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For 100 years, the student voice of the University of Oklahoma PROVIDED BY THE OKLAHOMA HALL OF FAME
OU’s College of Law 1951 senior class photo from the 1951 Sooner Yearbook. Ada Lois Sipuel Fisher, the college’s first black student, is second from the left on the second row.
PAVING THE WAY How Ada Lois Sipuel Fisher battled to become OU College of Law’s first black student ANNA BAUMAN • @ANNABAUMAN2
Editor’s note: This is the first article in a three-part series that tells the stories of significant black women in OU’s history.
young woman sits at a desk with one of the country’s most powerful attorneys stationed over her right shoulder. In her early 20s, she is the picture of elegance — dark skin contrasted against a turquoise dress, eyebrows raised and chin rested on the back of her hand. Her side gaze holds all the hope and defiance of someone intent on righting a wrong. Behind her, the Oklahoma and American flags fade in the background, a reminder of the institutions Ada Lois Sipuel Fisher radically improved amid the nation’s struggle for racial equality and inclusion that still exists today. Now, more than 72 years later, the scene is frozen in the rectangle of a copper frame hanging in OU’s College of Law. It’s a painting that always grabbed the attention of Cheryl Wattley as she walked down the brick hallway past it after arriving at OU Law in 2006 as the only black faculty member. When the now-former OU professor began to unravel the story behind that moment, she dug up answers to many questions: How
OU’s law school was desegregated, what legal games the state played to prevent change, what those three years of aloneness were like for the first black person who paved the way for Wattley to walk those same halls. She was left with one question, though, and the answer still eludes her. Could I have done what she did? LAW OF THE LAND Sipuel Fisher, accompanied by two representatives from the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People, or NAACP, pulled into the North Oval of the University of Oklahoma on Jan. 15, 1946, and strode up the steps of Evans Hall to apply for admission to the law school. Sh e w a s a n x i o u s a n d a p prehensive, but felt slightly relieved knowing her presence would make those sitting in the wood-paneled office feel even more so. They handed then-OU President George Lynn Cross her college transcript from Langston University. It met every demand of the law school and university admissions process, but, still, the 21-year-old knew what the administration’s decision would be
before she even set foot on campus that day. Rejected — on the basis of race. Still, the NAACP left campus with the only victory it needed: a letter stating that Sipuel Fisher was denied admission to the law school not due to a lack of scholastic qualifications, but because the Board of Regents explicitly instructed the OU president to refuse admission to AfricanAmericans on the basis of state law. Thus began the three-year legal battle that would wind its way through county, state and federal courts until it reached the Supreme Court of the United States, ultimately paving the way for the landmark Brown v. Board of Education decision that desegregated all public schools six years later. “Her decision became the beginning of the voluntary desegregation of graduate programs and then ultimately institutions of higher education,” said Wattley, whose interest in the painting compelled her to write “A Step Toward Brown v. Board of Education: Ada Lois Sipuel Fisher and Her Fight to End Segregation.” But long before she set foot on an all-white campus, before her name dominated headlines
across state papers, before she made histor y, Sipuel Fisher described herself as a sassy, smart-mouthing girl who grew up 30 miles south of Norman in the small town of Chickasha. Her parents knew firsthand the hatred of racism. They fled Greenwood, Tulsa, in 1921 after a young black boy was accused of assaulting a white woman in a downtown elevator, sparking a bloody race massacre that left 300 dead and the town, then known as Black Wall Street due to its prosperity, in smoking ruins. In the fall of 1945, Sipuel Fisher’s mother received a call from a prominent Chickasha doctor and a close family friend who wished to drop by for a visit on important business with Sipuel Fisher’s brother, Lemuel Sipuel, three years her elder. Bob Bullock, director of Chickasha’s NAACP chapter, sat chatting for a short time in the Sipuels’ home — large for the community’s standards, with a telephone and console radio and large potbellied cast-iron stove that warmed the living room. But he was really there on official business. The law of the land at the time was “separate but equal,” meaning white people and black
people were educated separately in supposedly equal manners. Bullock laid out the issue the NAACP was gearing up to tackle. The University of Oklahoma had a law school for white students, but it did not allow black people to attend. The state did not meet the separate but equal standard, he said, because a law school for black people was nonexistent. The request was straightforward: The NAACP needed a plaintiff. Representatives like Bullock were scouring the state to find the right individual, and Lemuel’s impressive scholastic records, interest in law and status as the son of a politically active mother and prominent pastor made him a prime candidate for recommendation. It had to be an individual who not only had the brains but also had the fortitude to withstand a long and probably bitter controversy. Bullock asked Lemuel if he was ready for the task at hand. But Lemuel, who had recently returned from three years of military service, was in a hurry to begin law school. He appreciated the offer, but declined. Another option was sitting in the room, though. Ada Lois had See HIDDEN page 2
Four critical plays keep playoff hopes alive Sooners still in College Football Playoff talks after win on Saturday GEORGE STOIA @GeorgeStoia
MORGANTOWN — A fumble recovery for a touchdown. A third-down completion. A second fumble recovery for a touchdown. And a fourth-down conversion. Four season-defining plays made by four different players in one game that will be remembered for the ages. And now, after a thrilling 59-56 win over then-No. 13 West Virginia, now-No. 5 Oklahoma has exactly what it wants : a
second shot at No. 9 Texas and a chance at its fourth straight Big 12 title. “The vibe was different all week,” redshirt junior quarterback Kyler Murray said, after totaling for 478 yards and four touchdowns against the Mountaineers. “At practice, locker room, pregame, halftime, just the whole nine yards was just different. You could just kind of feel the juice around the locker room.” These are the type of games Oklahoma always wins. Somehow, the Sooners find a way. And Friday night, they made four “gutsy” plays that could springboard them into the College Football Playoff. “Just guts,” coach Lincoln Riley said. “It’s what we do. It’s guts. It’s
not listening to people’s opinions on the outside. It’s believing in yourself. It’s continuing to fight for the guys in the locker room with you.” SECOND QUARTER (3:14) Junior linebacker Caleb Kelly lined up outside, face-up with West Virginia’s right tackle. The Mountaineers faced a second-and-11 with the game tied at 21. Kelly swiftly beat his man, grabbed a rolling Will Grier, stripped the ball, scooped it up and scored 10 yards later. “My job was to hit the tackle, and I went through him instead,” Kelly said. “Grier was right there. We made eye contact … (I) made the tackle, looked up, saw the ball and scored.”
Kelly’s play was both game- and season-altering. All week (and all season) the Sooner defense was asked how they planned on creating turnovers and generating stops. Coming into the game, Oklahoma was tied 125th (second to last) in the country in turnovers gained (eight). They had two Friday night. “It was as hard, as physical as we’ve played all year,” Riley said. “We knew that was what it was going to take.” Following Oklahoma’s 55-40 win over Kansas last week, sophomore safety Robert Barnes said wins were starting to feel like losses for the defense. Friday night offered a new feeling — a better feeling. “It definitely was a different
feeling,” Barnes said. “If you take away a few big plays, it was a great game. I think we definitely tuned in our tackling, things that we needed to fix … In a game like this, with everything on the line, I can’t be mad about this one.” THIRD QUARTER (1:00) Facing a third-and-10 and trailing 42-38 late in the third quarter, junior wide receiver Marquise Brown stood slot right. He shot out of his stance veering right and breaking open down the numbers. Murray found him in stride for a 30-yard gain and a first down. One play later, Brown scored on a 45-yard touchdown pass. “We had a look that I liked,” See PLAYOFF page 6
• November 26-28, 2018
NEWS HIDDEN: Continued from page 1
been valedictorian of her high school class, an honor student at Langston University and had the full support of her older brother and parents. They did not even have to ask if she was interested. Immediately after her brother turned down the offer, she began to hope for the chance herself. There were many risks inherent to the decision. Sipuel Fisher knew that Lloyd Gaines, the last NAACP plaintiff in a similar case in Missouri, had disappeared and was never seen again. She knew the stories of lynchings passed down in her community. She remembered when she was 6 years old and her father sat all night with a cocked firearm after a 19-year-old black man, Henry Argo, was accused of raping a white woman. That night, Argo was shot through the concrete wall of his Chickasha jail cell and stabbed through the heart by someone in an angry lynch mob that smashed the wall down. “When you start talking about the significance and courage of her decision, it wasn’t in a vacuum,” Wattley said. “It was against this backdrop.” About 10 days after the home visit, Bullock drove Sipuel Fisher to Oklahoma City to meet with Roscoe Dunjee, an NAACP activist who, along with attorneys Thurgood Marshall and Amos T. Hall, was spearheading the fight. It was a short meeting. The next week, the Sipuel household celebrated after it received the news that Sipuel Fisher had been selected. Decades later, Sipuel Fisher was chatting and eating lunch with a former mayor at an OU
Anna Bauman, news managing editor email@example.com • phone: 405-325-3666 oudaily.com • Twitter: @OUDaily
legal forum when he posed a difficult, pointed question. Why agree to become the guinea pig in one of the earliest civil rights struggles in the country, knowing the dangers and risk involved? Why you? Sipuel Fisher’s answer was simple but decisive. “It was wrong.” ‘MEASURING JIM CROW’S NECK’ The ensuing court battle resembled less of a battle and more of a slow and arduous process with small victories beset by disappointment and setbacks at every turn. Her case against the OU Board of Regents was denied in Cleveland County District Court in July 1946 and denied the next April in the Oklahoma Supreme Court. Finally, it reached the highest court in the country. The U.S. Supreme Court agreed to review the case in January 1948. Sipuel Fisher recalls what this meant to her in her autobiography, “A Matter of Black and White.” “There it was,” she wrote. “We were measuring Jim Crow’s neck for the executioner’s noose. Deliberate and farsighted strategists, brilliant and impassioned litigators, obstinate and insensitive state policy makers, and a very angry plaintiff had come together in one place at one time to confront the nation’s highest tribunal with a lawsuit that tested the meaning of our nation’s constitution and the quality of its conscience.” By then, it had been more than two years since that day in her family’s living room when Sipuel Fisher had eagerly accepted a role in what she knew would be a long, expensive and bitter process. Lemuel was completing his second year at Howard University School of Law. His sister had yet to enroll. Finally, on Jan. 12, 1948,
the Supreme Court delivered a unanimous verdict, which Sipuel Fisher wrote felt like Christmas, New Year and the Fourth of July all wrapped up in one large, beautiful package. Ada Lois Sipuel Fisher was “entitled to secure legal education afforded by a state institution.” It didn’t take long for the initial jubilation and plans to enroll immediately at OU to be cut short. In a last-ditch effort to prevent Sipuel Fisher’s admission to the university, the state hastily set up Langston Law School with three attorneys serving as part-time staff. Straight-faced, the state claimed the new school was equal to OU Law. But the ploy worked, and just like that the case was cast back to where it began, in Cleveland County Court. Sipuel Fisher and her legal team would have to start all over. The disappointment was felt beyond those directly involved with the case. Demonstrations and rallies rocked the Norman campus, where students argued on both sides of the case. A university survey printed in The Daily immediately after the Supreme Court decision showed 43.6 percent of the student body supported Sipuel Fisher’s entry. One group presented 282 signatures to Cross asking that segregation be continued. Another group burned copies of the Constitution and the Bill of Rights in anger at the injustice being dealt by the university. Despite the state’s feeble attempts to bar Sipuel Fisher from OU, it was too late — the ball had already been set in motion. The NAACP refused to back down, sending six black students to apply to other graduate programs at OU. As a result of the verdict in Sipuel Fisher’s case, George
McLaurin was admitted to OU’s College of Education doctoral program in October 1948, as the university’s first black student. The sham law s chool quickly ran out of funds, and Cross finally put his foot down. Overstepping the state courts and Board of Regents, he ordered the admissions office to accept Fisher’s application. She enrolled the next day, June 18, 1949. LASTING LEGACY Each time Sipuel Fisher walked into a classroom in Monnet Hall on the North Oval where the law school was then housed, she made her way to the back where a single chair marked with a sign that said “Colored” sat behind a wooden rail. Sipuel Fisher, who started classes that summer, wrote in her autobiography that her classmates and teachers were generally fair and friendly, but the primary feeling during those three years was one of aloneness: “In all the time that I was there, I never quite escaped a feeling of isolation.” It’s now been nearly seven decades, and still, when Micah Mahdi sits in a classroom, hers is sometimes the only brown face in the room. Sitting surrounded by books and notebooks in a study room at the back of the law library, the third-year law student, president of the Ada Lois Sipuel Fisher Black Law Student Association and member of the college’s diversity council reflects on the legacy of the woman who made it possible for her to be where she is. “She paved the way for me to be in this building talking to you,” Mahdi said. Yet Mahdi is one of few who fully and intimately understand this legacy. This fall, 32 of the law school’s 899 students identified as African-American. In 2017,
that number was 11 out of 611 students — in each case, less than one-third of a percent. “I think it would be naive for anyone to say Ada Lois broke a proverbial color barrier and everything has been happy ever since,” Wattley said in regard to those numbers. Mahdi doesn’t remember first learning about Sipuel Fisher. It was in her constitutional law class during the first year of law school when they studied her case, she said, but it didn’t stand out to her at the time. She wonders if that says more about her as a student or the class itself. Because the case is not made to be a big deal — just one more reading amid a mountain that students skim or skip entirely — Mahdi guesses that more than half of the students at OU Law graduate without so much as knowing Sipuel Fisher’s name. That’s why BLSA is intent on highlighting the woman who forever changed the institution that educates Oklahoma’s lawyers. “We would like for students to come into this building — no matter what you look like — to know who she was and why she’s important and why we all should be thanking her,” Mahdi said. “Because diversity is not just something that’s valuable to black people, Hispanics, gay people, women — it’s valuable to everyone. Because you get the benefit of diversity of thought, you get the exposure to people who don’t look like you so that you can broaden your own ideas and your own view of the world.” Sipuel Fisher graduated in 1951 from OU Law. She
practiced as an attorney for several years before returning to Langston University as a professor and chair of the social sciences department. In 1992, she was appointed to the OU Board of Regents — the same governing body that had first rejected her admission. Today, wedged between two buildings and beneath the shade of several trees, the Ada Lois Sipuel Fisher garden sits just east of the North Oval, a bubbling fountain in its heart. A sign overlooking the peaceful sanctuary stands as a testament to the legendary story of Sipuel Fisher. “The precedents that her deeds established made this a different university, one where diversity is a source of strength. She made Oklahoma a better state,” the sign reads. “She made the United States a better nation.” It is a place students bustle past on their way to class, a place where newcomers admire the campus, a place anyone can go to sit alone with their thoughts. It’s a place, perhaps, where anyone can go to ponder the other question Wattley said she believes Sipuel Fisher’s story should inspire in people of all generations. “What is going to be your contribution?” Wattley said. “What is going to be that thing that requires you to be courageous, to speak out, to say ‘Something isn’t right’ — and to invest yourself in proving that that’s not right?” Anna Bauman
Learn more about Ada Lois Sipuel Fisher at projects.oudaily.com/ada-lois-sipuel-fisher, and check The Daily’s projects site throughout the week as we add more stories about trailblazing black women at OU.
November 26-28, 2018 •
Gallogly answers questions Student leaders talked recent issues with OU president JORDAN MILLER @jordanrmillerr
Student government leaders met with OU President James Gallogly on Nov. 5, discussing the details of the layoff of 50 university employees Nov. 1 and suggestions for improving communication in the future. The meeting, which had been planned before the layoffs, included SGA president Yaseen Shurbaji, SGA v i c e p re si d e nt Ha n na h Hardin, SGA president-elect Adran Gibbs, chair of the Undergraduate Student Congress Tom Cassidy, Campus Activities Council chair Evan Rabb and Graduate Student Senate chair Carrie Pavlowsky. Shurbaji said his administration initiated the meeting and Gibbs said he hopes to continue them monthly or bimonthly going forward. Shurbaji said the student leaders brought up the layoffs in the first place due to the student positions eliminated, but what they took issue with was notice of termination, Shurbaji said. “At the end of the day, layoffs are going to happen at this university, and there will be more layoffs ... That’s pretty much a guarantee, I think,” Shurbaji said. “That said, people should be given notice … when you don’t give people enough notice, they’re not able to appropriately adjust.” Gibbs said Gallogly told them construction increased the labor of the landscaping department, and since construction was over, that resulted in some of the terminations in that department. “He was able to lay it out in great detail about why the layoffs were necessary, just varied reasons,” Gibbs said. “It was very case-specific ...
PETER REILLY/THE DAILY
OU President James Gallogy speaks at an event Oct. 31. Gallogy met with student leaders to discuss layoffs, communication and other issues.
and (landscaping) was one of the examples that he gave us.” Cassidy said the meeting also discussed how SGA can be more involved with the administration in the future with important decisions like this. “We talked about how between SGA and the administration, how we can offer important student perspectives,” Cassidy said. “So, we talked about how we can be a resource to the administration when they’re making decisions.” The meeting was originally planned as a discussion about the state of affairs of student government, but the agenda was changed to go over questions SGA leaders had about the layoffs and their consequences, Shurbaji said. “It was really just asking for more information aside from the email that was sent out,” Gibbs said. “We just wanted a little more information about what had happened, and it turns out that this is
something that has been planned for a long time … It wasn’t anything sporadic.” Shurbaji said that although he “empathizes with staff ” and that they do deserve to have their voices heard, students and their interests are more his expertise, and the most important thing to him is that “students aren’t being affected.” “Student government leaders represent students first — not faculty and not staff,” Shurbaji said. “We are a community, in the sense that we should be working together. But at the end of the day from my standpoint, I do represent students — not faculty or staff.” Gibbs said he is optimistic that in the future Gallogly’s administration will include SGA in the discussions on directly student-related issues, like the termination of student positions and the closure of a student office. “It’s just gonna take some time for SGA to adjust and for the office of the president
to adjust to make sure that there’s a direct line of communication when it comes to large decisions that directly affect students,” Gibbs said. Shurbaji, Gibbs and Cassidy all agreed the layoff announcement had communication issues. “A lot of changes that are happening, whether they’re for the good or the bad … this is all a communication issue,” Shurbaji said. “The president’s office has had a tough time communicating their changes and their plans to the student body.” Cassidy said Gallogly was receptive to SGA’s request for more information to be released about decisions like these and how they fit into his future plan. “Rather than just hearing about offices closing on campus, understanding why those offices were closed,” Cassidy said. “Also understanding some of those hard truths, you know, the fact that layoffs are happening, kind of understanding the whole
picture of that … all of that helps students better understand what’s happening on campus.” Shurbaji also said he believed student leaders should have more awareness of situations like this prior to their announcement. “As a student leader, I shouldn’t have to find out about a termination of an office like everybody else in The Daily when it happens,” Shurbaji said. “I should know about these things before they happen as a student leader … so I can at least provide context in the event they were to be negatively harmful to students.” Cassidy said the student leaders also stressed “meaningful communication,” so decisions like these can be more of a “two-way street” in the future. “Students are important stakeholders on this campus,” Cassidy said. “We also want to be able to say, ‘Hey, these are things we’re hearing from students, this is something we can change on campus to improve the student experience, to improve OU,’ and then go back and forth with our proposals and hopefully leave the university a better place because of it.” Shurbaji said at one point during their meeting, Gallogly asked the student leaders to think on who they were representing: the university at large or the student body in the moment at large. “Our answer of course is the students always,” Shurbaji said. “That said, I don’t believe any issue is black and white … what students do affects the institution, and what the institution does affects students. For student leaders or the administration to either make it one or the other, that’s disadvantageous to everybody.” Jordan Miller
SGA president looks back on term Yaseen Shurbaji reflects on his successes, failures JORDAN MILLER @jordanrmillerr
S G A p r e s i d e n t- e l e c t Adran Gibbs and his vice president Prince OheneNyako will soon fill the offices of SGA president and vice president, ending the term of current leaders Yaseen Shurbaji and Hannah Hardin. O v e r t h e p a s t y e a r, Shurbaji and Hardin have helped improve and implemente programs like Trash 2 Treasure and Swipe to Share, which helped to donate appliances and leftover meal points. The administration also helped initiate university-wide changes, such as the inclusion of campus emergency instructions on syllabi and the creation of an anonymous mental health self-screening tool for the counseling center. “I think we’ve performed well,” Shurbaji said. “But this administration’s success is a product of many individuals working together, and our collective unit deserves the credit — not Hannah and myself as individuals.” Shurbaji said he believes their administration has differed from its predecessors’ by “not taking (themselves) seriously” to get more people involved in their cabinet who had never been involved with SGA before. “When we need to get quality work done, we are skilled enough to do that work, but we also recognize that SGA is very unapproachable to the average student,” Shurbaji said. “We have done our best to try and
break down the barriers, be a little bit funny … more approachable.” Shurbaji said their administration also improved the relationship with the international community. This year, OU President James Gallogly’s office cut funding for an annual effort to send around 100 international students to the homecoming football game for free, and the Shurbaji administration was able to get more than 70 student tickets to the game for a discounted rate for the group, Shurbaji said. “For the international students going to a football game, it’s a staple of our culture, it’s a way for them to really see what things are like here,” Shurbaji said. “Because we had a close relationship, we were able to, one, see that was a problem, but then two, address it very quickly.” C h a i r o f t h e Undergraduate Student Congress Tom Cassidy said he felt the Shurbaji administration has done a good job of incorporating more students in student government. “I think that they have involved communities in SGA that we haven’t seen involved in the past,” Cassidy said. “That’s going to be a great lasting impact of their administration.” The administration also had to deal with something only five other SGA presidents have before: a presidential transition. Shurbaji said his first step with the transition was reaching out to Scott Martin, former SGA president during the Boren transition and current president and CEO of the Norman Chamber of Commerce. “From day one, I made
sure to get my face in front of President Gallogly,” Shurbaji said. “I reiterated the importance of SGA and not just meeting with myself, but all of the SGA leaders and taking our entity seriously.” This new relationship was built through extensive communication, leading to SGA helping craft job descriptions of positions opened up over the summer and having input on the rate of tuition and fees, Shurbaji said. Cassidy said the administration has also helped organize monthly meetings of SGA leaders with Gallogly, which started in November. “These are things that have never been done by student government before,” Shurbaji said. “No doubt more work needs to be done because he is a different kind of leader, but we have undoubtedly taken the first steps towards a more productive relationship with that office.” Former SGA representative and current associate Elaina Fees said she thought Shurbaji’s relationship with Gallogly sometimes resulted in a loss of touch with students. “I think Yaseen personally himself has done a lot to bolster the administration and do whatever they need as far as getting their message across,” Fees said. “I think that often the will of the student body and even the will of … SGA in general have been lost in some of that.” Cassidy said he thought the relationship the administration developed with Gallogly has helped them advocate for student interests, and has helped the Undergraduate Student Congress to be “really productive this year.” “Regardless of
appearances, I know that Yaseen and Hannah are always thinking of the students first,” Cassidy said. “The relationship they’re helping to establish with Gallogly will ensure that SGA leaders, not just the president and vice president ... are able to bring their concerns directly to the people in power that are able to address those concerns.” Fees commended Shurbaji for declining a position on the vice president of Student Affairs search committee in October, when the Gallogly administration attempted to put him on the committee, which would have forgone the typical application process. “I think that was a good way to end his presidency,” Fees said. “I’m really grateful that he did that, because otherwise I don’t think many other people would have that much more nice things to say, because it’s been pretty complicated.” Although Shurbaji said he was proud of his and Hardin’s progress with the president’s office, he said the size of their platform meant they did not accomplish as much as they were hoping with some issues like transparency and inclusivity. “While we have had many successes, I also believe we have had failures that must be accounted for in the future,” Shurbaji said. “I am excited to see how the GibbsNyako administration will better engage the community and reach more communities than we were able to reach.” Fees said she felt a mistake the Shurbaji administration made was failing to appoint a new adviser to the Campus Climate Board of Advisors, where leaders of student organizations across campus
would discuss inclusivity with SGA members. The position has remained vacant for eight months, Fees said. “You have to keep your house in order,” Fees said. “If all the extra stuff doesn’t get done, I’m less upset about that, but I’m most upset that the Campus Climate Board of Advisors has all but dissolved.” Shurbaji said the biggest challenge his administration faced was managing the relationship between the university and the students, since they sometimes get context for decisions that the student body may not have. “It puts us in a difficult spot,” Shurbaji said. “We have to figure out how to voice student concerns to an administration who is thinking about issues that might not be fully aligned with the students’ interests … You represent the students, but in order to effectively represent them, you need to be able to effectively communicate their interests to the administration.” Although Fees said there were some problems with the Shurbaji administration, she also said they had a lot of good ideas in their extensive platform that they were just not able to accomplish, and acknowledged the presidency is a difficult job. “While I don’t think that their administration was up to the bar that they had set, I think that their expectations for themselves and their cabinet … was much, much, much too high,” Fees said. “No one can accomplish a 30-page document. It’s just not going to happen.” Jordan Miller
Kayla Branch Editor in Chief Anna Bauman News Managing Editor Julia Weinhoffer Engagement Editor George Stoia Sports Editor Siandhara Bonnet A&E Editor Will Conover Enterprise Editor Caitlyn Epes Visual Editor Emily McPherson Copy Manager Sarah Barney Print Editor
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VOL.103, NO. 69
© 2018 OU Publications Board FREE — Additional copies 25¢
â€˘ November 26-28, 2018
VIA SOONERTHON INSTAGRAM
Soonerthon raised $163,594 during Day of Miracles on Nov. 7. In recent years, Soonerthon has been the Childrenâ€™s Hospitalâ€™s largest donor.
Day of Miracles sees success Fundraiser aims higher leading up to Soonerthon 2019 BLAKE DOUGLAS @Blake_Doug918
Soonerthon, OUâ€™s annual 12-hour dance marathon, has already broken one of its fundraising goals after it kicked off its first event this month. Students gathered on the South Oval Nov. 7 with large letters spelling out its slogan â€” â€œFTK,â€? or For the Kids â€” for the Day of Miracles event that serves to build fundraising momentum ahead of the spring semester. Colt Bennett, finance and supply chain management junior and executive chair for Soonerthon 2019, said Day of Miracles has been Soonerthonâ€™s initial event for the past several
years. This yearâ€™s Soonerthon is already greatly exceeding expectations, said Clark Killion, finance and energy management senior and executive vice chair of Soonerthon 2019. â€œOur goal this year was to raise $135,000 in the 24-hour period, and we ended up raising around $163,000,â€? Killion said. â€œWe had a lot of participation on campus, a lot of generous sponsorships from all over the country. It was great to see.â€? In the past eight years, the dance marathon grew from raising $30,000 to eclipsing the $1 million mark last year, according to Soonerthonâ€™s page on OUâ€™s website. Soonerthon has helped Childrenâ€™s Hospital expand its mission to provide accessible and affordable care to children in Oklahoma and to research
treatments and cures for the conditions affecting patients, according to statistics provided by Linzy Hall, the dance marathon director for the Childrenâ€™s Hospital Foundation. S o o n e r t h o n â€™s s u b s t a n tial growth in recent years has made the event the Childrenâ€™s Hospitalâ€™s largest donor. Over the last year, with the help of more than $1 million from Soonerthon, Childrenâ€™s Hospital spent nearly $3 million to expand its research and education programs, and brought i n m o re t h a n $ 3 0 0 , 0 0 0 worth of equipment and a $400,000 DNA sequencer for more extensive research, among other programs and expansions, according to Hall. â€œ I can safely say that every year recently there have always been imp rov e m e nt s a c ro s s t h e board, and itâ€™s definitely
something that each chair every year has strived to continue,â€? Bennett said. Fa r f ro m S o o n e r t h o n being a simple resume filler and good experience in philanthropy, Killion said there was a personal motivation for his involvement. â€œI originally applied because my cousin Dalton was a patient in the hospital when he was younger,â€? Killion said. â€œI remember the family that he formed at the hospital, and I want to give that opportunity to other families around Oklahoma.â€? Bennett, who originally served as a liaison for the 37 families Soonerthon benefits, said last year was probably when he gained perspective on Soonerthonâ€™s impact. Bennett said it is pleasing to hear how grateful families are for the quality care they can receive close to home for their children,
HOROSCOPE By Eugenia Last
Copyright 2015, Newspaper Enterprise Assn.
my friendâ€™s got mental illness
MONDAY, NOVEMBER 26, 2018 ASTROGRAPH by Eugenia Last Use your intelligence to figure things out. Relying on what others tell you will be misleading. You must make life adjustments based on facts. A personal change will be rewarding if you follow your instincts and practice moderation. Make love a priority.
To a friend with mental illness, your caring and understanding greatly increases their chance of recovery. Visit whatadifference.samhsa.gov for more information. Mental Illness â€“ What a difference a friend makes.
SAGITTARIUS (Nov. 23-Dec. 21) -- Look at the big picture, but donâ€™t feel that you must do everything at once. You need to pace yourself to fit your budget, lifestyle and availability. CAPRICORN (Dec. 22-Jan. 19) -- You donâ€™t have to make a change just because someone else does. You may need to adjust your plans, but itâ€™s still best to do your own thing for your own benefit.
Monday - Very Easy Tuesday - Easy Wednesday - Easy Thursday - Medium Friday - Hard
Instructions: Fill in the grid so that every row, every column and every 3x3 box contains the digits 1 through 9. That means that no number is repeated in any row, column or box.
AQUARIUS (Jan. 20-Feb. 19) -- Look over contracts, investments and issues you want to adjust before the end of the year. Negotiate on your own behalf. A gift or reward is heading your way. PISCES (Feb. 20-March 20) -- Situations will escalate quickly. Donâ€™t give in to anger when intelligence is whatâ€™s required. A steady pace and a carefully considered plan are in your best interest. ARIES (March 21-April 19) -- Information will be revealed. Take caution when dealing with institutions or government agencies. Make sure all your personal documents are in order. Your feelings for someone will change due to an emotional incident.
TAURUS (April 20-May 20) -- Look for the path of least resistance. Remember whatâ€™s happened in the past and make decisions based on what you know and the experiences youâ€™ve undergone. GEMINI (May 21-June 20) -- Partnerships will need to be nurtured. It will be difficult to know where you stand given the dialogue you have with someone. Expect pertinent information to be left out. CANCER (June 21-July 22) -- Donâ€™t limit what you can do when you should be letting your creative imagination run wild. Explore the possibilities and discover what you are capable of doing. LEO (July 23-Aug. 22) -- Fill your day with enjoyable activities and people. A shopping spree or an event youâ€™ve been looking forward to will lift your spirits. VIRGO (Aug. 23-Sept. 22) -- Keep a close watch over domestic situations that have the potential to spin out of control. Someone may withhold information that would alter your feelings about something. LIBRA (Sept. 23-Oct. 23) -Emotional matters will cause you to question what someone is telling you or asking you to do. If a change is required, look inward and make self-improvements. Donâ€™t try to change others. SCORPIO (Oct. 24-Nov. 22) -Getting in touch with an old friend or relative and making plans for upcoming events will lead to travel plans or a conversation that could shape your next move.
especially in the case of unexpected emergencies. â€œThe doctors and nurses that work at the hospitals are like their second family,â€? Bennett said. â€œThey know them on a personal level, and the kids feel very comfortable going in there. I know that a lot of that is thanks to the work that weâ€™ve done over the years and the work that weâ€™re currently doing.â€? The familiesâ€™ appreciation of the students involved in Soonerthon is apparent at every event, Bennett said. Killion said having the kids and families look up to them is an incredible motivator. â€œThat feeling alone, knowing that what weâ€™re doing really is keeping a family together and giving them what they need, is enough to get you through an entire year of ups and downs with this organization,â€? Killion said.
As spring approaches, Bennett and Killion look to continue Soonerthonâ€™s recent success. â€œWe know that fundraising isnâ€™t something that is necessarily easy, it can be really scary, but weâ€™re really working this year to prove to campus that itâ€™s doable, that we can help them, and every dollar they raise and every event they go to is making a difference,â€? Bennett said. â€œQuite literally, they have the ability to save a life.â€? Blake Douglas
On Twitter? Stay connected.
@OUDaily @OUDailyArts @OUDailySports
Universal Crossword Edited by Timothy Parker November 26, 2018
ACROSS 1 ___-podge 6 Fancy hotel name 10 Big-time delivery grp. 14 Leek cousin 15 Balm target 16 Blueprint detail, in short 17 Time of the past 19 Bang-up rating 20 Not on the ship 21 Film â€œStoryâ€? of 1995 23 Accepted a nomination 24 Long land depression 27 Not obvious 29 Tangles 33 Four-string guitars, cut 34 Allude to 35 Molecule part 37 Leather punchers 40 Tomb relative 41 ___ de plume 42 â€œHeâ€™s ___ nowhere manâ€? 43 Healthy bean (var.) 44 Having left already 45 Make a carpet 46 Jewish temple 48 Concluded logically 11/26
50 It can be earned and gross 52 Like some captains 53 PC key 54 Household creature 56 Placed in hiding 61 Painted pitcher 63 Clutchworkerâ€™s option 66 Shepard on Mercury 67 Miles from attractive 68 Backspace, on a PC 69 Vegaâ€™s constellation 70 â€œItâ€™s never too ___â€? 71 Continue, as a subscription DOWN 1 Georgetown player 2 Aces, on occasion 3 Entree or its holder 4 ___ Jail (Monopoly downer) 5 Deprive of energy 6 Sunshine unit 7 Nonwarming winter coat 8 Word with â€œfancyâ€? 9 Like some games 10 Dos Passos trilogy
11 Athletic apparel 12 Type of colony or code 13 Thing shot on a lot 18 Where the cheaper seats are 22 ___ it up 25 Extensive grassy plain 26 Republic in Europe 28 Check holder 29 Dairy case staples 30 Detective Wolfe 31 Doesnâ€™t mingle 32 Tribe of Arizona (var.) 36 Warning signs 38 Wash up, old-style 39 Winter toy
42 Toward the windy side 44 Jubilant 47 â€œPlay ball!â€? announcer 49 Attachment to â€œsongâ€? 50 Model of perfection 51 Afresh 55 â€œI, Claudiusâ€? costume 57 Shrek, famously 58 Detach, as from a habit 59 Move delicately 60 One of the Barrymores 62 Genetic transmitter 64 Abbr. for the most extreme 65 It can be toast
PREVIOUS PREVIOUSPUZZLE PUZZLEANSWER ANSWER
11/25 ÂŠ 2018 Andrews McMeel Universal 11/19 ÂŠ 2018 Andrews McMeel Universal www.upuzzles.com www.upuzzles.com
REAR EAR By Timothy E. Parker
November 26-28, 2018 •
Siandhara Bonnet, a&e editor email@example.com • phone: 405-325-3666 oudaily.com/life&arts • Twitter: @OUDailyArts
Notes on local music festival OU alum discusses upcoming Norman Music Festival ALMA CIENSKI @almacienski
E d i t o r ’s n o t e : Jo s hu a Boydston refers to working at The Daily’s Life and Arts desk while at OU. The desk is now referred to as the arts & entertainment desk. Japanese Breakfast. Ra Ra Riot. Portugal. the Man. These three artists have headlined the annual weekend celebration of local and national music known as the Norman Music Festival, where people come from all areas of town to listen to new artists and current favorites. The man who booked these artists got into the music industry sort of by accident. Joshua Boydston, an alumnus of OU with a degree in psychology, is the associate director of the Norman Arts Council and a member of the Norman Music Alliance. Although he does not use much of his psychology degree, the opportunities that were given to him in college led him to his current job: planning the touring artists for Norman Music Festival, he said. The Daily sat down with Boydston to ask him about his job, what prepared him and what makes Norman Music Festival successful: Q: What was your major at OU? A: Psychology, so nothing that I wound up using in any direct sense. But while I was there, I worked at The Daily and my senior year, 2011 to 2012, I was the concert series chair (for OU’s Campus Activities Council), so that’s kinda how I got into booking
concerts. I immediately started working at Norman Arts Council right after I graduated, and the first couple years I worked independently, booked some smaller shows at Opolis and at Mainsite, which is where Norman Arts Council is housed. Eventually, they transitioned me into (Norman Music Festival) and I went from newbie to taking hold of the touring band part, which was pretty cool because it is something I never thought would happen. Q: What challenges have you faced when planning Norman Music Festival? A: Having a limited, non-profit budget is kind of a blessing and a curse because it makes you think outside the box a little bit, but also you don’t have a blank check to go and get whoever you want out there. It’s a very curated festival in the sense of we have an idea of who we want to showcase. We really do want to produce the best festival we can within the constraints we’re given. We’re active. Q: Are most of the headliners open to playing at such a small festival? A: Yeah, that’s a big part of it. We try to book bands that have never played in Oklahoma before. We can’t say who our headliners are until January, but two of the top three headliners have never played in Oklahoma before.
Q: What is the target audience for Norman Music Festival? A: It’s impossible to appeal to everyone, and I think we had to reconcile with that at some point. There were years where we tried to make it a festival for every single person, but it’s one of those things where you start to make it for everyone
Backstreet Boys on the road again Band comes back to play in Tulsa, Dallas on DNA tour ALMA CIENSKI @almacienski
“Backstreet’s back, all right,” and they are taking the BOK Center stage in Tulsa during their first world tour in 18 years. The DNA world tour comes with the release of the Backstreet Boys’ 10th studio album “DNA,” featuring songs written by Charli XCX, Andy Grammer and Stuart Crichton of DNCE. The album, which is
available on all streaming services, was announced after a video was released analyzing the band’s individual DNA profiles to see how their individual strengths came together to create the boy band. “We were able to bring all of our influences and styles into one coherent piece of work,” band member Kevin Richardson said in a press release. “These songs are a great representation of who we are as individuals and who we are as a group. It’s our DNA. We’re really proud of that.” The band has had a permanent show in Las Vegas for the past 14 months. After performing to sold-out crowds and adding numerous shows,
happens? A: We start brainstorming for the festival in late July and August, thinking about where we want to go with the lineup. By September, we start sending out offers. All confirmations happen early October. Then we have the open call and accept about 300 local bands in total. We’ll listen to all of those by January into February. What’s kind of nice then is it’s mostly just kind of set.
Q: What lessons have you learned planning Norman Music Festival that you wish you knew when you started? A: Making sure to be open to criticism and listening more. Some people might not fully understand our limitations VIA FACEBOOK OU alumnus and associate director of Norman Arts Council Joshua Boydston. Boydston is in — “Why can’t this band be bigger? Why can’t Father John charge of booking the artists performing at the Norman Music Festival. Misty headline?” Keep an and then it becomes for no wants to talk to him?” and no open mind and take it all in. one. Q: Who have been some of one was raising their hand. For us, the spirit of Norman your favorite artists you have I was just like, “OK. I’ll do it.” Q: If money were no object and you were to plan your is in the college town. We interviewed? Exposure therapy. think of it as a really adven- A: I really liked interviewing I can’t even imagine how own festival, what 10 artists turous place. We want it to be Mac DeMarco. He was really cringey my first interviews would you book? more diverse, both in terms of personable, super funny and were. I didn’t study at Gaylord A: 1. Frank Ocean the sound and the perform- at the time I don’t think me or (College of Journalism and 2. Kacey Musgraves ers. We don’t want it to just he knew he would be as big of Mass Communication) or 3. Kendrick Lamar look like a bunch of white a deal as he would become. journalism in a direct sense, 4. Tame Impala guys playing folk music — I was a gigantic fan of Twin but I had great editors, and 5. Incubus that’s not everything that’s Shadow and Washed Out, then I went to The Gazette 6. Beck going on in Oklahoma. We and interviewing them was a and interned there. I had a lot 7. Unknown Mortal want it to be as reflective of little daunting. Keri Lewis is of good guidance. Orchestra the community as possible. always just funny, and Barry 8. James Blake Manilow. So often I’ll inter- Q: What was your position 9. Flying Lotus Q: Who have been your fa- view these bands and my while at The Daily? 10. My 10th one is actually vorite acts you’ve booked? grandparents and uncles will A: I started off as a reporter A: The first band I ever be like, “Who are you even for about a year and then I on this lineup, so I’ll leave that booked was Natalie Prass and talking about?” and then it’s became the Life and Arts ed- as a mystery. I’m not saying I thought her performance like, “Oh yeah! We know Barry itor. I think I designed for one they’re the biggest band in the was great and I love both of Manilow!” day. I was in the last year of world, but it’s one I’ve loved her albums. editors who had to design our for a very long time. The year we had Thee Oh Q: What prepared you for own sections, which is funny Norman Music Festival Sees headline, they were your job? because primarily what I do great, but it was raining and A: I was deathly shy. I could now is a lot of design stuff. is free and open to the pubkind of miserable in a sense, warm up to people, but it was If I hadn’t done The Daily, I lic and will be April 25-27 in but it was also super fun. The hard for me to talk to strang- wouldn’t have the job I have downtown Norman. crowd that was there was ers. In the very first meeting now. fully there because they loved (at The Daily), I volunteered music. Last year was probably for Morgan Spurlock coming Q: How does your schedAlma Cienski firstname.lastname@example.org my favorite lineup to date; it here, the “Super Size Me” guy, ule differ from fall to spring, was very serendipitous. and the editor was like, “Who when Norman Music Festival
the band’s show “Backstreet Boys: Larger Than Life” will close April 27. “Vegas has been amazing and these next set of dates are going to be a party,” band member Howie Dorough said in a press release. “It’s time for us to visit our fans all over the world.” The DNA world tour kicks off in Portugal on May 11, 2019, and ends on Sept. 15, 2019, in New Jersey. Tickets are on sale now. A physical copy of the album is included with every ticket purchased for a North American show. “So quit playing games” and get a ticket to see the Backstreet Boys nearby in Tulsa on Wednesday, Aug. 28, or in Dallas on Sunday, Sept. 1. Alma Cienski
VIA WIKIMEDIA COMMONS
The Backstreet Boys announced their new tour and will appear in Tulsa and Dallas in 2019.
Interactive new app to showcase museum art Fred Jones Jr. Museum of Art incorporates tech SAM TONKINS
T h e F r e d J o n e s J r. Museum of Art has launched an app that lets visitors take audio self-guided tours. The app is a guide to the museum that provides a map of the galleries and information about different pieces of art. Kaylee Kain, director of communication for the museum, said the app was
released earlier this year and includes audio tours of the museum that discuss certain topics, like the outdoor sculptures. According to the Apple App Store, the app was released in February 2018. Visitors can also listen to the tours to learn more about specific pieces, including Van Gogh’s “Portrait of Alexander Reid.” The app currently offers six different tours of the museum and more are being added each month. “I think it’ll be a new way for visitors of the museum and of the university to understand just how broad of a collection we have here,” Kain said. “I mean, it’s an
over-20,000 object collection now, and this is an opportunity for visitors to engage with the artwork in and outside the museum.” Kain also said the app is another way to bring new people into the museum. “It’s just another way, and hopefully, a better way for us to get our name out there,” Kain said. The app is available on the Apple App Store. The app is not currently available for Android users. Sam Tonkins
• November 26-28, 2018
George Stoia, sports editor email@example.com • phone: 405-325-3666 oudaily.com/sports • Twitter: @OUDailySports
Defense improves in week 13
Special team was lackluster; offense shone on Saturday PARKER PRIMROSE @parker_primrose
In a shootout defined by big plays and timely defense, then-No. 6 Oklahoma (11-1, 8-1 Big 12) emerged victorious against then-No. 13 West Virginia (8-3, 6-3 Big 12), 59-56. Here’s how the Sooners stacked up in week 13: OFFENSE: AOklahoma’s offensive juggernaut shined against the Mountaineers, racking up 668 total yards and 45 points. Leading the charge w a s a n o t h e r He i s ma n esque performance from redshirt junior quarterback Kyler Murray, as he accounted for 478 total yards and four touchdowns. Murray’s connection in the passing attack with junior wide receiver Marquise Brown was especially potent, as Brown finished with 243 receiving yards and two touchdowns
Oklahoma defense gave up more yardage than its own offense was able to put up, as West Virginia finished with 704 total yards. The main culprit was the Sooner secondary, as Mountaineer quarterback Will Grier finishe d w ith 539 passing yards and four touchdowns. The quarterback completed 65 percent of his passes and was able to spread the ball around, as two different Mountaineer receivers finished with more than 100 yards and two touchdowns. Critical downs were also an issue for Oklahoma, as West Virginia converted 12 of 18 third-down attempts and two of three fourth-down attempts. The Sooners gave up 215 yards before getting their first stop and gave up eight touchdowns compared to five stops. The saving grace for the Sooners was their ability to come up with two huge turnovers, as the defense forced two Grier fumbles and returned both of them for touchdowns. In a game defined by offense, those DEFENSE: C I n a r a r e f e a t , t h e two defensive plays were
while flashing his tantalizing speed and playmaking ability. Complementing the Sooners’ passing attack was a strong performance on the ground, as the team totaled 304 rushing yards at 8 yards per carry. Redshirt freshman Kennedy Brooks continued to carry a majority of the load, tallying 21 carries and rushing for 182 yards and one touchdown. Murray also showed off his speed and elusiveness on the ground, as he broke for a 55-yard touchdown run in the first quarter and finished with 114 rushing yards. The only blemish on the unit’s performance was Murray’s two turnovers, as the quarterback fumbled in the second quarter and threw a red zone interception in the third quarter. The Sooners have turned the ball over four times in the last two weeks, which is something they’ll want to address if they hope to claim their fourth consecutive Big 12 title.
CAITLYN EPES/THE DAILY
OU coach Lincoln Riley high-fives redshirt junior quarterback Kyler Murray after a touchdown in the game against West Virginia Nov. 23. The Sooners emerged victorious due to big plays and timely defensive stops.
enough to seal the win. SPECIAL TEAMS: B+ S e n i o r k i c k e r Au s t i n Seibert was perfect on the night, making all eight of his extra point attempts as well as his only field goal atte mp t. Hi s o n ly pu nt
went for 45 yards and rolled into the end zone for a touchback. O k l a h o ma g e n e rat e d little excitement in the return game, as six Sooner dr ives star te d at or inside the 20-yard line after a Mountaine er kickoff.
Additionally, sophomore CeeDee Lamb fielded the Mountaineers’ only returnable punt for a 4-yard gain. Parker Primrose
‘We did it’: What Riley said after OU’s win Oklahoma coach talks play-calling, defense struggles CALEB MCCOURRY @CalebMac21
Then-No. 6 Oklahoma (11-1, 8-1 Big 12) overcame then-No. 13 West Virginia Mountaineers 59-56. With this win, the Sooners take a spot in the Big 12 Championship game against No. 9 Texas while also keeping their playoff hopes alive. Here’s what head coach Lincoln Riley had to say.
CAITLYN EPES/THE DAILY
OU coach Lincoln Riley watches players warm up before the game against West Virginia Nov. 23. Riley talked about struggles with OU’s secondary after the win.
PLAYOFF: Continued from page 1
Riley said. “Kyler trusting in a guy to make a play. A lot of times that’s what these games come down to: your best players … It was an elite throw and even better catch.” Oklahoma’s offense was once again spectacular Friday night, totaling for 668 yards and 45 points. With maybe the most dynamic weapon in college football in Murray, and the tools around him like Brown, Oklahoma’s offense will always keep the Sooners in the game — no matter the opponent. They know they have to be near perfect every possession, and they’re OK with that. “Once our defense, if they give up a score, we just take pride in going down and answering,” Brown said, who caught 11 passes for 243 yards and two touchdowns. “The defense came out and made a lot of stops and sometimes we didn’t make plays. I’m glad we played together and never gave up. “Every game isn’t going to be easy. But we find a way to win.” FOURTH QUARTER (10:14) With the Sooners leading 52-49, redshirt linebacker
Curtis Bolton lined up left of s ophomore Kenneth Murray. Senior defensive end Kenneth Mann got around the left tackle, hitting Grier as he let go of the ball. Grier fumbled it left, it squirted back out right and Bolton picked it up and returned it 48 yards for a score — Oklahoma defense’s second of the night. “They were liking that little flare to the running back, so I was making sure he didn’t throw that,” Bolton said. “I look up and the ball is on the ground, so I just picked it up and tried to get to the end zone.” Bolton’s play put the game out of reach. To repeat: The defense, that ranked 87th in total defense entering the game, came up with the play to win the game. In a game in which everyone expected Oklahoma’s defense to crumble, it did exactly that (giving up 702 total yards) while also making maybe the two biggest plays of the season. “We’re not happy with the way we played, but we’re doing things better,” Bolton said. “The emphasis was to get more turnovers. Not only did we have two turnovers, we had two touchdowns off that tonight … I’m never going to be disappointed in a ‘W.’” The Sooner defense still has plenty of issues — giving up 539 yards through the air is never a good thing — but Oklahoma continues to be
just good enough to escape. And right now, with this offense, that’s all it needs to be. “With all the adversity and stuff we faced, we found a way today,” junior corner Parnell Motley said. “We found a way to push through things… Our backs were against the wall, but we found a way, man.”
OPENING STATEMENT “What a college football game,” Riley said. “I think it lived up to the billing without a doubt. I give a lot of credit to Coach (Dana) Holgorsen and this team. It’s a really, really good football team we just beat. People that maybe haven’t played this game or (haven’t) been a part of it, I think a
lot of times don’t realize how hard it is to beat a really good team on their senior night. It just always adds something extra you have to overcome. We did it. We found a way.” SECONDARY DEPTH STRUGGLES The Oklahoma secondary was shaky. Multiple pass interference calls hurt the Sooners, and there was one instance where freshman safety Delarrin Turner-Yell let a pass fall right through his hands that could’ve easily been an interception. The Mountaineers ended up scoring on the drive. Oklahoma’s secondary is still full of young players just getting started in their careers. Big games like these are learning experiences for the freshmen. “I thought our lack of secondary depth showed a little bit tonight ... It was probably the worst week of the year to have some of those guys out with how good West Virginia
is in the throw game,” Riley said. “Will (Grier) is so good. Those receivers are big-time players. But we found a way.” RILEY’S PLAY-CALLING With two minutes left in the fourth quarter, Riley found himself at fourth-and-5 while up 59-56. Two minutes is a lot of time to give Will Grier and the Mountaineers, so Riley chose to go for it. Murray completed an 8-yard pass to wide receiver CeeDee Lamb for the first down. “I just felt like it was the right thing to do,” Riley said. “There was enough time and with us having three timeouts, just the way the game’s going I just didn’t want to give them the ball back, and I felt like we had a great chance to get it. And I was also thinking ‘Well, if for some reason we don’t get it, we’ve got some timeouts to use.’” Caleb McCourry
he has the best offense in the have to be perfect, not when the wire, they have a chance country and continues to the defense scores two to make a statement in touchdowns. There aren’t Arlington. show it off to the world. “Just to fight, scratch and “Coach Riley had the trust many teams that can beat in me, trust in the guys to Oklahoma when it scores two crawl to get back to this point, go for it and win the game,” defensive touchdowns, and to be sitting here at 11-1, beatbecause of that, it has all its ing that really good team here Murray said. “And we did.” on senior night — what more Riley’s offense wasn’t per- season’s goals in front of it. Just over a month ago, could you ask for?” Riley said. fect Friday night. The Sooners struggled to put the game Oklahoma looked lost walk- “Sky’s the limit for this team.” away in the second and third ing off the field at the Cotton F O U R T H Q U A R T E R quarters, as Murray turned Bowl. Now, while the Sooners (2:10) still look lost at times and George Stoia the ball over twice. Oklahoma needed 5 yards firstname.lastname@example.org But the offense doesn’t continue to take games to to seal the victory and Riley had a decision to make: Go for it or punt. “I just felt like it was the right thing to do,” Riley said. “There was enough time and with us having three timeouts, just the way the game’s going, I just didn’t want to give them the ball back and I felt like we had a great chance to get it. And I was also thinking, ‘Well, if for some reason we don’t get it, we’ve got some timeouts to use.’” Riley decided to roll the dice with his Heisman candidate and No. 1-ranked offense. Murray sat in the pocket with plenty time, scanning the field until he found an open CeeDee Lamb on a curl route for 8 yards. First down, game over. College Football Playoff hopes still alive. That’s what makes Riley one of the best playcallers in the country: his trust in his CAITLYN EPES/THE DAILY players. He trusted Murray to The Sooners celebrate after redshirt senior linebacker Curtis Bolton recovered the fumble and make that throw and Lamb to scored a touchdown in the game against West Virginia Nov. 23. The Sooners remain in College make that catch. He knows Football Playoff contention with a big win over West Virginia.