Happy Hump Day, friends and fans!
The Oklahoma Sooners are about four weeks away from returning to campus for voluntary workouts, but on Wednesday Lincoln Riley answered questions in a video conference call to shed more light on how OU is approaching the process of bringing back its players. The Norman Transcript’s Tyler Palmateer explains part of that plan here:
Correction: Quarantine won't take place on campus. Players will quarantine mid-June, but Riley said "majority" will do so from home, and that OU has "safe ways we can bring them back and preserve the integrity of that quarantine through any travel back here." #Sooners https://t.co/W0o6RVtOun— Tyler Palmateer (@Tpalmateer83) June 3, 2020
Having players finally back on campus and eventually working with their coaches will be a great sign that football is truly on its way, but lately there’s been a lot of civil unrest and frustration regarding police brutality in America. Many of Oklahoma’s players and coaches have been speaking out about the injustices that have continued throughout this nation’s history, and Riley has now gone on record multiple times in saying he will support his team should they choose to make a public demonstration in the future.
#Sooners coach Lincoln Riley is in a Zoom call atm, and was asked about if he'll stand with his players if they make a public demonstration in the future: "I'll definitely stand with my players. And it's not just because they're my players. It's a fundamental belief."— Caleb McCourry (@CalebMac21) June 3, 2020
Riley was asked specifically about using #BlackLivesMatter on Twitter, considering some Oklahoma will take a stance against that. Riley: "All lives can't matter until black lives do too."— Tyler Palmateer (@Tpalmateer83) June 3, 2020
For more on this conversation with Lincoln Riley, check out the full quotes here, brought to you by OU Insider’s Joey Helmer.
Now onto today’s Hot Links! The blueprint exists for OU to win its eighth natty, Sooner Softball welcomes five signees, the NBA is BACK and more!
- Across social media yesterday, many people expressed their solidarity with the current issues at the heart of the widespread protests by posting an all black photo and using the caption or hashtag ‘Black Out Tuesday’. A number of those people included some prominent Sooner coaches and players — both present and past — such as Lincoln Riley, Baker Mayfield, Jalen Hurts and more. OU Daily’s Chandler Engelbrecht compiled many of their messages here.
- 247Sports’ Chris Hummer shared his reasons why Oklahoma is one of a select few college football programs poised for a national championship breakthrough.
- Speaking of breaking through for a national championship, ESPN’s Bill Connelly listed ‘Four Ifs’ for the Sooners in 2020. In essence, should Oklahoma successfully make each of these a reality this season, winning it all would become quite plausible.
- Earlier this week, OU Insider’s RJ Young highlighted the dominoes that have fallen around RB Kennedy Brooks, potentially setting him up for a legacy-cementing run this fall.
- Ex-NFL LB Rob Ninkovich recently ranked the starting QBs in the AFC North, and his hot take is placing Joe Burrow in front of Baker Mayfield. Now it feels more like a normal offseason. I was beginning to worry there for a minute.
- Patty Gasso and her OU Softball program secured the signatures of five new Sooners for the 2020 recruiting class this week, including the nation’s No. 1 overall talent, shortstop Jayda Coleman. Boomer!
- The Collegiate Baseball Newspaper released its list of Freshmen All-Americans, and two Sooners earned honors. Even in a season that was cut short, left-handed pitcher Jake Bennett and third baseman Peyton Graham both stood out in their first go-arounds in Norman.
Around the Sports World
- ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski dropped quite the Woj Bomb on Wednesday with news of the 2019-20 NBA season officially resuming July 31. The format will be drastically modified to safely accommodate the 22 teams vying for playoff seeding in Orlando, but for sports fans around the nation, this is arguably the most significant sports development since the coronavirus forced all play to cease in mid-March. You can read all about the finer details right here.
So the NBA's inviting 22 teams to Orlando: 13 Western Conference, 9 Eastern Conference. Eight-regular season games per team. Play-in for the 8th seeds. July 31-October 12. Vote tomorrow to ratify.— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) June 3, 2020
The NBA's back.
- At least three Oklahoma State Cowboys tested positive for COVID-19 on Tuesday, including senior LB Amen Ogbongbemiga. Fortunately, each of these student-athletes have been asymptomatic up to this point.
- Dallas Cowboys QB Dak Prescott recently voiced his sentiments regarding the murder of George Floyd and the subsequent aftermath around the nation, then pledged $1 million towards enhancing police education.
- Legendary former Tennessee Volunteers player and coach Johnny Majors passed away on Wednesday at the age of 85. With 116 wins from 1977-1992, he remains the third winningest head coach in Vols program history.
Dynamic on the field.— Tennessee Football (@Vol_Football) June 3, 2020
Fierce on the sidelines.
We mourn the loss of legendary player and coach Johnny Majors—a man who left an indelible mark on Tennessee Football. pic.twitter.com/0ImKAKrclK
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