Oklahoma’sLegislatureisworking to reign in a leading industry that many view as a black eye for the state: puppy mills. Page 3.
Media & Culture
Are commercials dumbing down society? Page 5.
students voice since 1903.
PHOENIX — Arizona’s new law cracking down on illegal immigrants raises thorny legal questions and sets up a possible clash with Washington overenforcement.Opponents are certain to argue that the law violates people’s constitutional rights and encroaches on the federal government’s authority to regulate immigration. OKLAHOMA CITY — A showdown between Oklahoma’s Democratic governor and the GOP-controlled Legislature is expected to play out this week after Henry vetoed two abortion bills. Gov. Brad Henry vetoed both measures on Friday, and Republican leaders quickly vowed to attempt an override, which would be the first such attempt this year. WASHINGTON — The Supreme Court will decide whether free speech rights are more important than helping parents keep inappropriately violent material away from their children when it weighs whether to reinstate California’s ban on the sale or rental of violent video games to minors. JERUSALEM — Israel’s prime minister imposes a de facto freeze on new Jewish construction in disputed east Jerusalem, reflecting his need to mend a serious rift with the U.S. over building plans. The move, which comes despite Benjamin Netanyahu’s public declarations to the contrary, is likely to enrage hardline supporters and advance Mideast peace efforts.
H 69° L 45°
TOMORROW H 76° L62°
DID YOU KNOW? The continental United State receives enough average annual precipitation to cover its land area to a depth of about 30 inches. This much water weighs almost 6.6 billion tons.
Three former UCO football players sign contracts with an NFL team. Page 8.
APR 27,2010 uco360.com twitter.com/uco360
UNIVERSITY OF CENTRAL O K L A H O M A’ S
FROM THE ASSOCIATED PRESS
TEACHING AND SAVING KIDS By Larry Clore/ Contributing Writer & Tiffany Brown / Staff Writer Living in a single-parent home, where a mother is consistently absent because she works two jobs, is a situation many individuals in Oklahoma find themselves in. Finding it hard to make ends meet while on welfare is a struggle many parents living in areas some call ghettos face. This is also the reality many young children witness every day. While some are able to find productive ways to cope with the absence of parents and/ or basic necessities in the home, others turn to the streets. Many at-risk youth join gangs with the hope of earning fast many, being loved and accepted, and gaining a feeling of superiority and invincibility. However, the real consequences of joining a gang often result in death or prison. At the University of Central Oklahoma, students and faculty are getting involved in low-income communities in Oklahoma to reduce gang violence. Dr. Kole Kleeman, a professor in the Department of Mass Communication, has launched a multi-year study dealing with gang activity in Oklahoma City. Kleeman first heard of Rev. Theodis Manning when Manning spoke about gangs to criminal justice students at the Pegasus Theater. Kleeman and Mark Brennaman, who is also a professor at UCO, have been working with an organization called Teaching and Saving Kids. TASK was started by Andre Jones, a former gang member, and Manning. In between Murder One and Panic Zone, two neighborhoods known for their past gang activity in Midwest City, many at-risk youth find themselves at Divine Wisdom Worship Center, where TASK is headquartered and where Manning is the pastor. TASK was formed, in part, for teaching at-risk youth and giving them positive activities to keep them out of trouble. According to Kleeman, the organization is comprised of 17 former gang members from Crips, Bloods and Locos. After hearing about at-risk youth who were in
A P P H O T O BY R E E D S A XO N
Can theThender beat the Lakers? Page 2.
On Oct. 8, 2009, participants take a moment for prayer at a training meeting of the Professional Crisis Survival Training Institute in Los Angeles. Similar progams have been started in Oklahoma.
need of assistance, students from Kleeman’s Race, Violence, Youth and Media course made the decision to get involved. Ipek Gurer, Jordan Lofland and Emily Hood spent time at the Divine Wisdom Worship Center helping at-risk youth. Hood recently visited Divine Wisdom Worship Center on April 13. “I tutored a third-grade little boy, who was very well-mannered and very polite,” Hood said. “I helped him memorize his multiplication tables. “I also got to speak with Rev. Manning’s daughter. .. She was very sweet and we talked about college and her future plans to attend UCO,” she said. Hood spoke about how she could assist at-risk youth during her time at Divine Wisdom Worship Center. “During my visit, I felt like I could really help the children, not only in an educational way, but also in life,” Hood said. “All it takes is a little time to give them the attention they seek, reassurance and a sense of knowing that someone really cares.” At the Divine Wisdom Worship Center, former
gang members also serve as mentors to keep younger children off the streets. “I think the most disturbing thing for me was to hear some children couldn’t be reached,” Kleeman said. “By the age of 17 they’re so far gone that if you try to intervene you risk being shot or [killed].” I have heard this from the district attorney, former gangs and Pastor Manning who tutors children, Kleeman said. Every gang member has his/her own reasons for joining a gang. Often gang activity is contributed to economic hardships. “Gangs form to make money,” Kleeman said. “It’s a rational approach, but the irrational element is wanting to kill for it.” Many times gang members are sent to prison due to gang activity. When released, some individuals find it hard to rejoin their communities. TASK also helps reintegrate former gang members back into society. The organization provides support for those ready to leave a past where
Continued on page 5
ALUMNI RELATIONS TO GIVE AWARDS By Jenefar De Leon / Staff Writer University of Central Oklahoma’s Alumni Relations office is seeking nominations for both the 2010 Distinguished Alumni Award and the 2010 Family of the Year Award. The Alumni Award honors UCO graduates and formers students who have distinguished themselves as leaders and innovators in their careers and in the community. UCO’s Alumni Association is geared toward strengthening relationships with current students, faculty, staff and alumni throughout the years by providing up-to-date information of campus activities and continuing with the communication among all groups. This will be the first year the award will be titled as the Distinguished Alumni Award. Previously it was known as the Distinguished Former Student Award. The categories are based on professionalism, community service and university service. In the professionalism aspect, the nominee must have the following: made impact in his/her field, made achievements, recognition of his/ her work, done service, degrees earned and/or a completed publica-
PH OTO BY G AR E T T FISB ECK
Alumni Relations is seeking to reward accomplished alumni. Megan Rountree, manager of Alumni Relations and Events, discusses the type of individuals Alumni Relations is seeking to honor.
tion or research. In the community criteria, the nominee will be evaluated on leadership skills and contribution of time, effort and enthusiasm to improve the quality of life for others – that. commitment above the desire for personal gain. “We want someone who excels in their profession who went out to
the world in their business field and have excelled professionally and in their community,” Megan Rountree, manager of Alumni Relations and Events, said. The university service criteria are also based on the nominee’s loyalty to the university through volunteerism, participation in campus activities and the promotion of Central.
“We want the nominees to exhibit being a true Broncho,” Rountree said. The UCO Alumni Association also sponsors the Family of theYear award, which is given annually to a family who has a long line of members who have attended and/or graduated from Central and continue to stay involved with the university after that. Rountree said previous recipients have had more than 10 members of their families at UCO, building strong roots in Central. Last year’s Family of the Year award winner had 12 people in the family who attended Central. The year before the family had 17. “I think it’s fantastic,” she said. “It is what makes Central unique.” There have been recipients who have made lives for themselves in Edmond, and their children now attend Central, continuing the tradition. Rountree said families that are nominated have built roots in Central and have long histories of loyalty and support to the university. Recipients will be honored during Homecoming at the annual Distinguished Alumni Award Luncheon on Friday, Oct. 15. The deadline for nominations is May 21.
APRIL 27, 2010
THE VISTA 100 North University Drive Edmond, OK 73034 (405)974-5549 email@example.com
The Vista is published as a newspaper and public forum by UCO students, semi-weekly during the academic year except exam and holiday periods, and only on Wednesdays during the summer, at the University of Central Oklahoma. The issue price is free for the first copy and $1 for each additional copy obtained. EDITORIALS Opinion columns, editorial cartoons, reviews and commentaries represent the views of the writer or artist and not necessarily the views of The Vista Editorial Board, the Department of Mass Communication, UCO or the Board of Regents of Oklahoma Colleges. The Vista is not an official medium of expression for the Regents or UCO. LETTERS The Vista encourages letters to the editor. Letters should address issues and ideas, not personalities. Letters must be typed, double-spaced, with a maximum of 150 words, and must include the author’s printed name, title, major, classification and phone number. Letters are subject to editing for libel, clarity and space, or to eliminate statements of questionable taste. The Vista reserves the right not to publish submitted letters.
Kory Oswald, Editor-In-Chief Elina Golshani, Copy Editor Chris Wescott, Sports Editor Bill Southaid Web Editor
Tiffany Brown, Senior Staff Writer Jenefar De Leon, Staff Writer Ryan Costello, Staff Writer Jack Chancey, Staff Writer Rahul Preeth, Staff Writer Prashanti Ganesh, Staff Writer Harish Murali, Staff Writer Anuj Srivas, Staff Writer
Advertising Brittany Koster
Photography Garett Fisbeck
Mr. Teddy Burch
Editorial Comic Prakriti Adhikari
AdministrativeAssistant Tresa Berlemann
Correction: On April 20, an article titled “New UCOSA President Elected” appered on the front page of The Vista.
Address letters to: Editor, The Vista, 100 N. University Dr., Edmond, OK 730345209, or deliver in person to the editor in the Communications Building, Room 131. Letters can be e-mailed to firstname.lastname@example.org.
By Prakriti Adhikari / Cartoonist
Do you think the Thunder will win the series? Why or why not?
In this article, Matt Blubaugh was misquoted. The Vista staff would like to apologize to Blubaugh and the members of UCOSA for any grief that may have been caused by our mistakes. The corrected version is available at UCO360. com. The Vista is committed to providing UCO’s community with accurate and truthful information. “I think they will win. They’re the Thunder. That’s why.”
We strive to uphold the standards of excellence many newspapers around the nation adhere to. Nevertheless, we are a student newspaper, and at times mistakes are made. It is from these mistakes that we learn.
“No. I want the Lakers to win because they are my favorite team.”
“I think they will. Even though they are a young team, they have the fans to back them up.”
Do you think the Thunder will win the series? Why or why not?
Let us know at twitter.com/uco360.
“I don’t know enough about basketball, but I will have to say no, because they are a new team.”
“No, because they play the seventh game in LA. They can’t win in LA.”
“Yes, because they have all the momentum going for them.”
APRIL 27, 2010
LEGISLATION MAY IMPROVE DOGS’ DAYS Oklahoma’s Legislature is working to reign in a leading industry that many view as a black eye for the state. Oklahoma is currently the second leading state in the exportation of dogs, trailing behind Missouri. While the breeding of dogs is not inherently bad, many breeders operate what has come to be known as “puppy mills” or commercial facilities that focus on the volume of puppies and not the quality of life for breeding dogs. Heather Yee, a University of Central Oklahoma student, saved one such dog from the deplorable conditions it lived and bred in. “I was looking through the classifieds for a Westie, and found one on a dog rescue website that had been a breeder at a puppy mill,” Yee said. “Her health was terrible at best, and I remember thinking how sad her condition was, which is what ultimately led me to adopt her and give her a loving home.” To get the dog, Yee had to go through a lengthy application process which included giving references and showing she had a yard big enough for the dog to roam. Oklahoma is rife with cases like Yee’s. State Legislature has recognized the problem and has passed Senate Bill 1712, authored by Sen. Patrick Anderson, R-Enid, which creates a law called the“commercial pet breeding act.” The bill will create a board to establish minimum requirements for maintenance of facilities, inspection of sites, and govern licensing of breeders. It will also require breeders to hold a license. The bill will only affect people with 11 or more breeding dogs. Anderson told the Senate Appropriations Committee the bill was important because Oklahoma is the second largest dog producing state in the Union. “This is a big industry, and it puts Oklahoma in a negative spotlight,” Anderson said.
According to The Oklahoman, Rep. Lee Denney said the Oklahoma dog and cat breeding industry brings in $30 million dollars in annual sales. Estimates show there are currently 700 breeders that meet humane standards while there are approximately 2,100 breeders who fall below accepted standards, Denney said. Judy Zeller, a breeder of Labradoodles, is worried the bill might affect her in a bad way. “I know that puppy mills need to be stopped, but I think this bill misses the mark in taking care of the problem,” Zeller said. Breeders such as Zeller claim they are hobby breeders and are not in it for just for the money. Zeller believes only stronger animal cruelty laws are needed and need to be enforced. Sen. Jay Gumm, told The Oklahoman it could make legitimate breeders suffer by piling on regulations. “The terrible puppy mills deep in the sticks are already breaking the law; this might get the good guys out of the game, too,” Gumm said. Currently there are no laws on the books regulating breeders. Oklahoma and Arkansas are the only states in the region without laws regulating breeding. Buying a puppy at a pet store is no guarantee the dog came from a good background. Breeders who sell to pet stores are licensed with the United States Department of Agriculture, though those selling to individuals are not required to obtain any licensing. Under a similar bill in the House of Representatives, Denney said responsible breeders would seek a license. “People who are recipients of these puppies have gotten so many bad puppies in the past they’ll look for people that are willing to have their place inspected and then they’ll know State law makers are attempting to eliminate puppy mills that they’re receiving a puppy from a certified breeder here with Senate Bill 1712. Oklahoma and Arkansas are the only in Oklahoma,” Denney told The Oklahoman. “I think it will states in the region that do not regulate dog breeding. carry some weight.” PH OTO BY G AR E T T FISB ECK
By Jack Chancey / Staff Writer
SENIORS HARMONIZE WITH POTENTIAL EMPLOYERS
Eleven graphic design seniors have the opportunity to connect with potential employers through their exhibit, “Design Harmony, 11 New Designers Searching for a Match.”
By Jenefar De Leon / Staff Writer University of Central Oklahoma graphic design seniors hope to get the perfect match to potential employers when they display their portfolios Thursday at City Arts
Center. The exhibit, titled “Design Harmony, 11 New Designers Searching for a Match,” will be open 6-9 p.m. April 29 at City Arts Center on 3000 General Pershing Blvd. in Oklahoma City.
The exhibit is a takeoff on the name of the popular dating website, eHarmony, where individuals put personal information in hopes of finding a match. Department of Design Chair, Larry Hefner, said the students from the Graphic Design Practice class were responsible for promoting their senior exhibit. The students are in charge of coming up with the concept and getting the word out to the public and those professionals who they hope will be the perfect matches for them. All 11 students will be provided with a wall to display their work, which includes a package design, corporate identity projects, print illustration and magazine design. Hefner said the senior exhibit is an opportunity for those 11 students to network with professionals. It is absolutely timely, and the title is humorous at the same time, he said. He continued saying the concept is unique, fun and chic. Hefner said part of the Graphic Design Practice class is geared to prep its students to go out to the work force of their field. Senior graphic design major, Adam LeNaire, said he is excited for the event and at the same time ready for it to be over. “This is a fun way to kick off the end of the semester,” he said.
LeNaire is one of the 11 students who will be participating at the event. He said the entire group has worked hard throughout the semester for this one night. “We wanted to make this event humorous,” he said. “We didn’t want the idea to be too serious entirely.” Central’s Graphic Design Program sponsored the event. LeNaire said this gives those participants the last chance to show their work to potential employees. This gives the employer the opportunity to speak with a variety of students and see the potential of them as employees. Hefner said in previous senior exhibits, students have been hired. LeNaire hopes to work in print medium. Families, friends and guests are welcome, but the students hope professionals from all across Oklahoma will be able to attend the night. Students will promote their designs geared to the firms they hope to work for. Some are showing illustration and other mediums geared toward print like LeNaire. City Arts Center hours are 9 a.m.-10 p.m., Monday through Thursday, and 9 a.m.-5 p.m., Friday and Saturday. The exhibition will run through May 22.
V Do the right thing. Recycle this issue of The Vista, Go Green!
APRIL 27, 2010
Media & Culture
Mentoring continued from page 1
ARE TELEVISION COMMERCIALS DUMBING DOWN SOCIETY?
PH OTO BY G AR E T T FISB ECK
Advertisers attempt to subvert common sense and logical thinking by placing their products into our psyches with pithy catch phrases and soothing straight talk, but are we buying it? By Ryan Costello / Staff Writer “Two things are infinite: the universe and human stupidity; and I’m not sure about the universe.” When the German physicist, Albert Einstein, spoke these words, he may have had no idea to what extent they were the truth. In the 21st century, as the world constantly advances, we do what we can to keep up. In many cases, that means listening to a voice of reason, more and more that voice is coming from the speakers in the television set. That voice, in an infinite number of tones and inflections, makes most of the difficult decisions for us. What to eat, what to wear, how to speak, and most prevalent: what to buy. As ad campaigns prod through focus groups and polls, they jockey to find the best way to grab the attention of the consumer. These days, one common thread seems to stream through a majority of commercials: the common knowledge that knowledge is fast becoming uncommon. The latest Toyota ad features the soothing tones of a straight-talking man’s voice. “Just know, your safety will continue to be a top priority in any and all of our decisions,” the narrator insisted. It begs the question, however, whether the safety of the consumer market was a top priority in the car company’s decision to sit on information their “sticky pedals” could be a hazard to drivers. On April 18, the Japanese Toyota company agreed to pay $16.4 million in trade penalties for withholding the knowledge … for more than four months. While the Toyota commercial is banking on the American public to skip the research and take its word on blind faith, a recent ad for Kentucky Fried Chicken, better known as KFC, practically commands it.
“We are emotional beings. It’s part of the human experience.Wejustneedto balancethatwithahealthy skepticism.” While hawking the new chicken “Double Down” sandwich, which the ad says is “so meaty, there’s no room for the bun,” KFC offers the healthy alternative, the grilled version of its newest
I’m loving your money!
Making a difference?
KFC Don’t think.
creation. The ad fails to mention the grilled chicken Double Down has the second highest amount of sodium on the menu according to nutritional facts on the company website. The slogan appears on the screen as if to seal the deal. “Unthink” the chicken giant says, and we all comply. It’s difficult to indict the architects of a successful ad campaign that simply speaks to the consumer’s wants. According to Dr. Mark Hanebutt, a professor of journalism in the mass communicationdepartment at UCO, perhaps the ones listening should pay better attention. “We live in a society where we’ve learned to manipulate emotions effectively,” Hanebutt said. Hanebutt finds that those fully bared emotions are used by ad managers and the like, but not for any nefarious purpose. They’re simply targets for effective advertising, nothing more, nothing less. “I think they’ve gotten more adept at tuning into our emotional side. If you look at [advertisements] from the 1930s, they gave you logical reasoning.” The sweeping urge to be told how to live, Hanebutt said, is that we want things to be easy. But, as the professor said, life isn’t easy. “We all do it,” Hanebutt said. “We live in a society ... that’s more attuned to feel good … that likes to be indulged.” Unfortunately, in all our indulgences, what gets lost in the shuffle is putting in the work for ourselves. There is no imminent threat to humanity in the simple search for ease and happiness, only perhaps an underlying need to think before we eat, before we speak, and before we buy. “We are emotional beings. It’s part of the human experience,” Hanebutt said. “We just need to balance that with a healthy skepticism.”
HUMAN RESOURCES OFFERS ICE CREAM, COMMUNITY PROJECTS By Racheal Williams / Contributing Writer Hiring, firing, recruiting, internal communications – if your major could include any of these, you can’t afford to ignore the student Human Resources Society. On Thursday, April 29, the Human Resources Society will host an ice cream social in the university Commons Club House at 3 p.m. “We’ll have elections, membership sign-up for next year, and handing out senior medals,”Stephanie Atchley, president of the Human Resources Society, said. According to Atchley, she has been president for half a semester, but she ran last year also. The goal of University of Central Oklahoma’s Human Resources Society is multifaceted, but its main purpose is to educate individuals about human resources, Atchley said. The group also reaches out in community projects like volunteering for Habitat for Humanity at least once a semester. “We try to do it as much as we can,” Atchley said. “Always something going on.” This semester, however, weather often prohibited such volunteering. The Human Resources Society meets once or twice a month, usually around 3:30 p.m. to accommodate classes that end at 3:15 p.m. “[The frequency] depends on guest
speakers,” Atchley said. A guest speaker usually speaks to participants about various aspects of human resources. Since its inception, the organization has had to move to the Commons Club House to house meeting numbers that average more than 60 attendees, though only about 45 are registered in the group. “Since I’ve joined, I’ve met a lot of people,” Atchley said. Outings in the last year have included tours of the Ford Center, Devon Energy and Chesapeake Energy. The networking allowed by guest speakers and tours like these are beneficial to students. “You have a better chance of getting an internships,” Atchley said. “Human Resources is really a big aspect in business. It’s a great opportunity. A lot of companies know who we are.” For those unsure what business degree to pursue, the Human Resources Society offers a chance to get acquainted with the work of human resources without committing to the major. In fact, the Human Resources Society existed before the human resources major was offered at UCO. “They’re trying to do a human resources master’s degree,” Atchley said. She graduates in May, but plans to pursue her master’s degree at UCO in the fall. Atchley said she will continue to serve as the president of the Human Resources Society.
Jordan Lofland and Ipek Gurer are two UCO students who have taken the time to tutor at-risk youth at the Divine Wisdom Worship Center in Midwest City, Okla.
has been spilled on streets and families have cried for loved ones who have been murdered. “These people have done so much damage to their community, and now they are trying to right their wrongs,” Manning said. TASK is attempting to rebuild communities by reducing violence on the streets and in prisons. Also, addiction support groups and substance abuse counseling are provided at Divine Wisdom Worship Center, Manning said. The Divine Wisdom Worship Center offers bereavement counseling for families whose children have been murdered due to gang violence. While at-risk youth and former gang members may view Divine Wisdom Worship Center as a safe haven, they are not protected from the extensive psychological damage they have already suffered. Kleeman’s research has shown many of these gang members have post-traumatic stress disorder. Post-traumatic stress disorder is characterized by recurring intrusive recollections of trauma. Gang members may become traumatized by being exposed to violence on a consistent basis. At times, they become the victims of violence. This disorder may not keep gang members from getting jobs, but it will keep them from keeping their jobs, Kleeman said. Brennaman and Kleeman along with several individuals of TASK are in the process of applying for a $5,000 grant. If the organization is approved for the grant, some of the funds will be spent on experts who will be able to help at-risk youth and former gang members cope with the trauma they have endured. “Communities are not destined to suffer endless violence as many cities have created intervention programs to help cope on a communitywide basis,” Kleeman said. TASK and the Divine Wisdom Worship Center are encouraging students and other individuals interested in assisting with tutoring to contact the center. They also need office supplies and help from people who can write grants to fund activities, Brennaman said. “In areas of high gang membership, there are no employment opportunities and no youth activities,” he said. “Reverend Manning is trying to change that.” Volunteers are needed to tutor on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 7:30 p.m.-9 p.m. Volunteers are also needed over the summer, in order to prepare young children for the coming school year. “Giving back to under privileged [people] is a responsibility and a duty, for those of us who are more fortunate,” Gurer said. “If you don’t have the monetary resources, you can at least give [a few] hours of your time to help people learn,” she said. If volunteers are unable to tutor during these times, Tim Oakes, deacon at the Divine Wisdom Worship Center, will be able to accommodate different schedules. The Divine Wisdom Worship center is located at 8320 NE 10th St. in Midwest City. The telephone number is 405-4552139. A documentary about TASK has been made and can be viewed at http://www.oeta.tv.
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“Hold fast to dreams, for if dreams die, life is a brokenwinged bird that cannot fly.” ~ Langston Hughes
ANSWER FROM APRIL 22
Peach Pear Pecan Plantain Pomelo Rasp Skeg Sloe Tangerine Ugh Uva Whort Whurt Winter citron
APRIL 27, 2010
AP PHOTO/ALONZO ADAMS
Oklahoma City Thunder fans yell “Beat LA” before Game 3 of a first-round NBA basketball playoff series in Oklahoma City, Thursday, April 22, 2010. 101-96.
By Ryan Costello / Staff Writer
AP PHOTO/SUE O GRO CK I
The defending champion Los Angeles Lakers had just won the first two games of the best of seven series at home in the Staples Center, and were on their way to Oklahoma City to finish the series en route to a repeat bid. Piece of cake. Not so fast. With Kevin Durant leading the way with 22 points, and Russell Westbrook adding 18 to go along with eight rebounds and six assists, the Thunder ambushed the decorated Los Angeles club on Saturday night, crushing the visiting Lakers 110-89 and evening the series 2-2. In game three on Thursday, a sea of Thunder faithful, clad entirely in blue, exceeded 108 decibels of support to their home team. The only difference on Saturday night was the choice of color. Each member of the raucous, sellout crowd of 18,203 was welcomed with a white NBA playoffs shirt, which was in each seat. The message from the Thunder organization was simple: We’ll bring the wardrobe, you bring the noise. The citizenry of Loud City and its suburbs did exactly that, and their reward was argu-
ably the best game they’ve witnessed thus far in the Ford Center’s brief history of hosting NBA games, postseason or otherwise. A stunned and audibly ecstatic audience watched in awe as the Thunder used a 12-3 run to take a 29-17 lead after the first quarter. From there, the Thunder turned the final three quarters into one long victory lap. Their lead never dipped under doubledigits and ballooned to as much as 29 before the final quarter was played almost entirely by reserves. After the game, Thunder head coach Scott Brooks admitted it wasn’t just the fans in the stands that were a bit surprised by the rout. “The only thing that did cross my mind was, ‘Wow! We’re up on the Lakers by 29,’ and a big part of me thought that,” Brooks said. “You don’t expect that.” Even Lakers star Kobe Bryant didn’t anticipate his team being what ESPN play-by-play announcer Dan Shulman described as outplayed, outshot, out-rebounded, and “outeverything’d” by the young Thunder. “Our expectation is we wanted to win both of these games and be done with it. I think that’s every team’s mindset coming on the road being up 2-0,” Bryant said. “It’s not the reality of the situation. We’ve got a
Kevin Durant waves a towel on the bench and reacts to a basket by the Thunder in the fourth quarter of Game 4 of a first-round NBA basketball playoff series, in Oklahoma City, Saturday, April 24, 2010. Oklahoma City won 110-89.
tough fight, and it should be fun.” Bryant spent much of the first two quarters trying to involve his teammates, and didn’t even take a shot until nearly three minutes had passed in the second quarter. Bryant joined fellow starters Pau Gasol, Derek Fisher, and Ron Artest on the bench for the entire fourth quarter, and was back in the locker room for treatment before the final buzzer even sounded. He finished with 12 points. Oklahoma City out-rebounded the Lakers, who tote a trio of seven-footers, 53-40, and hit 42 of 48 free throws in the game where their youth seemed to be more of an advantage than a handicap. The energetic Thunder outran the Lakers from wire to wire, and out-scored Los Angeles 24-2 in transition. Though their legs are those of an exuberant group of college players, the Thunder are quickly beginning to develop the ma-
Oklahoma City won
turity of a group of grizzled veterans. They closed out a close game against Los Angeles in game three and kept their feet on the throats of the Lakers throughout Game 4. Their response to their dominant victory Saturday night said it all. “It was a great feeling, but we know we’ve still got work to do,” Westbrook said. Durant said it’s up to them to work hard. “It’s all on us. We control our own destiny at this point,” he said. The next step for the Thunder comes tonight, when Oklahoma City returns to the Staples Center for Game 5. The clouds are forming over the city of angels already. Vista Staff Writer Ryan Costello can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
APRIL 27, 2010
By Chris Wescott / Sports Editor Three former University of Central Oklahoma football players will make their way to the National Football League following this weekend’s undrafted free agent signing period. Defensive stars Jermelle Cudjo and Freddie Harris were quickly inked to free agent contracts with the St. Louis Rams on Saturday night following the close of the 2010 draft. Explosive wide receiver Ryan Gallimore signed with the same team, just a few days later. UCO head football coach, Tracy Holland, was all smiles Saturday night following UCO’s spring game. It could have been the performance of his offense early on in the night, or how his defense turned shut down later in the night. However, you could put money on Holland being so happy, because three of his former players were headed to the pros. “We just found out that Jermelle Cudjo and Freddie Harris signed with NFL teams,” a smiling Holland said. “So it was a great class.” Cudjo and Harris not only signed for NFL teams, they signed for the same NFL team. Both of these highly productive defenders are heading to St. Louis to help the Rams in a much-needed rebuilding process. Speaking of the rebuilding era in St. Louis, Holland, said it may be the perfect situation for Cudjo and Harris. “I think it plays heavily into their hands. I think, you know, given where that team is, personnel-wise, I think both those guys can not only work to make the team, but work to make some significant playing time.” Holland believes the Rams will
change Harris’ position in the pros. The move is likely to be from the rush defensive end/outside linebacker position he played at UCO to the weak-side backer position in a 4-3 base scheme. However, the UCO coach doesn’t think Cudjo will be moving anywhere. Cudjo played inside at defensive tackle of the Bronchos, and he factors to play the 3-technique tackle position in the Rams’ 4-3 defense. Harris had a standout pro day performance, running a 4.49 40yard dash time and registering a 37inch vertical. Before he came to UCO, Harris was a football and track star at R.L. Turner High School in Carrollton, Texas. He also spent two years in junior college at Navarro College in Texas. He red-shirted there in 2005, then saw playing time as wide receiver in 2006. At 6-foot-3, 225 pounds, Freddie has good size for the next level with room to add muscle on his frame. Harris drew interest from the Dallas Cowboys early on who had the prospect come in for a workout. The Broncho defensive end played three seasons at UCO and was a first-team All-LSC North Division pick after his senior campaign. He totaled 56 tackles with an outstanding 12.5 for a loss and a team-high 6.0 sacks in 2009. Harris, literally, cannot describe how happy he is to have signed with an NFL squad. “I can’t even describe it,” Harris said. “I haven’t came out of my shell yet. I’m still just bottled inside. I’m just overwhelmed right now with enjoyment. It’s going to come out soon. I don’t know when, but I’m just excited. I can’t believe it.” Harris had very little contact with the Rams prior to the draft, but said he got a personal call from someone
within the organization who wanted him bad. “Actually, Tuesday, the linebacker coach called me personally and told me, asked me a couple personal questions and told me he liked me, but he wasn’t in charge of drafting.” While that coach may have not been in charge of drafting, he obviously had someone’s ear within the organization. Although he is very happy to have been signed postdraft, Harris was definitely watching pick after pick in nervous anticipation. “I was sitting there watching,” Harris said. “and I was like, ‘OK, wow, alright sixth round, good. There’s a few more rounds. They predicted sixth or seventh round.’ So I was like, OK. Watching, and watching. Still watching, I’m still watching. Alright, the last pick, still watching. OK, now it’s free agency. I didn’t go straight downhill, like with my thoughts. So I was just staying humble.” Harris is excited for the opportunity to play on the same team as first overall pick, University of Oklahoma quarterback, Sam Bradford. Harris joked about his Texas background and the rivalry with Oklahoma, but claimed he is excited the two are now teammates. Jermelle Cudjo was a standout two-way lineman at Lawton MacArthur High School. He was a twotime All-District player and Lawton Constitution All-Area pick. As a senior in high school, Cudjo was District Offensive Lineman of the Year. Cudjo is a big-time defensive tackle prospect. No pun intended, as Cudjo is in fact big. The former Broncho space-eater overshadows most at 6-foot-2, 293 pounds of solid as rock muscle. The defensive lineman from Lawton, Okla., ran a respectable 5.1 in his 40-time at
the UCO pro day. Cudjo started all four years for the Bronchos and was an absolute nightmare for opposing offenses. He earned All-Lone Star Conference North Division honors three times in his time at UCO. As a senior, Cudjo registered 12.5 tackles for a loss and 3.5 sacks. He also played in the Cactus Bowl which is an NCAA Division II All-Star game. “I was shocked,” Cudjo said when he found out the Rams and his agent reached a deal. “(I’m) still shocked. This is a dream come true.” Cudjo says he feels comfortable at 293, but could add weight if asked to. Cudjo transitions well to the 3-technique tackle position in the NFL. While Harris has little in the way of competition at linebacker depth in St. Louis, Cudjo will have to work hard for playing time. But, in the end, it is his goal to get on that field. “That’d be my goal, but I’m going to give it all I’ve got.” The third Broncho player to make it to the pros is wide receiver Ryan Gallimore. Gallimore will be joining his former teammates on the Rams, after he signed his own contract with the team. Gallimore has the prototypical size and speed to make it in the NFL. Gallimore is listed as 6-foot-2, 210 pounds. The wideout surprised the 12 teams in attendance at UCO’s pro day, running a 4.44 40-time. The speedster receiver has showcased his talent for the past three seasons at UCO. Gallimore went to Okmulgee High School. He transferred from Division I Wyoming in 2006 and sat out the year. He saw very little play time in 2007, and yet was the third leading receiver on the team. In 2008, Gallimore burst on to the scene with 51 catches for 617
yards and seven touchdowns. Over a three-game stretch that season he had 19 catches for 413 yards and five touchdowns. This past year was Gallimore’s best to date. The receiver caught 59 passes for 786 yards and 11 touchdowns. He evolved into a consistent deep threat that opposing teams were forced to game plan for. Most undrafted free-agent wide receivers try to make the field on special teams and end it at that. However, coach Holland believes Gallimore is a star player with a potential to play wide receiver in the NFL. “I think he’s got the talent to play,” Holland said. “You know, I don’t think he has to be a special teams guy. I think he’s got the speed. You know, that’s the thing when the pro scouts were out here and timed him, you know, when you see that kind of 40-time, it definitely raises some eye brows. So, you see that and you have big play potential no matter what level. So, I hope he gets the opportunity to prove himself to a team, and yeah i think he can play.” All three players will attempt to not only make the St. Louis roster, but to see the field as well. In the professional football league, teams don’t have anything invested in undrafted free agents. They didn’t use a draft pick on them, so oftentimes they don’t get the same opportunities in the pros the draft picks do. However, if their careers at UCO are any indication of what kind of talent they have, all three former Bronchos have a shot to catch on in the league. Vista Sports Editor Chris Wescott can be reached at email@example.com.
Published on Apr 27, 2010