Oklahoma State spokesman Gary Schutt issued a statement Thursday afternoon denying reports that Oklahoma State would join a lawsuit against the Southeastern Conference and Texas A&M.
Here’s Shutt’s statement:
“Speculative reports using unnamed sources implying Oklahoma State University would join others in a lawsuit against the SEC and Texas A&M were incorrect.”
ESPN’s Adam Scheffter is reporting that Dez Bryant has pushed his NFL pro day workout back again and will hold it March 30 in his hometown of Lufkin, Texas. Scheffter says Oklahoma State “balked” at the idea of Bryant holding his pro day on campus.
Why? While it’s possible that OSU said no to letting Bryant hold an individual workout on campus, it wouldn’t be because the Cowboys are still mad at Dez for fibbing to NCAA investigators, a series of lies that ultimately cost him his eligibility and lowered the ceiling for what looked like a special season for Oklahoma State. Bryant has been on campus since he was declared ineligible and by all accounts still has a good relationship with OSU coaches and staff.
It’s possible that OSU officials said no to the workout because of who is orchestrating it. Remember, it was Dez’s dealings with Deion Sanders and agent Eugene Parker that got him in trouble to start with. And OSU coaches warned him about staying away from Deion due to his close association with Parker.
Here’s another possibility: Bryant keeps pushing back his workouts before scouts because he’s not in shape. The guy hasn’t played football since Sept. 19. He didn’t work out at the NFL Combine due to a hamstring injury. He didn’t take part in OSU’s pro date on March 10 — and there are indications he could have if he wanted to. And now another delay, from March 25 to 30. There’s talk around Stillwater that Bryant is trying to get himself back in tiptop shape before facing a scout’s stopwatch. That’s probably a wise decision for a guy trying to keep his draft stock from sliding.
But I’m not buying the notion that OSU would try to get back at Bryant for what happened last fall. Bryant isn’t Perrish Cox, who broke curfew not once but twice leading up to the Cotton Bowl then trashed coach Mike Gundy on his Facebook page for suspending him. OSU banned Cox from the sidelines in the Cotton Bowl and banned him from participating in OSU’s pro day, and who can blame it.
One of the most fan-friendly parts of March Madness happens Wednesday at the Ford Center when the eight teams opening the NCAA Tournament in Oklahoma City hold practices that are free and open to the public.
Here’s the schedule: (All times CDT).
Noon-12:40 p.m. Florida
12:45-1:25 p.m. North Texas
1:30-2:10 p.m. BYU
2:15-2:55 p.m. Kansas State
4:25-5:05 p.m. UNLV
5:10-5:50 p.m. Kansas
5:55-6:35 p.m. UNI
6:40-7:20 p.m. Lehigh
Some Knicks fans already see him as Plan B if LeBron James stays in Cleveland. And those who seek revenge against Oklahoma City for “stealing” the Sonics from Seattle can think of no better payback than to watch Kevin Durant walk as a free agent after the 2010-11 season.
I suppose it could happen, but I doubt it, especially after reading a recent interview Durant gave SLAM magazine’s Nima Zarrabi. Does this sound like a guy ready to bolt OKC?
SLAM: Oklahoma City will have to be speaking with you and your representatives about an extension very soon. Do you believe in GM Sam Presti’s vision for this team and is this the team you want to be on in the future?
KD: I love this team, man. This is where I want to be. Sam is incredible. He’s like another father to me, outside of my real father. Anything I need. He’s always asking if I need anything or how my family is doing. I just like good people like that. He’s not just a GM. He’s more of an everyday guy that is always around. He asks my input on everything, whether it’s about the newest music out or what type of shoes I like. Small stuff like that. I love him, I love the organization and hopefully I can stay as long as possible.
SLAM: Of the NBA people I have spoken to, Sam truly stands out. In my dealings with him, he has shown me a great deal of respect and professionalism. A great guy.
KD: I’m blown away too. He’s so young! But he’s so mature, so you wouldn’t think that. We have guys on our team that are older than he is. He’s a great person to be around and I’m glad I’m playing for his team.
So, it’s probably time to stop wondering and speculating on what Presti is going to do with that $14 million or so the Thunder has under the salary cap.
Among the other nuggets from the Q&A: Durant hasn’t sold his home on Mercer Island, Wash., but not for lack of trying. “It’s tough man. The market is tough for everybody right now.” Durant also has lots to say about his new teammates, his alma mater and settling down in Oklahoma.
Midwest City native A.J. Hinch is expected to be named manager of the Arizona Diamondbacks today at 5 p.m. Oklahoma time, and I’d like to be able to say I saw it coming.
Not that Hinch would be asked to save a sinking National League franchise.
Or that he would become a major league manager at age 34.
What I knew the first time I spoke to the lad — way back in 1990 when I was a prep writer at The Oklahoman and he was a sophomore dropping sacrifice bunts to help Midwest City team a 5A baseball tournament game — was that Andrew Jay Hinch was something special.
It wasn’t exactly an exclusive. Everyone who talked spent more than a minute with Hinch knew the same thing.
Bright, talented, engaging and mature. The kind of skill set that would lead some to say he could run for office someday, but that would be underachieving.
When I left The Oklahoman in 1993, someone was silly enough to let me write a farewell column and in the midst of saying what I’d remember most about covering high school sports in Oklahoma I wrote “Ex-Midwest City catcher A.J. Hinch, a Stanford star who will make it big in baseball and life.”
Every high school baseball coach in the state loved the way he handled himself behind the plate. Their wives tried to play matchmaker and set A.J. up with their daughter. He spent the summer before his senior year on a whirlwind baseball tour that included personal catching lessons from Gold Glover Bob Boone and playing on a national team. Yet he was the first player in line the morning Midwest City football coaches handed out equipment for two-a-days.
His goals and cap size unchanged.
“I’ve always wanted to be a Midwest City Bomber quarterback,” Hinch said told me that day. “I waited my turn. Now here’s my chance, and I’m ready to jump at it. I’ve received a lot of ‘free advice from people telling me not to play football because I might get hurt and mess up my baseball future. I’ve been playing football since the fifth grade and I’ve never tore up a knee or broken a leg, so why should I stop now? ”
Hinch was a nice quarterback. Mike and Cale Gundy he was not, though in becoming a big-league manager he surpasses OSU football coach Mike Gundy in the sports leadership stratosphere as the most accomplished former Bomber.
It was clear from the start that baseball wanted to ride baseball as far as it would take him. As John Rohde wrote in a terrific 1996 column about Hinch and his late father Dennis: “For his 16th birthday, the son had to choose between a car and a batting cage. He chose the cage.”
A wise choice, which is what everyone has come to expect from A.J. Hinch.
Now its the Diamondbacks who have chosen wisely.