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Oklahoma Sooners Football Hot Links: Joe Castiglione discusses stadium protocol for 2020 season

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Fans will be required to wears masks inside Gaylord Family - Oklahoma Memorial Stadium.

Oklahoma v Oklahoma State Photo by Brian Bahr/Getty Images

Happy Friday, friends and fans!

In a recent meeting with members of the media, Oklahoma Sooners Athletic Director Joe Castiglione made things crystal clear about a requirement for any fans who want to attend an OU football game this fall — they absolutely must wear a mask. You can hear it from the man himself below.

A couple things: first off, well said, Joe. When it comes to the student-athletes at the University of Oklahoma, the proof is in the pudding. It’s been a month and a half since OU has tracked its COVID-19 testing, and by following the protocols and guidelines, the number of positive cases among Sooner players and staff members has been virtually non-existent. Wearing a mask, hand washing and social distancing are tried and true methods that can significantly limit the potential spread of coronavirus, and undoubtedly, those methods are working.

Secondly, after Wednesday’s announcement that Oklahoma’s stadium capacity will be reduced to around a quarter of the usual attendance figures (although Castiglione also mentioned that it’s subject to change), the next biggest difference is that the fans who do watch the Sooners in-person will be required to wear a mask at all times while in attendance. That includes coming into or out of the stadium as well as when you’re at your seat.

Understandably, there are lots of folks who don’t particularly enjoy wearing masks or similar facial coverings, but those are the rules Castiglione has to establish if we’re going to give this college football thing its best shot at success.

Now onto this week’s Friday edition of Hot Links! K1 gets swole, Trent Williams likes to go fast, a major league ump had enough of Stephen Strasburg and more!

OU Links

  • Sooner fans, if you’re feeling sad about not being able to tailgate at OU games this season, don’t lose all hope just yet. According to Joe C., plans are currently being discussed, and I’m sure a more definitive answer is coming in the not-too-distant future.
  • Also from Castiglione’s meeting today, the OU AD was asked about whether Oklahoma’s season opener versus Missouri State would be available exclusively on pay-per-view as originally planned or if those plans have changed. So far he’s uncertain, but it’s a fluid situation, writes Sooners Wire’s Derek Parker.
  • 2018 Heisman Trophy winner Kyler Murray had a heck of a first season in 2019 with the Arizona Cardinals en route to being named NFL’s Offensive Rookie of the Year. Going into year two, K1 has focused on building up his body, and his teammates have taken notice.
  • Recently, Dallas Cowboys QB Dak Prescott had some rave reviews on rookie WR CeeDee Lamb. The hype around the former OU receiver is climbing fast, but it’s not too much for the budding star. Sooners Wire’s Steven Plaisance has more.
  • On Thursday, Bob Stoops was a guest on Colin Cowherd’s ‘The Herd’, and there he talked about the chip on Baker Mayfield’s shoulder and what it’s like to have him as a leader in the locker room.
  • TMZ is coming after former OU OL Trent Williams after a recent Instagram post showed the San Francisco 49ers left tackle reached 125 mph in his Ferrari. I’ll be the first to say that he’s genuinely a great guy, but this is a bit reckless. Follow the speed limit, kids. Having said that, driving the speed limit in a Ferrari is probably easier said than done (not that I would have any personal experience related to it or anything).

Around the Sports World

  • The Chicago Bulls have fired Jim Boylen after missing the NBA playoffs in each of his first two seasons as head coach. Under Boylen, the Bulls went 39-84 since he took over for Fred Hoiberg in December of 2018.
  • A total of seven NFL officials (five on-field, two replay) have decided to opt out of the 2020 season due to coronavirus concerns. Reportedly, each official will receive $30K stipends and job guarantees should they elect to return in 2021.
  • Washington Nationals pitcher Stephen Strasburg might be the first player to ever be tossed out of an MLB game — wait for it — from his seat in the ball park. After disagreeing with a call from the umpire, he can be heard shouting off-camera. Eventually, it was confirmed that it was indeed him who yelled an obscenity before he walked away without much of a fuss. Hey, this isn’t Stras’ fault. Those cardboard cut-outs don’t make any crowd noise.
  • Tiger Woods has confirmed he will compete in The Northern Trust PGA tournament in Boston next week in an attempt to make a run at the FedEx Cup Playoffs.
  • Speaking of golf, University of Arkansas’ Segundo Oliva Pinto lost on the 18th hole of his U.S. Amateur round-of-16 matchup after his caddie illegally tested the sand in a bunker with his hand, costing the junior the hole and subsequently the match. The young Razorback handled the totally avoidable violation with grace, but losing like that had to leave him feeling sick to his stomach.

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