NORMAN, Okla. — While rival Texas has been rolling out its cash cow Longhorn Network, top-ranked Oklahoma has been working to expand its television capabilities, too.
Reporters were given a tour Tuesday of the university’s SoonerVision HD production rooms that have been expanded through $5 million in improvements in recent years. With fiber-optic cables connecting the school’s athletic venues to side-by-side control rooms, Oklahoma plans to broadcast and webcast dozens more sporting events this year in high definition.
It’s another step toward the school’s ultimate goal of launching its own around-the-clock network in a quickly expanding television marketplace for college sports.
Yet executive director of video production Brandon Meier says Oklahoma would need more infrastructure to launch a rival to the Longhorn Network created through a $300 million deal between Texas and ESPN.
Lawyer to ask LSU to reinstate QB
BATON ROUGE, La. — The lawyer for Jordan Jefferson says he will ask the university and coach Les Miles on Tuesday to consider lifting the LSU quarterback’s suspension while the legal process plays out in the case of a recent bar brawl involving numerous LSU players.
Defense attorney Lewis Unglesby says he does not want to tell Miles how to discipline players, only to make the case that the arrest warrant police obtained for Jefferson is without merit and by itself should not be allowed to ruin his senior season.
Unglesby says Jefferson doesn’t deserve special treatment from the legal system because he’s LSU’s quarterback. However, Unglesby contends Jefferson is receiving unfair treatment by authorities because of his high-profile position.
LSU vice chancellor for communications Herb Vincent says the school has no comment.
S Thomas, WR Harrison ineligible for No. 9 Cowboys
STILLWATER, Okla. — Starting free safety Johnny Thomas and receiver Michael Harrison have been ruled ineligible for No. 9 Oklahoma State’s season opener against Louisiana-Lafayette.
Coach Mike Gundy announced Tuesday that the Cowboys don’t have a timetable for when Thomas and Harrison would be able to return. Other details were not disclosed.
Thomas started 11 games last season, including the last nine, and finished fourth on the team with 63 tackles. He also had three interceptions.
Gundy has said he considers the Cowboys deeper in the secondary than they have been in his seven years as head coach. Daytawion Lowe, who missed all of last season due to an injury, is listed as Thomas’ backup on the depth chart.
Harrison had 14 catches for 135 yards and three touchdowns last season.
Prince named UCLA’s starting quarterback
LOS ANGELES — Kevin Prince has been named UCLA’s starting quarterback for Saturday’s season opener at Houston.
Coach Rick Neuheisel chose Prince ahead of Richard Brehaut on Tuesday, but says UCLA will use both quarterbacks against the Cougars.
Prince started 16 games over the past two seasons, including the Bruins’ victory at Texas last year. But Prince’s progress has been slowed by injuries, and Brehaut, a two-sport athlete, started seven games last season.
On Monday, both quarterbacks said they felt they had played well enough in camp to earn the starting spot. Neuheisel welcomed a lively quarterback competition for the Bruins, whose passing game was among the nation’s worst last season.
Missouri C Ruth to miss opener
COLUMBIA, Mo. — Center Travis Ruth will miss No. 21 Missouri’s opener with a strained right Achilles’ tendon.
Coach Gary Pinkel also said Monday that wide receiver Gahn McGaffie, who has a sprained knee, was out for Saturday’s game against Miami of Ohio. Pinkel thinks Ruth and backup tight end Eric Waters will return next week, but anticipates McGaffie will be out three weeks.
Starting wide receiver Jerrell Jackson and cornerback Kip Edwards were doubtful with hamstring injuries.
Recruits Metoyer and Wade won’t join No. 1 Sooners
NORMAN, Okla. — Coach Bob Stoops says receiver Trey Metoyer and defensive tackle Jordan Wade will not be joining top-ranked Oklahoma for the upcoming season.
Stoops said Monday he hopes both recruits will be able to join the Sooners at the semester break.
Metoyer is a 6-foot-2 receiver from Whitehouse, Texas, who was picked as a U.S. Army All-American and a Parade All-American in high school. Stoops says Metoyer will attend Hargrave Military Academy and hopefully join Oklahoma later on with four years of eligibility remaining.
Wade is a 6-foot-4 defensive tackle from Stony Point High School in Round Rock, Texas. Stoops says he’ll sit out the fall while trying to improve a test score.
Iowa to honor slain Navy SEAL — and dog might help
IOWA CITY, Iowa — The dog who touched hearts all over the world by lying next to the casket of a slain Navy SEAL might lead the Iowa Hawkeyes onto the field during a game this season.
The university said Tuesday it will honor Jon Tumilson and other veterans at one of two home games in November. The team says it will work with Tumilson’s family to determine what role his loyal dog, Hawkeye, might play.
Tumilson was one of 30 American soldiers killed in Afghanistan on Aug. 6 in a helicopter crash. Photos of his pet Labrador retriever lying near his casket during a funeral service went viral.
A former player suggested the dog lead the team before Saturday’s game against Tennessee Tech and fans embraced the idea.
Bauserman likely Ohio State starting QB
COLUMBUS, Ohio — Fifth-year senior Joe Bauserman will likely take the first snap when No. 18 Ohio State plays Akron on Saturday, interim coach Luke Fickell says.
Fickell stresses that both Bauserman and true freshman Braxton Miller will be needed as the Buckeyes try to eclipse 10 months of scandal and controversy stemming from players taking cash and free tattoos and ex-coach Jim Tressel finding out about it and covering it up.
The Buckeyes will have game captains — linemen J.B. Shugarts, Mike Brewster and John Simon — for their 122nd opener.
Fickell, an assistant elevated to replace Tressel who was forced out in the midst of an NCAA investigation, says Bauserman had the edge over Miller in leadership. Ohio State will be without three offensive starters suspended for taking improper benefits.
Suspended Illini LB Williams back with scout team
CHAMPAIGN, Ill. — Illinois coach Ron Zook says junior linebacker Ashante Williams has started practicing with the scout team after he was charged with drunken driving and suspended from the team.
Zook said Tuesday he isn’t sure whether Williams will rejoin the first team. The coach says he has no time in mind to make that decision. Zook says he wanted to keep Williams with the team in some fashion as he nears graduation.
Williams was arrested in Urbana in July and charged with two counts of drunken driving. Court officials say the Mayfield, Ohio, native has not entered a plea. He is due in court Sept. 8.
Williams played in all 13 games last season and was expected to play a lot this fall. Illinois opens the season Saturday against Arkansas State.
Gophers safety is finally back as Royston returns
MINNEAPOLIS — Minnesota strong safety Kim Royston has been awaiting for the football season to start for a long time.
Royston has returned to the lineup after sitting out last year because of a broken left leg. He was granted a rare sixth season of eligibility by the NCAA because of his medical hardship.
Royston says he began feeling full strength again this summer after first injuring himself during spring practice in 2010. New head coach Jerry Kill says he’s relying on Royston a lot for his leadership.
The Gophers play at USC on Saturday.
LeGrand joining Rutgers radio network
PISCATAWAY, N.J. — Paralyzed football player Eric LeGrand will work on the Rutgers Radio Network as an analyst.
Coach Greg Schiano announced the move on Tuesday, saying LeGrand will be on the broadcast for a segment during the pregame show, at halftime and on the postgame show for every game this season.
LeGrand began his broadcast career during the Scarlet-White game as the team concluded spring practice. He spent the third quarter calling the action for RVision, the official broadband network of Rutgers Athletics.
LeGrand suffered a spinal cord injury making a tackle on a kickoff return against Army on Oct. 16. The senior continues the rehabilitation process as an outpatient at the Kessler Rehabilitation Center.
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