Sooners ready to move past Sugar Bowl win
NORMAN, Okla. (AP) - Oklahoma is ready to push its Sugar Bowl upset over Alabama into the past.
The Sooners appear to be in position to contend for a national title, with significant experience returning and a strong freshman class. They start practice Aug. 5 in preparation for the Aug. 30 opener against Louisiana Tech.
Oklahoma should to be especially strong on defense, where 11 players with at least five career starts return from a unit that led the Big 12 in total defense and pass defense. Defensive coordinator Mike Stoops says the unit can be even better this year. Last year, the Sooners switched from a 4-3 to a 3-4. This year, there is a greater sense of familiarity for coaches and players that should allow the team's improved athletic ability to shine.
Southern Nazarene accepted into NCAA Division II
BETHANY, Okla. (AP) - Southern Nazarene University in Bethany has been accepted as a full member of NCAA Division II in athletics.
SNU officials made the official announcement during a news conference Thursday.
Southern Nazarene is now the first private institution in Oklahoma to be full active member in NCAA Division II.
SNU is now allowed to compete for Great American Conference and NCAA postseason championships beginning in the 2014-15 academic year.
Suspended WR Blackmon arrested on drug complaint
EDMOND, Okla. (AP) - Suspended Jacksonville Jaguars wide receiver Justin Blackmon has been arrested in Oklahoma on a complaint of marijuana possession.
Blackmon, a former standout at Oklahoma State, was arrested Wednesday evening in the Oklahoma City suburb of Edmond. Police say they noticed his sedan go around stopped traffic in an attempt to get into a turn lane.
Police spokeswoman Jenny Monroe says an officer detected a "heavy smell of marijuana" coming from the car, and that Blackmon admitted he had smoked "a blunt" while driving and had another in his vehicle.
Blackmon was arrested and booked into the Edmond jail, where he posted $657 bond.
Blackmon is suspended without pay indefinitely for repeated violations of the NFL's substance-abuse policy. The Jaguars have indicated they may cut him if he is reinstated.
McCarthy, Yankees top Texas for 6th win in 7 games
NEW YORK (AP) - Brandon McCarthy threw six more solid innings, fellow newcomer Chase Headley delivered another timely hit and the New York Yankees beat the Texas Rangers 4-2 Thursday for their sixth win in seven games.
Brett Gardner doubled, scored a run and drove in one as the Yankees kept up their push since the All-Star break.
Texas fell to 3-17 in July and dropped 22 games under .500 for the first time since the final week of the 1988 season.
McCarthy improved to 2-0 with a 1.45 ERA in three starts since the Yankees got him in a deal with Arizona earlier this month. He was 3-10 with a 5.01 ERA at the time of the trade.
McCarthy limited Texas to one run and four hits. He struck out five, and fanned Alex Rios to finish off an 11-pitch at-bat that ended the first inning.
Rangers adding RHP Jerome Williams, starts Friday
NEW YORK (AP) - The pitching-poor Texas Rangers plan to add right-hander Jerome Williams and will start him Friday night against AL West-leading Oakland.
The Rangers announced after Thursday's 4-2 loss to the New York Yankees that they would purchase Williams' contract from Triple-A Round Rock.
The 32-year-old Williams was released by Houston earlier this month after going 1-4 with a 6.04 ERA in 26 relief appearances. He signed with Texas and went 0-1 with a 6.10 ERA in two starts at Triple-A.
Williams is 43-51 with a 4.45 ERA in nine seasons with San Francisco, the Cubs, Washington, the Angels and Astros.
Texas has a 4.84 ERA, the highest in the AL and almost a half-run over anyone else in the league.
The Rangers have the worst record in the majors, and set a big league record by using 30 pitchers before the All-Star break. They've already tied a team mark for most pitchers in a season, and they added another newcomer to the roster before Thursday's game by promoting reliever Nate Adcock from Triple-A.
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