master's and helping Ossie Solem coach. I had to look up that name — thought it was Ossie Salem, but it was Solem. "I tend to think of most things in sports frameworks, I guess. If I happen to glance at a clock and it says 7:14, you know what I think of (Babe Ruth). And it’s amazing to me how often it happens — I glance, and it’s 7:14..." If you look at a clock and think of Babe Ruth, you would enjoy the Baseball Hall of Fame.
The Associated Press prefers to receive daybook event listings and comments via email to firstname.lastname@example.org with the word "daybook" in the subject line.For added consideration, mirror the format of the listings below, and submit events at least two business days in advance when possible. For listings submitted with less notice, events attended by national and state figures and government officials...
BC-NY--NYC Daybook, NY
Associated Press | Mar 18, 2015The Associated Press prefers to receive daybook event listings and comments via email to email@example.com with the word "daybook" in the subject line. For added consideration, mirror the format of the listings below, and submit events at least two business days in advance when possible. For listings submitted with less notice, events attended by national and state figures and government officials may receive precedence. ----- NOT FOR PUBLICATION OR BROADCAST ---- ----------------------------------------- Metro New York Day Schedule Thursday, March 19, 2015 ----------------------------------------- -------------- NEW YORK CITY --------- 8:15 a.m. to 5 p.m. An investment management conference organized by Quinnipiac University, the "Quinnipiac Global Asset Management Education V Forum" or "Quinnipiac G.A.M.E. V Forum," is schedule to open Thursday and continue through Saturday, March 21; Sheraton New York Times Square Hotel, 811 Seventh Ave. Contact: David Sauer, firstname.lastname@example.org or 203-582-3754. 8:30 a.m. Manhattan Borough President Gale A. Brewer participates in these events. —8:30 a.m. — Brewer hosts a meeting of Manhattan Borough Board members; 19th floor, 1 Centre St. —1 p.m. — Brewer and City Councilwoman Laurie A. Cumbo hold a City Hall news conference to call for state government officials to include Democratic state Sen. Andrea Stewart-Cousins in negotiations about the state budget for the next fiscal year; steps, City Hall. Contact: Kristia M. Beaubrun, KBeaubrun@council.nyc.gov, 917-817-1824 or 718-260-9191 ext. 3. —7 p.m. — Brewer speaks during an event about civic participation, efforts to promote interest in science, technology, engineering and mathematics, or so-called "STEM" subjects, and female technology professionals of minority descent, titled "Black Women & Latinas in Civic Tech: Who is Using STEM for Social Good?"; note: time of Brewer's speech is approximate; Civic Hall, second floor, 156 Fifth Ave. Contact: Andrew William Goldston, email@example.com, 212-669-3539 or 917-960-1187. 8:30 a.m. to 10:30 a.m. Social worker Alexis Carter and Brooklyn interior designer Gail Ressler discuss the topic "Local and Long Distance Caregiving" during the fourth session of a five-part "Roundtable for Boomers and Seniors" program, presented by state Sen. Liz Krueger; Lenox Hill Neighborhood House, 331 E. 70th St. --Note: Must RSVP. Contact: Tammie Williams, firstname.lastname@example.org or 212-490-9535. 8:30 a.m. to 9 p.m. During Thursday's conclusion of The Diller-Quaile School of Music's "Piano Pedagogy Festival & Conference" that began Tuesday, March 17, titled "A Keyboard Celebration: An Exploration of Traditions and Innovations in Pedagogy," an adviser to Ecuador's education minister, choral conductor Jose Criollo, delivers a 4:30 p.m. to 5:30 p.m. presentation about Latin American music education techniques including the system titled "El Sistema"; 24 E. 95th St. --Note: Thursday's 8:30 a.m. to 9 p.m. conference activities include a 4:30 p.m. to 5:30 p.m. presentation by Criollo. Contact: Julie Livingston, email@example.com or 347-239-0249. 10 a.m. Finalists in fifth grade through eighth grade compete in the 51st annual "Daily News New York City Spelling Bee," scheduled to open Thursday and conclude Friday, March 20; Celeste Bartos Forum, Stephen A. Schwarzman Building, The New York Public Library, 476 Fifth Ave. Contact: Anina Bose, firstname.lastname@example.org, 212-792-8494 or 201-532-0891. 10 a.m. Members of the city Taxi and Limousine Commission hold a monthly public meeting; 19th floor, 33 Beaver St. --Note: An Internet broadcast will be accessible through the websites http://nyc.gov/taxi and http://new.livestream.com/nyctaxi/ Contact: Allan J. Fromberg, email@example.com or 212-676-1013, or Greg Gordon, firstname.lastname@example.org or 212-676-1013. 10 a.m. Members of City Council's Committee on Governmental Operations hold a preliminary budget hearing to discuss the mayor's budget proposals for the next fiscal year, and examine spending during the current fiscal year by eight city agencies, boards, commissions, departments and offices, as well as community boards; Committee Room, City Hall. Contact: Sarah Anders, SAnders@BenKallos.com or 212-860-1950. 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr. holds an annual event marking the March observance of "Women's History Month," honoring the founder, president and chief executive of the Morris Heights Health Center, Verona Greenland, an actress from the public television children's show "Sesame Street," Sonia Manzano, and communications firm AT&T Inc.'s state president, Marissa Shorenstein; Pelham Bay and Split Rock Golf Courses, 870 Shore Road, Bronx. Contact: Bharati S. Kemraj, email@example.com, 718-590-3541 or 347-229-3664, or John DeSio, firstname.lastname@example.org or 917-209-4974. 10:30 a.m. Transit Wireless LLC CEO William A. Bayne Jr., state Chief Digital Officer Rachel S. Haot, Metropolitan Transportation Authority officials including Chairman and CEO Thomas F. Prendergast and communications firm AT&T Inc.'s state president, Marissa Shorenstein, recognize teams that won an "App Quest 3.0 Challenge" competition featuring $50,000 in prizes, during an event featuring demonstrations of the winning mobile device applications for commuters; Vanderbilt Hall, Grand Central Terminal, 89 E. 42nd St. Contact: Aaron Donovan, email@example.com, 212-878-7440 or 212-878-4728. 11 a.m. Representatives and supporters of the Coalition for the Homeless discuss Thursday's release of the coalition's annual "State of the Homeless" report during a news briefing; fourth floor, 129 Fulton St. Contact: Dan Levitan, Dan@Berlinrosen.com, 646-452-5637, 646-200-5315 or 201-67-7475. 11 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. Construction industry representatives, government officials and transportation advocates hold a City Hall news conference to discuss Thursday's release of a report about road conditions in the city and state, and call for increased government funding of public works and renovation projects; steps, City Hall. --Note: Must RSVP. Contact: Joshua Knoller, firstname.lastname@example.org, 201-294-9586 or 212-938-0836, or Jody Fisher, email@example.com or 347-419-0444. Noon About 100 religious officials including state Sen. Ruben Diaz Sr., the Rev. Johnnie M. Green Jr., and members of the nonprofit coalition Mobilizing Preachers and Communities, or MPAC, and the New York Hispanic Clergy Organization Inc. and representatives of the advocacy group Families for Excellent Schools hold a City Hall news conference to call for state government officials to overhaul the school system statewide; steps, City Hall. Contact: Ann Noonan, firstname.lastname@example.org or 646-251-6069, or Khan Shoieb, Khan@StuLoeser.com or 646-650-5503 or 347-596-6389. 1:45 p.m. to 3:30 p.m. During St. John's University's sixth annual fundraiser for two pediatric cancer charities, Locks of Love and the St. Baldrick's Foundation, employees and students will have their heads shaved while honoring a 5-year-old boy from Babylon and a 4-year-old boy from Queens receiving treatment for cancer; living room, D'Angelo Center, 8000 Utopia Parkway, Queens. Contact: Nancy Haberman, email@example.com or 212-843-8021, or Elizabeth Reilly firstname.lastname@example.org or 917-578-1985. 3 p.m. German soprano Diana Damrau, starring in The Metropolitan Opera's production of French composer Jules Massenet's 1884 comic opera "Manon," signs compact discs including her album released Tuesday, Jan. 13, "Donizetti: Lucia di Lammermoor"; Met Opera Shop, north lobby, Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts, near Columbus Avenue and 63rd Street. --Note: Must RSVP. Contact: Michael Cavarretta, email@example.com, 212-843-9284 or 978-578-7631. 3:45 p.m. to 4 p.m. To mark this year's 80th anniversary of 1935 publication of the board game "Monopoly" by Parker Brothers, before the company's 1991 purchase by toy manufacturer Hasbro Inc., the parent company's senior vice president of global brand strategy and marketing, Eric Nyman, rings Nasdaq's closing bell; broadcast studio, Nasdaq MarketSite, Four Times Square, near Seventh Avenue and 43rd Street. Contact: Jennifer DeAngelis, firstname.lastname@example.org or 401-727-6833, or Christine Barna, Christine.Barna@nasdaq.com, 646-441-5310. 4 p.m. to 4:30 p.m. Board members from the Police Athletic League of New York City including attorney and broadcaster Rikki Klieman and Chairman Robert J. Morgenthau, the president and chief executive of the New York Giants professional football team, John K. Mara, and the league's Executive Director Frederick J. Watts visit the league's William J. Duncan Center to participate in a ribbon-cutting ceremony marking the completed renovation of the center's first floor, funded by a $250,000 donation from the Mara family to the NY/NJ Snowflake Youth Foundation and an additional $100,000 raised by the foundation as part of the NY/NJ Super Bowl Host Committee's fundraising initiative; 552 W. 52nd St. Contact: Andrea Kotuk, email@example.com or 212-353-9585, Frederick J. Watts, 212-477-9450 ext. 324, or Caroline Waldman, firstname.lastname@example.org or 212-353-9585. 4 p.m. to 5:30 p.m. Brooklyn Nets professional basketball player Mason Plumee and members of the team's youth basketball development staff lead a clinic for about 45 children who participate in the Police Athletic League of New York City's programs at the league's Armory Center, organized as part of the team's "Get the Ball Rolling" health initiative and attended by representatives of the initiative's sponsor, beverage manufacturer Coca-Cola Co.; practice court, use Calvin Klein VIP entrance, Barclays Center, 620 Atlantic Ave., Brooklyn. --Note: Must RSVP; 4 p.m. speaking program followed by 4:30 p.m. to 5:30 p.m. basketball clinic. Contact: Josh Gold, email@example.com or 310-920-3666, Barry Baum, firstname.lastname@example.org, 718-942-9533 or 917-847-1737, Mandy Gutmann, email@example.com, 718-942-9587 or 937-477-1880, or Stuart Bryan, firstname.lastname@example.org, 718-942-9574 or 919-218-0047. 6 p.m. A regional director of the United Auto Workers, Julie Kushner, and the international president of the United Food and Commercial Workers International Union, Marc Perrone, will receive the Jewish Labor Committee's human rights awards during a dinner where U.S. Rep. Jerrold Nadler is scheduled to speak; New York Hilton Midtown hotel, 1335 Sixth Ave. --Note: Must RSVP; 6 p.m. cocktail reception followed by 7 p.m. award presentation, dinner and speaking program. Contact: Arieh Lebowitz, email@example.com or 212-477-0707. 6 p.m. The Doe Fund co-founder George T. McDonald and the Rev. Alfonso Wyatt speak during an annual cap-and-gown graduation ceremony for formerly homeless men and former male inmates who completed the fund's yearlong "Ready, Willing & Able" job training program; Church of St. Ignatius Loyola, 980 Park Ave. Contact: Alexander Horwitz, firstname.lastname@example.org or 646-672-4236. 6 p.m. Health care workers, including nurses, and union officials publicize a campaign about state budget funding for the next fiscal year and risks of hospital closures, introduced during a Wednesday, March 18, lobbying event in Albany; Service Employees International Union Local 1199 United Healthcare Workers East, 310 W. 43rd St. Contact: Dave Bates, email@example.com or 212-603-3788, or Erin Malone, firstname.lastname@example.org, 212-603-0016 or 917-494-2631. 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. Participants in the Staten Island Chamber of Commerce's "Young Entrepreneur Academy" program compete in a business pitch competition judged by local business advocates and executives; auditorium, R. 605 Staten Island Technical High School, 485 Clawson St., Staten Island. Contact: Jen Remauro, email@example.com, 347-865-8038 or 347-308-0348. 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. Diplomatic officials from Germany and the Maldives participate in a forum titled "Countdown to Paris: Update on Global Climate Treaty Negotiations," presented by environmental organization 350.org's city chapter and the New York Society for Ethical Culture; auditorium, first floor, 2 W. 64th St. Contact: Lyna Hinkel, firstname.lastname@example.org or 646-284-8987, or Mark Dunlea, email@example.com or 518-860-3725. 7 p.m. to 10 p.m. During a "Songbirds of Civil Rights" fundraising concert to benefit the Department of Africana Studies of The City University of New York's John Jay College of Criminal Justice and mark the March observance of "Women's History Month," more than a dozen dancers, drummers, guitarists, jazz musicians, pianists and singers are scheduled to perform; Gerald W. Lynch Theater, Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts, 524 W. 59th St. --Note: Must RSVP. Contact: Doreen Vinas-Pineda, firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com, 212-237-8645 or 212-237-8764. 8 p.m. Choreographer Jamie Benson premieres his modern dance "FOMO," short for the phrase "fear of missing out," during a "Comedy in Dance Festival" scheduled to open Thursday and continue through Sunday, March 22; Triskelion Arts, 106 Calyer St., Brooklyn. Contact: Jamie Benson, firstname.lastname@example.org or 323-704-5298. -------------- LONG ISLAND ----------- 5:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. Nassau County attorneys and court employees model spring apparel provided by retailer Hudson's Bay Co.'s department store chain Lord & Taylor and elaborate hats during the Nassau County Bar Association's "Dressed to a Tea" fashion show fundraiser, featuring the theme "A Day at the Races" and benefiting a half-dozen area charities; 15th and West streets, Mineola. Contact: Valerie Zurblis, email@example.com or 516-747-4070 ext. 204, or Jodi B. Zimmerman, firstname.lastname@example.org or 516-801-3900. -------------- WESTCHESTER ----------- 9 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. The former chief prosecutor of the International Criminal Court, Luis Moreno-Ocampo, delivers a 9 a.m. to 10 a.m. keynote speech to open Thursday's 14th annual "Human Rights Institute for Student Leaders" and rally at Iona College, attended by about 340 teenagers from 25 high schools in Putnam, Rockland, Sullivan and Westchester counties and Connecticut's Fairfield County; 715 North Ave., New Rochelle. Contact: Aaron Biller, email@example.com or 212-663-4862. 4 p.m. Yonkers city officials including Mayor Mike Spano and Superintendent of Schools Michael Yazurlo and the chancellor of The State University of New York, Nancy L. Zimpher, mark the start of a "Yonkers Thrives Partnership" education initiative during an event attended by members of the Yonkers Thrives Partnership Leadership Council; Hudson River Museum, 511 Warburton Ave., Yonkers. Contact: Christina Gilmartin, firstname.lastname@example.org, 914-377-6208 or 914-512-4017. --------------------------------------- Copyright 2015. The AP-New York. All rights reserved.
Mar 18, 2015
The 6-foot-5, 210-pound Garrett, The Oklahoman’s Big All-City Offensive Player of the Year last season, received his first scholarship offer on Wednesday, from Air Force.
High school notebook: Mustang QB Chandler Garrett gets first offer
By Scott Wright and Jacob Unruh | Mar 18, 2015Add Mustang quarterback Chandler Garrett to the ever-growing list of junior football players with Division I scholarship offers. The 6-foot-5, 210-pound Garrett, The Oklahoman’s Big All-City Offensive Player of the Year last season, received his first scholarship offer on Wednesday, from Air Force. Garrett was ranked No. 9 on The Oklahoman’s Super 30 recruit rankings for the Class of 2016. He threw for 2,389 yards with 18 touchdowns and 11 interceptions last fall, while rushing for 303 yards and nine scores. He has been getting interest from a wide variety of programs, including Notre Dame, Kentucky, Indiana, Wyoming and Missouri. He recently attended Oklahoma’s Junior Day as well. So far, more than 20 players in the state’s 2016 recruiting class have scholarship offers. OSSAA’S CLARK NAMED MID-DEL AD Oklahoma Secondary School Activities Association assistant director Mike Clark has been named the new Mid-Del Schools athletic director. Clark has been with the OSSAA since 2009. He oversees volleyball, wrestling, academic bowl and soccer. He is a former athletic director at Mustang. He also coached wrestling at Midwest City for 10 years, coaching 19 individual state champions and two dual state team titles and a team title. Clark will replace Rick Bachman in July. Bachman has announced his retirement following 40 years with Mid-Del Schools. PURCELL’S REIMER RETIRES Longtime Purcell boys basketball coach Lee Reimer recently announced his retirement, bringing to end one of the most successful tenures in school history. Reimer made the announcement to bring to an end his 30-year career with the Dragons following the team’s elimination from the area tournament. During his tenure at Purcell, he went 485-313. He has a total of 545 wins, including 60 at Medford. He won two state championships, including the 1984 Class A title at Medford before leaving the next season to take over Purcell. He led the Dragons to the Class 3A title in 1994. He is the second-winningest coach in Purcell boys basketball history. Boney Matthews went 922-245 over a 40-year career, mostly at Purcell, winning three titles. SUBURBAN CONFERENCE BOYS TEAM NAMED The Suburban Conference named its All-Conference boys basketball team this week with Carl Albert taking home two top honors. Senior Hayden Howell was named the Player of the Year and coach Jay Price was named Coach of the Year after the Titans made the Class 5A championship game. Piedmont freshman Adokiye Iyaye was named Newcomer of the Year and El Reno senior Bryon Elledge was named Defensive Player of the Year. Here is a look at the entire roster: Player of the Year: Hayden Howell, Carl Albert Coach of the Year: Jay Price, Carl Albert Newcomer of the Year: Adokiye Iyaye, Piedmont Defensive Player of the Year: Bryon Elledge, El Reno First Team: L’liott Curry, Guthrie; Bryon Elledge, El Reno; Gerard Giles, Western Heights; Brock Henderson, Chickasha; Luke Laster, Shawnee Second Team: Adokiye Iyaye, Piedmont; Christian Wassana, El Reno; Mason Harrell, Carl Albert; Kiahree Kerns, Western Heights; Rudy Thompson, Western Heights Third Team: Jackson Winrow, Shawnee; Brandon Shumway, Chickasha; Wes Smith, Carl Albert Jalal Gondal, Noble; Trey Hopkins, Carl Albert Honorable Mention: Carl Albert: Darren Dobbins; Chickasha: Colton Christian, Magyver Boles; Noble: Chris Nimsey, Casey Harris, Christian Robinson;Piedmont: Addaryl Quinn, Trevor Bailey, Brant Ranney; Shawnee: Tanner Rowland, Tanner Sparks; Western Heights: Kevin Rassat, Quinton Garrett All-Defensive Team: Wes Smith, Carl Albert; Kevin Rassat, Western Heights; Luke Laster, Shawnee Jalal Gondal, Noble; Brock Henderson, Chickasha
DURHAM, N.C. — On the east side of Duke’s campus sits Wilson residence hall, a sprawling, reddish-brownish brick building with no air conditioning.This is where Jahlil Okafor goes to escape labels, to feed his Netflix addiction, to try to fit in while standing out for one of the No. 1-seeded teams in the NCAA tournament.There are no reminders of basketball past and not much talk of basketball...
Jahlil Okafor, on the brink of superstardom, tries to blend in
By Paul Skrbina, Associated Press | Mar 17, 2015DURHAM, N.C. — On the east side of Duke’s campus sits Wilson residence hall, a sprawling, reddish-brownish brick building with no air conditioning. This is where Jahlil Okafor goes to escape labels, to feed his Netflix addiction, to try to fit in while standing out for one of the No. 1-seeded teams in the NCAA tournament. There are no reminders of basketball past and not much talk of basketball future. No Mr. Basketball of Illinois trophy, Team USA jersey, national player of the year mementos. “I had enough shoes and stuff to bring,” he said with a shrug. This stop, Durham, N.C., is where Okafor is caught between boyhood and manhood. His transition just happens to be nationally televised. About 100 freshmen live in Wilson, most of who aren’t athletes. Okafor shares a two-room suite with his best friend and point guard, Tyus Jones. They spend their time rapping and giving each other a hard time. Missing their families. “He’s not a pig,” Jones said with a laugh. “He keeps his room nice and neat. People look at him as if he’s not human, but he’s just a 19-year-old kid.” “A 7-foot 5-year-old,” senior teammate Quinn Cook said. Okafor also is a national player of the year candidate predicted by many to be the No. 1 overall pick in the June NBA draft. He’s the first freshman in the 63-year history of the Atlantic Coast Conference to be named player of the year. He is on the brink of becoming a superstar. A very rich superstar. “Pretty much everybody here (at Duke) is the best at what they do,” Okafor said. “I do my thing on the court, but we have geniuses here starting their own businesses before they hit 20. Being talented here kind of makes you blend in.” Something that has been difficult for the kid who was 6-foot-5 in seventh grade. Here he is known by one name. “You’re ‘Jah,’ ” Duke associate head coach Jeff Capel tells Okafor, whom he said hasn’t brought up the NBA to him. “You should be a guy identified by one word, like LeBron or Kobe or Bird or Magic or Jordan. At some point in your career it should just be ‘Jah,’ and the world knows who that is.” ——— ‘He loves, loves, loves his family’ Before the basketball world began learning about “Jah,” he was playing the tuba. He was a freshman fulfilling his music course obligation and starting on the varsity basketball team at Whitney Young High School in Chicago. Chukwudi “Chucky” Okafor was there too. He’s always there. “He came to my band lessons and he was still the loudest one,” Jahlil said of his father. “I let him know you can’t do that.” Except he can. Except he does. The stage is no matter. Jahlil Okafor had a minor role in a school musical and spent the rest of his time holding a spotlight. Chucky stood up during intermission and began clapping. “Man, that’s the best stagehand I’ve ever seen,” Chucky recalls yelling. These days, Chucky is a fixture at Duke games. He stands — never sits — with other parents a few rows behind the Blue Devils bench. His son plays the leading role on a roster with seven other McDonald’s All-Americans. Chucky still is the loudest one. “The Okafors should have a reality show,” Capel said, not kidding. “VH1 or Bravo or ESPN. They are so fun. They have showered that kid with so much love and support. That’s the reason why he’s so happy.” To Chucky and Jahlil, love is a verb. Like his father, Jahlil lost his mother at a young age. Jahlil was 9, living with Dacresha “Dee” Benton in Oklahoma, when her lung collapsed after a bout with bronchitis. Jahlil ran from the house hysterical, calling 911 from a neighbor’s phone because his family’s phone didn’t work. His older sister, Jalen, was there too. Benton died March 16, 2005. She was 29. Basketball became Okafor’s refuge. The growing up began. “She’s completely my inspiration for everything I do,” Okafor said. Soon after his mother’s death, Jahlil moved to Chicago to live with Chucky, strengthening a bond the two already had shared. Jahlil’s aunt, Dr. Chinyere Okafor-Conley, helped raise him, just as she helped raise her brother after their mother died. “The first word that comes to mind about Jahlil is ‘family,’ ” said Cook, Okafor’s roommate on the road. “The connection he has is incredible to me. … I know that he loves, loves, loves his family.” Chucky, who does marketing for a traveling company, said he had some run-ins with the law as a teenager. Says Jahlil’s birth changed his perspective. Chucky also has earned bachelor’s and master’s degrees. “I don’t want to seem like I’m not humble or I’ve raised the best son since Jesus Christ,” Chucky said, “but a lot of this stuff doesn’t surprise me. It’s expected. “He didn’t just come to Duke as a place to stop. That’s where he’s going to get his degree. In my family, graduation is way more celebrated than Christmas, birthdays. He will be no different.” ——— ‘He’s got a ballerina’s feet’ ESPN college basketball analyst Jay Bilas calls Okafor a Tim Duncan type — tough without being over the top. Says his will be the first name called in the draft. “His hands are phenomenal,” Bilas said. “He’s got great size and length. He’s got a ballerina’s feet.” Okafor’s defense, particularly on ball screens, has been questioned, though Duke coach Mike Krzyzewski isn’t buying it. “It’s amazing how good a job he’s done on defense as a result of the physical play on the offensive end,” Krzyzewski said. “The misconception about the ball screen is that two guys are defending it. Five guys are defending it.” Okafor is embarrassed by his struggles from the free-throw line, where he’s goes 51.1 percent, worst on the team. Okafor can’t escape the talk, the dissection. He doesn’t necessarily try. When he needs an ear, though, one person he calls on is Jabari Parker, a Simeon High School graduate about a year removed from Okafor’s shoes. “It’s bigger than basketball between me and him,” said Parker, who was picked second by the Bucks in last year’s NBA draft after spending a season at Duke. “Of course I miss playing with him. … We don’t even talk about basketball that much.” His advice for his friend? “He just has to go on his feeling,” Parker said. “It’s in his heart.” ——— ‘The biggest stars on campus’ It’s Tuesday, the day before North Carolina-Duke, Part I. Krzyzewskiville is deserted. “Looks like a war zone,” one female student said in passing. Tents are half-collapsed under the weight of snow. School is closed thanks to an ice storm. Jeffrey Ho, a sophomore from Massachusetts, has been taking turns sleeping here since the first week of January so he can get into the game. He steps over some empty cases of beer to check his tent. “You see him on campus, nobody really treats him any different than any student,” Ho saod of Okafor in particular and the school’s basketball players in general. “People don’t take photos or run up to them or do anything weird. “But when they’re on the basketball court, they’re the biggest stars on campus. It’s a very weird dichotomy — the difference between when they’re on campus and when we see them in Cameron.” In less than 24 hours, music will blast from speakers the size of small sheds on this makeshift campground next to Cameron Indoor Stadium. Students in Okafor jerseys and Christian Laettner jerseys will play beer pong on one side; others will gather for a small Bible study on another. “It’s crazy out there,” Okafor said. ——— ‘My thing, my true love’ Chucky Okafor is, along with just more than 9,300 others, sweating 40-weight motor oil, which he wipes from his head with a white towel. He’s clapping again, this time as his son is helped to the locker room to chants of “OK-A-FOR, OK-A-FOR.” Moments earlier on this mid-February night, Jahlil Okafor reaches for his left ankle with his left hand. He had just let loose a turnaround jumper and his size-17 left shoe didn’t quite stick the landing. His hands cover his eyes. He’s down for a good minute. “There’s no definite answer of what’s going to happen next,” Chucky later said. “As a parent, I enjoy being loud and supportive. I cheer on the whole squad. From a selfish standpoint, I want to make myself feel like he does better when I’m in the gym. There’s no science to that.” Jahlil re-enters with 45 seconds left in the half, with him a noticeable limp. Cameron exhales. He plays the entire second half and overtime of a 92-90 victory against North Carolina, finishing with 12 points and 13 rebounds. Twice in OT he gives the Blue Devils the lead, including for good with 1 minute, 42 seconds left. Okafor missed the next game, three days later against Clemson, but scored a career-high 30 points and grabs nine rebounds in an overtime victory against Virginia Tech a week after spraining his ankle. Okafor is averaging 17.5 points, 8.8 rebounds and 1.4 blocks per game while shooting 66.8 percent from the field, all team highs for the 29-4 Blue Devils. That premonition Okafor had while completing a fourth-grade assignment, the one in which the teacher had everyone write down what they wanted to be when they grew up, seems one step closer. “I wrote professional basketball player,” Okafor said. “I thought everyone was going to say basketball player or football player, but I saw stuff like astronauts and chefs. That’s when I realized maybe this is my thing, my true love.” ——— ‘He’s very gifted’ He has unfolded all 83 of his inches and 270 of his pounds onto a beige, L-shaped couch tucked in the corner of a players lounge inside Cameron Indoor Stadium. A gray Duke hoodie spills over a pair of black Duke warmup pants, which spill over the walking boot choking his aching left ankle, the one he sprained the previous night. “You have Jay Williams right there,” he said, pointing to pictures decorating the walls, like he’s showing off his new home. “Mason Plumlee … I’m playing with his younger brother.” Okafor has danced with teammates after Krzyzewski’s 1,000th career victory, has been named ACC Rookie of the Week eight times, and Player of the Week once. He has stopped by assistant coach Jon Scheyer’s number-retirement ceremony in Northbrook. He spent the good part of an afternoon with another “Jah,” Capel’s son Elijah, at his birthday party, to which he didn’t go empty-handed, stopping first at a mall for a present. He’s leaving an impression. “Scary is not a bad word,” North Carolina coach Roy Williams says when describing Okafor’s game. “He’s very gifted.” An impression is being left on him. A couple of Duke posters hang on Okafor’s dorm wall. His king-size bed is here. He also has his PlayStation. “I always knew I wanted to be in the NBA and play myself in a video game,” Okafor said. “That was my goal when I was a kid. … It’s crazy to think that at the end of this season I could potentially have that opportunity.” ——— ©2015 Chicago Tribune Visit the Chicago Tribune at www.chicagotribune.com Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC _____ Topics: t000003277,t000003278,t000003183,t000040506,t000404471,t000027855,t000003142,g000065560,g000362661,g000066164,g000065598
LEXINGTON, Ky. — Bruce Pearl is sitting on the bench at Rupp Arena, watching his Auburn players launch shots on the morning of the Kentucky game.“Basketball,” he said in a voice that harkens to Sammy Sosa and a “Saturday Night Live” skit, “has been berry, berry good to me.”Pearl is a youthful 54 but has had a half-dozen incarnations, starting with the time he donned an eagle costume as a...
Bruce Pearl trying to rehab his scandal-tainted image — again — at Auburn
By Teddy Greenstein, Associated Press | Mar 10, 2015LEXINGTON, Ky. — Bruce Pearl is sitting on the bench at Rupp Arena, watching his Auburn players launch shots on the morning of the Kentucky game. “Basketball,” he said in a voice that harkens to Sammy Sosa and a “Saturday Night Live” skit, “has been berry, berry good to me.” Pearl is a youthful 54 but has had a half-dozen incarnations, starting with the time he donned an eagle costume as a student assistant at Boston College. “From BC to Stanford to Iowa to Southern Indiana to Wisconsin and then Knoxville,” he said. To Auburn, which he calls “the perfect situation,” a powerhouse athletic program in a conference he once ruled. “The game has taken me everywhere,” he said, “and you realize what an amazing, beautiful, wonderful country it is. I have been happy every place I’ve been. I like the South probably the best because of the weather and the sense of community. Plus I’m more of a conservative Republican — and I’m surrounded by them!” And with that, he lets out a laugh. You’re not supposed to talk politics in a sports story, let alone reveal your affiliation. But Pearl has never followed convention, starting with the time he taped that telephone conversation with Deon Thomas. Before his players take on Kentucky, he’ll tell them they have pretty much no chance to win and joke that at least the game will be “good for our RPI.” ——— ‘I knew he was remorseful’ At 35 and building Southern Indiana into a Division II national power, Pearl’s name already was synonymous with scandal. Dick Vitale had blasted him, saying Pearl had committed “coaching suicide” in 1989 by trying to secure proof of what he had told his boss, Iowa coach Tom Davis: that Thomas had reneged on a verbal commitment to Iowa after Illinois dangled $80,000 and a Chevy Blazer. “I’m still not comfortable with my methodology,” Pearl told me then, “but I thought exposing this was necessary for college athletics.” Illini Nation rejoiced when the NCAA slapped Pearl with a three-year show-cause penalty in 2011. By then Tennessee had severed ties, even though Pearl got all six of his Volunteers teams into the NCAA tournament. He stayed in Knoxville and took a marketing job with a grocery company to “pay the bills,” he said. Then he flourished as a broadcaster on SiriusXM Radio and ESPN. Auburn athletic director Jay Jacobs called Pearl the day after firing Tony Barbee, the seventh straight Tigers coach to depart with a losing record (18-50) in Southeastern Conference games. Jacobs met with Pearl at a hotel in Bristol, Conn. Jacobs said in a telephone interview that he “cut right to it” and asked Pearl why he lied to the NCAA. “As Bruce began to tell me the story, a lot of emotions came through,” Jacobs said. “I knew he was remorseful — and that the toughest challenge would be getting him to forgive himself. I knew he had repented. He talked about the harm it had done to college basketball, the University of Tennessee and to his family. He didn’t talk about himself.” Asked if he was squeamish about hiring someone with five months left on a show-cause penalty, which meant he could not meet or even contact recruits, Jacobs replied: “I was not. I was squeamish about hiring a guy who had misled the NCAA, but everything else about Bruce far outweighed not being able to travel and recruit for a few months. We even agreed not to appeal it. We teach student-athletes that if you make a mistake, there are consequences. It doesn’t matter if you are 15 or 55.” You get more chances, of course, if you are wildly successful at your job. A seven-time conference coach of the year, Pearl got Milwaukee to a Sweet 16 and went a league-best 65-31 in SEC games from 2006 to 2011. And if you can make money for your employer. Auburn Arena drew an average of 5,823 fans last season. This season the final average was 7,825, ranking third in the SEC at more than 85 percent of capacity. “I saw a guy (in the arena) who played football with me,” Jacobs said, “and I asked him, ‘Are you lost?’ These are people you never see in the wintertime.” Pearl somehow has gotten football-mad fans to support a basketball team that finished the regular season 12-19 and 4-14 in the SEC. “It’s not about marketing and showmanship,” says the man who once cheered on the Lady Vols basketball team with his chest covered in orange paint. “It’s about commitment and being all in, whether that means speaking in classes, talking to freshmen at orientation, raising money for charity. The (fans) know we cannot do this without them.” Billboards around town read “LET’S DO THIS TOGETHER.” That was Pearl’s idea. “He is the most generous person I’ve ever been around,” Jacobs says. “He takes every phone call, returns every text. He genuinely loves people, so they love him.” ——— ‘We ran clean programs. Period.’ What is it about Pearl that keeps me defending him after all these years? His explanation for the Thomas affair made sense: As a 28-year-old assistant, he went to Davis with his contention that Illinois had cheated to land Thomas, the 6-foot-8 Simeon star. An Iowa official supplied the recording device, and Thomas seemed to confirm the inducement. (He later explained he was just agreeing in hopes of ending the call.) When NCAA officials asked for his tape, Pearl said he felt compelled to turn it over. “Look, I was the guy who cooperated with the NCAA in the Illinois investigation,” he says now. “And I did some things in the course of that that I was uncomfortable with. And then because of that, we had to run clean programs. And we ran clean programs. Period. Period. “Then when you make the mistakes we made, it’s even more embarrassing and costly.” His explanation for what transpired at Tennessee: Guard Aaron Craft, a high school junior, had verbally committed. He and his father got wind that Pearl was hosting a barbecue and asked if they could come by. Though having them and other recruits at his house that day was against the rules, Pearl said OK. Someone took a picture of Craft at Pearl’s house. That photo got in the hands of NCAA investigators. Pearl met with them in 2010 regarding what he thought was a charge of improper contact with recruits, and they confronted him with the photo. He says he panicked and claimed ignorance. His assistant coaches had been called in previously, and he says he did not want to contradict what they might have said. “Not 10 minutes after, I brought my staff in and said, ‘Guys, I didn’t tell the truth,’ ” he said. “They had answered the way I answered. I said, ‘We’re going to fix this.’ I asked friends what I should do. I talked to my AD and waited for the NCAA to come back. We tried to tell the whole truth, but it made no difference.” A lot of scummy stuff transpires in college basketball that goes either ignored or unproven. Not in this case. Tennessee fired him in March 2011, fearing sanctions also involving other alleged misdeeds by the coaching staff. That August, the NCAA slapped him with the three-year show-cause penalty. He had become a full-blown pariah. ——— ‘Am I worthy?’ At practice earlier this season, Pearl got angry when one of his players turned the ball over. Or failed to get back on defense. Guard KT Harrell can’t recall the circumstances, but he’ll never forget Pearl’s reaction. “He lost his mind,” Harrell said. “He was screaming and ended up taking his shirt off. It was hard for me to keep a straight face. And then when we saw he had a smirk on his face, everyone knew it was cool (to laugh).” Pearl has the gift of being able to put those around him at ease. After his team got drilled by Kentucky on Feb. 21, falling behind 30-4 after 11 minutes, he mentioned to the media that in 1995, his Southern Indiana team trailed UC Riverside 30-8 in the Division II national championship game. “This game,” he said, “reminded me nothing of that game.” People laughed. After all, UC Riverside did not start a front line of 7 feet, 6-11 and 6-10. “I’ve never had a losing season,” Pearl said during the team shootaround. “But I’ve enjoyed this team more than many I’ve coached. They haven’t quit. They keep listening.” Recruits even got Pearl’s message before they could hear him speak. His show-cause penalty meant he could not contact recruits until Aug. 24. While recruits toured Auburn’s campus, Pearl stayed at Jacobs’ lake house, figuring, “Let there be no question.” Yet Pearl has managed to attract a five-man class (four signed, one verbal) that is 12th nationally in 247Sports.com’s composite rankings. Danjel Purifoy is a former Mr. Basketball in Alabama who attended three high schools and was reportedly pursued by Maryland, Kentucky and the rest of the SEC. The 6-6 forward chose Auburn despite having never met Pearl. “My staff and (Auburn football coach) Gus Malzahn delivered the message I couldn’t,” Pearl said. When Jacobs first contacted him about the job, Pearl says he wondered, “Am I worthy?” Then he asked himself, “Can I change the perception of Auburn basketball?” Pearl is well on his way to doing that. Can he change the perception of Bruce Pearl among his many detractors? Now that’s another matter. ——— ©2015 Chicago Tribune Visit the Chicago Tribune at www.chicagotribune.com Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC ————— ARCHIVE PHOTOS on Tribune News Service (for help with images, contact 312-222-4194): _____ Topics: t000008056,t000008078,t000003183,t000158174,t000003195,t000046469,t000003277,g000065659,g000362661,g000066164,g000216885,g000065682,g000065650,g000065560,g000065574,g000065584