Monday, Feb. 3, 2014

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The Oklahoma Daily

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  • ALEX NIBLETTAssistant Campus Editor

    The Black Student Association will be holding events throughout February to celebrate Black History month.

    Not many people notice the impact that we make as a small African American group, so when-ever we get a whole month to show everyone how much we love our heritage, its truly amazing, said Marla Bailey, Alpha Kappa Alpha member and this years Miss Black OU.

    Events throughout the month include a Black History Month edition of Jeopardy, a Hip Hop Extravaganza, movie screening of School Daze and a Black & White Affair heritage dinner to close out the month.

    For Ernest Ezeugo, Student Government Association presi-dent, Black History Month is a time for everyone to honor the legacies of black leaders, both big and small,

    who have changed society for the better, he said.

    In a sense, it is significant be-cause it asks us to look back and realize how much the leaders of the past have paved the way for the leaders of the future, Ezeugo said.

    African American Studies pro-fessor Sharri Coleman met Leona Tate, one of those leaders and one of the first black students to inte-grate into an all-white school, last year.

    Coleman admires what Tate did for society, but some people still dont know her story and how shes changed history. When Tate was changing history, she didnt know either.

    On Nov. 16, 1960, Ruby Bridges,

    a 6-year-old African American girl, integrated into a New Orleans pub-lic school called William Frantz Elementary. To many, Bridges is known as the first black child to attend an all-white elementary school in the South. However, she wasnt the only one to break barri-ers that day.

    Thats where Tate comes in.Just down the street, three other

    6-year-old African American girls, known as the McDonogh Three, also became the first black stu-dents to integrate into an all-white elementary school in New Orleans called McDonogh No. 19.

    Tate remembers seeing people lining the streets as she was driven to school. Then she thought it was a parade since Mardi Gras parades took place on that street. But Nov. 16 wasnt Fat Tuesday, and soon enough she found out why those people were there.

    The rest of the day indeed, the rest of the school year was tense. For the first part of the day, she and the other girls sat in a foyer waiting to be placed in a classroom. Once they were assigned a room, the

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    VOL. 99, NO. 92 2014 OU Publications BoardFREE Additional copies 25

    Visit OUDaily.com for more

    INSIDE TODAYCampus......................2

    Classi f ieds................3

    L i fe&Ar ts.... . . . . . . . . . . . . . .2

    Opinion.....................3

    Spor ts.......................4

    Opinion: Gov. Fallin should use existing taxes to fund school shelters instead of raising property taxes. (Page 3)

    L&A: Take a look into the life of former Sooner and now DC comic writer Sterling Gates. (Page 2)

    W W W . O U D A I L Y . C O M 2 0 1 3 P A C E M A K E R F I N A L I S T

    M O N D A Y , F E B R U A R Y 3 , 2 0 14

    e University of Oklahomas independent student voice since 1916

    Sports: Sooner baseball has a new coach and a young team. Find out what to expect this season. (Page 4)

    SAY IT AINT SNOW

    SAMUEL KOCHCampus Reporter

    Paper tickets may be-come a thing of the past, as OU is moving toward a pa-perless ticketing option for athletics events.

    The OU Board of Regents approved a $415,000 con-tract with Paciolan, Inc. that will expand OUs pa-perless ticketing options for ticket sales, merchandise sales, marketing initiatives and donations, according to the regents agenda.

    The technology would capture and store custom-ers information per trans-action to use in metrics, an-alytics or data for adminis-trative purposes, according to the agenda.

    Athletic director Joe Castiglione said the uni-versity made the switch be-cause paperless ticketing is getting more popular.

    However, OU wont switch to purely paperless ticketing until customers are comfortable with the transition, he said.

    There is something still traditional about hav-ing the ticket, the souve-nir element of it as well, Castiglione said. But in time, like everything else, its going to change.

    CAITLIN SCHACHTERCampus Reporter

    In mid-February red flags will blanket the South Oval as part of the Red Flag Campaign to raise aware-ness for dating violence, so that more people will speak up when they notice its effects.

    On Feb. 17, the Womens Outreach Center will pro-vide flags for students to write encouraging mes-sages on and then place them on the South Oval for the rest of the week, Melanie Adams, Womens Outreach Center program-ming coordinator said.

    This engages our stu-dents about the topic, which in turn, creates bet-ter awareness as well as understanding, Adams said.

    The Red Flag Campaign is designed to address dat-ing violence and prevent it on college campuses. The red flags are supposed to remind students to say something when they see red flags, or indicators of dating violence, in their friends relationships, ac-cording to the campaigns website.

    In 21 percent of college dating relationships, one of the partners is being abused. Thats one in five

    Paperless tickets may be future

    SEE AWARENESS PAGE 2

    Groups holding events to remember heritage

    Say goodbye to paper tickets

    MODERNIZATION

    Campaign to address dating violence

    AWARENESS

    Write messages on flags Feb. 17

    Facilities Management works to clear snow

    EVENTS

    Black History month celebrated on campus

    AMBER FRIEND AND KATE BERGUMCampus Reporters

    About 30 Facilities Management workers braved the snowy sidewalks Sunday to make campus safe for student traffic Monday.

    The landscape crew arrived around 8 a.m. and the custodial crew came two hours later to de-ice and plow side-walks and building entrances as well as plow snow-covered streets, Facilities Management director Brian Ellis said.

    The crew began work on the main streets early in the day, and then moved to clear secondary streets and parking lots. Since the main streets got slushy throughout the day, the crew came back later Sunday to finish those, Ellis said.

    To c l e a r t h e s n o w , Fa c i l i t i e s Management employees used snow trucks and bags of de-icer, Ellis said.

    At least as far as were concerned, campus will be ready [Monday] morn-ing, he said.

    Employees primarily focused on clearing places students were like-ly to be on Sunday, such as the resi-dence halls, the library and the Huston

    Huffman Center, Ellis said.Custodial workers began clearing

    regular campus buildings when they got to work at 4 a.m. on Monday, he said.

    While the sidewalks should be clear Monday, students should still be careful and watch their footing, he said.

    I encourage people (Monday) to be vigilant and take their time, he said.

    Overall, the entire process of remov-ing the snow and ice from campus walk-ways and building entrances should took around 10 hours in total, Ellis said.

    Sundays snow was typical for this time of the year, said Kevin Brown,

    TAYLOR BOLTON/THE DAILY

    Two students wrestle over the football while playing flag football Sunday on the South Oval outside George Lynn Cross Hall. These students played in 28 degree weather with about 2 inches of snow.

    Snow storm not unusual for this time of year

    white parents and students flood-ed out of the building.

    By the end of the day, only the McDonogh Three were left inside, Tate said.

    The hostility continued for the next year and half, they were the only students in the building and they werent allowed to go out-side for their safety. Eventually, the three were sent to another school this time without the aid of po-lice escort and U.S. Marshals.

    I wouldnt wish this on my worst enemy, how I was treated during that year, Tate said. Thats a year I hardly ever try to think about. If you attempted to go eat lunch, someone would try to knock it out of your hand.

    Coleman said Tates contribu-tion to history has impacted the world today, just as civil rights ac-tivist Martin Luther King Jr. did.

    Black History Month events on OUs campus

    GO AND DO

    Feb. 3: Jeopardy!: Black History Month Edition, 6 p.m. in Jim Thorpe Multicultural Center

    Feb. 11: Hip Hop Extravaganza, 8 p.m. in Houston Huffman Center

    Feb. 13: School Daze screening, 7 p.m. in Meacham Auditorium

    Feb. 28: Heritage Dinner: Black and White Affair, 6 p.m. in Jim Thorpe Multicultural Center

    Source: Maci Johnson, Black Student Association Black History Month Event chairwoman

    ... it asks us to look back and realize how

    much the leaders of the past have paved the way

    for the leaders of the future.

    ERNEST EZEUGO,SGA PRESIDENT

    SEE WEATHER PAGE 2

  • relationships, according to the statistics on the cam-paigns website.

    Forty-three percent of dating, college women re-port experiencing abusive dating behaviors including physical, sexual, tech, ver-bal or controlling abuse, according to statistics on Loveisrespect.org.

    As someone who was in an abusive relationship, University College fresh-man Mileena Zafra said its important for students to be aware of dating vio-lence because its a com-mon occurrence.

    I was in an abusive relationship during high school and it affected my grades, my life both at school and at home and especially my confidence,

    even though my partner only used emotional and verbal manipulation, Zafra said.

    E n g l i s h s o p h o m o r e Samantha Freys best friend was in a physically abusive relationship and no one, not even her friends family, knew about it.

    One night Freys friend ran away with her boyfriend and the police found her and sent her to a juvenile detention center, where she finally re-vealed the abuse, Frey said.

    The experience taught Frey that if youre in, or think you may be in an abusive re-lationship, you should tell someone.

    If you think that youre experiencing dating violence do not be afraid to seek help. Its better late than never, Frey said.

    LIFE&ARTS Tony Beaulieu, life & arts editorLuke Reynolds, assistant editordailyent@ou.edu phone: 405-325-3666oudaily.com/life&arts Twitter: @OUDailyArts

    Paighten Harkins, campus editor Alex Niblett, assistant editor

    dailynews@ou.edu phone: 405-325-3666oudaily.com Twitter: @OUDaily

    2 Monday, February 3, 2014

    CAmPuS

    Photo Provided

    A Red Flag Campaign poster demonstrates one scenario regarding dating violence among students.

    The Oklahoma Daily is a public forum, the University of Oklahomas independent student voice and an entirely student-run publication.

    Letters should concentrate on issues, not personalities, and must be fewer than 250 words, typed and signed by the author(s). Letters will be edited for accuracy, space and style. Students must list their major and classification. To submit letters, email dailyopinion@ou.edu.

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    Kyle Margerum Editor in ChiefBlayklee Buchanan Managing EditorPaighten Harkins Campus EditorArianna Pickard Continuous News EditorKaitlyn Underwood Opinion Editor

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    email:dailynews@ou.edu

    Q&A

    Comic Sterling Gates answers our questions

    Q: Tell us a little about yourself.

    A: My name is Sterling Gates, Im a writer. I primarily write comic books, notably for DC Comics. Ive written a number of titles for DC including Superman, Justice League, Supergirl and V.I.B.E. Right now Im writing a series about a group called Argus, a superspy organization in the DC Universe.

    Q: How did you come to work for DC Comics?

    A: Well, I grew up in Tulsa, Oklahoma. My parents owned a comic store in Tulsa and so comics were always a big part of my upbringing, superhero comics particularly. I moved to California because I wanted to write for television.

    I ended up working on a TV show called Blade: The Series which was produced by a man named Geoff Johns. I was a writers room production assistant, which basically meant that the writers room would summon me and I would run off

    JacQueline eby/the daily

    Sterling Gates stands outside the Fred Jones Jr. Art Center.

    Sterling Gates is an OU alumni and noted writ-er for DC Comics, where he has written some of the com-panys most popular characters including Superman, Supergirl, The Justice League and Green Lantern. Life & Arts reporter Sama Khawaja sat down with Gates for an interview about his career in comics, his time at OU and what its like to write some of the most iconic characters in American pop-culture.

    to get coffee or buy notepads. I was an errand boy essentially. But what that did was put me in contact with people that were actively writing for television. So it was a really great learning experience.

    Through that experience I became friends with Geoff Johns. He was going to write and direct a movie called Robot Chicken and he hired me to be his personal assistant. I worked for him for over a year and then when we were talking about comics one day he said, Its a shame you only write for television and you wont write for comics. And I said, Id love to write for comics. He didnt know that Id done comics in college. My capstone project here at OU was a comic that I co-wrote and drew.

    And so Geoff essentially took me under his wing and trained me how he writes superhero comics. At a certain point in that training process he introduced me to his editors. They said to pitch a story and so I started pitching stories. DC

    bought some and thats how everything got started.

    Q: When you graduated from OU, what did you expect to do with your degree?

    A: I wanted to write for television. To put it in perspective, the quote we always use is there are more people playing professionally for the NBA than there are writers writing comics and making a living. I had better odds of perfecting a jump shot than I really did of writing comics for a living.

    Q: How do you see yourself? Has anything changed since you started working for DC?

    A: I think of myself as a writer first and foremost. I like the work that I do and Im proud of the work that I do. I didnt set out writing comics to seek fame. Fame was never part of it. I really wanted to work for DC in part because of the joy and

    excitement that those characters gave me when I was 16 years old.

    Q: Any advice to future students who plan to go into the comic industry?

    A: I write a lot and I read a lot and I find those the two most valuable skills to have. A lot of the time people will say that they cant draw so I ask how often they practice drawing. And they say, Never. I cant draw. Why would I practice drawing?

    It frustrates me because drawing and writing both, are much like muscle-building. You go to the gym and you work out that set of muscles and over time you see a lot of improvement in those muscles. Writing and drawing are skill sets and if you exercise and continually foster those skill sets eventually they become something great. Practicing different types of writing is very, very important because everything adds in to the writing muscle. Reading is essentially the protein that feeds that writing muscle. And so the answer is, and its so cheesy, is to read a lot and write a lot.

    Q: Do you miss Oklahoma?

    A: Yes. I like Oklahoma. I spent 25 years here so its a part of me and my upbringing. You leave Oklahoma but it doesnt leave you.

    Gates latest comic, Forever Evil: A.R.G.U.S. #5, hits shelves Feb. 26 from DC Comics. He also recently contributed a story to the premiere issue of Speeding Bullet Comics Presents, to be published by Normans own Speeding Bullet Comics later this Spring.

    Sama Khajawa is a petroleum geology junior.

    Sama Khajawa L&a RepoRteR

    AwArENESS: One in five experience abuseContinued from page 1

    National Weather Service meteorologist.

    January is normally the driest month in both Norman and in the U.S. and coming into February the weather patterns changed with mois-ture coming in from the Gulf of Mexico. Since the air was cold enough, there was snow, Brown said.

    Another storm system will come through Oklahoma Monday and Tuesday, but Norman shouldnt be hit by much accumulating snow, Brown said.

    By Mo n d ay m o r n i n g , much of the snow that has

    melted on pavement will have re-frozen, making for icy sidewalks and roads if they havent been chemically treated, Brown said.

    To keep safe during the icy weather, Brown said to drive cautiously and be aware of other people on the road. For pedestrians, stay off your cell-phones while walking and keep your eyes up.

    Just slow down, Brown said.

    Campus editor Paighten Harkins contributed to this report.

    taylor bolton/the daily

    A flag football quarterback drops back to pass to his teammates Sunday on the South Oval outside George Lynn Cross Hall. These stu-dents played in 28 degree weather and around 2 inches of snow.

    taylor bolton/the daily

    Two students high five each other after a play while playing flag foot-ball Sunday on the South Oval outside George Lynn Cross Hall.

    SNOw: Expert: Stay off phone while walkingContinued from page 1

  • 1111

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    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.

    Previous Solution

    Monday- Very EasyTuesday-EasyWednesday- EasyThursday- MediumFriday - Hard

    ACROSS 1 Word before

    a prayer or a clue

    6 Tug-of-war need

    10 ___ up (energizes)

    14 Inappropriate looker

    15 Urn homonym

    16 What gives irises their color

    17 Go from Cs to Bs, e.g.

    20 Arm decoration

    21 Absolute power

    22 NASAs domain

    25 Flower that blooms in the fall

    26 Dashing style 30 Ewes

    offspring 32 Stuffed

    Italian morsels

    35 Awkward state

    41 Proceed, say 43 Rubys victim 44 Lip woe 45 Buzz off! 47 One enjoying

    the sights 48 Ristorante

    course 53 Little bird

    of prey 56 Baltic

    republic 58 Rastas

    music 63 Revealing

    too much beforehand

    66 Sea eagle 67 Ta-ta in Turin 68 Morning

    waker-upper 69 This ___

    on me! 70 Weigh

    by lifting 71 Dined

    at homeDOWN 1 Ball

    thrower? 2 Ottoman

    official 3 Place for

    a quarter 4 Politico

    Gingrich 5 Groups

    of three 6 Exercisers

    unit 7 Rowers

    necessity 8 President

    ___ (acting head)

    9 Green feeling?

    10 Some big cats

    11 Big to-do 12 Ziti

    alternative 13 Attendant

    of Bacchus 18 Bucket

    go-with 19 Important

    historic period

    23 Reached ground

    24 Dependable money-maker

    26 Cogito, ___ sum

    27 Vientiane locale

    28 Confess openly

    29 One of a noted nautical threesome

    31 Elaborate inlaid work

    33 Parent of 53-Across

    34 Oft-flipped items?

    36 Rod and Todds animated dad

    37 In ___ (existing)

    38 Nautical greeting

    39 Not gracious, as a loser

    40 Nightstand water vessel

    42 Hammer or hacksaw, e.g.

    46 Submarine sandwich

    48 Basil-based sauce

    49 Ghostlike

    50 Shop-til-you-drop site

    51 Population centers

    52 What goes in nose to make noise?

    54 Prior, to poets

    55 Roadster maker

    57 Move stealthily

    59 Mountain pass in India

    60 Way in or out

    61 Nay! sayer 62 First

    garden 64 Nincompoop 65 Waynes

    World zinger

    Universal CrosswordEdited by Timothy E. Parker February 3, 2014

    PREVIOUS PUZZLE ANSWER

    2014 Universal Uclickwww.upuzzles.com

    NICE DEMONSTRATION By Gary Cooper2/3

    2/2

    PREVIOUS PUZZLE ANSWER

    2014 Universal Uclickwww.upuzzles.com

    1/31

    HOROSCOPE By Bernice Bede Osol

    Copyright 2012, Newspaper Enterprise Assn.

    MONDAY, FEBRUARY 3, 2014

    You will interact well with others in the coming months. Pitch in and help organizations in which you believe. You have plenty to offer and will be admired for your contributions. The more you experience this year, the better. Take advantage of whatever comes your way.

    AQUARIUS (Jan. 20-Feb. 19) -- If you trust friends with your secrets, you can expect them to blow the whistle. It is best not to depend on others. You can make the most headway if you work alone.

    PISCES (Feb. 20-March 20) -- Your energy should be directed into moneymaking ventures. Dont hesitate to look into career opportunities that allow you to learn on the job. You should use your creativity.

    ARIES (March 21-April 19) -- Superiors will appreciate your skills, knowledge and expertise. Network with contacts who will introduce you to people in infl uential positions. Share your ideas.

    TAURUS (April 20-May 20) -- Volunteer your services to raise your profi le. Contribute what you can, and dont be shy regarding input, but be discreet about personal matters.

    GEMINI (May 21-June 20) -- Dont expect to get a bargain. Avoid buying anything that you dont really need. Decisions made in haste will lead to regret. Be cautious while traveling and dont make promises you cannot keep.

    CANCER (June 21-July 22) -- You will gain support and assistance if you ask

    for help. A healthy debate will show your loyalty and dedication and make inroads with people you want to get to know better.

    LEO (July 23-Aug. 22) -- Travel for business or pleasure in order to make interesting connections. A lasting relationship or business partnership will develop. Make sure you are precise regarding what you have to offer.

    VIRGO (Aug. 23-Sept. 22) -- Love and romance are on the rise, and an interesting development will take place with someone you know through work or extracurricular activities. Nurture minor ailments.

    LIBRA (Sept. 23-Oct. 23): Social events will lead to unusual opportunities. Your openness and sophisticated way of dealing with situations will attract someone who has plenty to offer in return.

    SCORPIO (Oct. 24-Nov. 22) -- Look for someone unusual who will inspire you to pursue a lifelong dream. Working with others will encourage you to broaden your horizons and take on challenges.

    SAGITTARIUS (Nov. 23-Dec. 21) -- Travel will lead to adventures, but dont be surprised if you end up in debt due to unexpected expenses. A friendship may be tested if someone withholds information.

    CAPRICORN (Dec. 22-Jan. 19) -- Domestic problems will surface if you cant get along with the people you live or deal with daily. Listen to any complaints being made, and be mindful of others needs.

    The University of Oklahoma is an equal opportunity institution. ou.edu/eooThe University of Oklahoma is an equal opportunity institution. ou.edu/eoo

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    OPINIONMonday, February 3, 2014 3

    Kaitlyn Underwood, opinion editorRachel Montgomery, assistant editor

    dailyopinion@ou.edu phone: 405-325-3666oudaily.com/opinion Twitter: @OUDailyOpinion

    editorial

    Use existing taxes for sheltersOur view: Dont increase taxes for storm shelter construction, Fallin.

    Enough is enough. We are tired of hearing about Gov. Mary Fallins deplorable politicking and questionable deci-sion-making. Her latest blood-boiling antics include refusing to offer support for a common sense proposal to use franchise taxes to con-struct storm shelters in all Oklahoma schools in favor of her own plan to jack property taxes up to pay for the shelters.

    Yes, building accept-able storm shelters in all of Oklahomas schools is an expensive proposition, but it is also absolutely essential in light of the devastat-ing May 2013 tornado in Moore that hit Plaza Towers Elementary School, killing seven children.

    Although its nice to see Fallin finally say constructing storm shelters is a priority nine months after the fact using general property tax increases is not the proper way to get the shelters built.

    Oklahoma Rep. Joe Dorman, D-Rush Springs, proposed a bill that would use the existing franchise tax to bankroll the shel-ters. Dormans propos-al would not increase taxes on anyone, but would instead allocate the franchise tax to be used as bonds that

    HeatHer BrOwn/tHe Daily

    A house on Fifth Street in Moore suffered damage as well as the vehicle in the driveway that has most of the windows blown out. A tornado struck Moore around 3:30 p.m. on May 20.

    schools could then use to build storm shelters, according to the bill.

    The annual franchise tax is levied on all cor-porations in Oklahoma, requiring businesses to pay $1.25 per $1,000 of capital used or invested in the state, according to the Oklahoma tax commissions website.

    Dormans bill does not propose increas-ing the franchise tax or any other tax. It simply advocates for setting aside the franchise tax to be used toward the es-timated $500,000 it would cost to put storm shelters in Oklahoma schools.

    We believe Dormans bill is the right answer. A thought-out proposal to use existing taxes and funds to finance such a major project is obvi-ously the better option over increasing taxes

    on all home-owning Oklahomans, as Fallin has called for.

    Fallin is slotted to publicly voice her support for increas-ing property taxes in Mondays State of the State, according to a press release. Fallin claims she does not support Dormans plan or putting storm shelter

    construc-tion on a statewide ballot be-cause it is a deci-sion that should

    be left to local school districts, not the state, according to an NPR article.

    Really? We get that shes a Republican, but it is truly necessary to let schools decide on a district-by-district basis if its essential to provide protection for Oklahomas chil-dren from potentially life-threatening storms? We believe this is not just a local issue; it is a statewide issue that deserves immediate

    action, which should not include increas-ing property taxes.

    The problem with Fallins proposal to raise property taxes lies in the ambiguity of what would hap-pen with increased revenue from the taxes. More often than not, revenue from taxes goes into a gen-eral fund, to be used indiscriminately on projects. So, not only would Oklahomans pay more in taxes, but those extra dollars may not necessarily go toward building storm shelters unless they are explicitly earmarked for that purpose.

    Oklahomans de-serve better than a thinly veiled attempt from their governor to increase taxes, using school storm shelter construction as the premise.

    Comment on this at oUdaily.com

    The Our View is the majority opinion of The Dailys eight-member editorial board

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    JourneyWhere will your

    take you?

    studyabroad.ou.eduSee the world...

    ...stay a Sooner!

    Journey programs are summer programs.

    Each Journey program includes two 3-credit courses for a total of 6-credit hours.

    All Journey programs are conducted in English.

    In 2014, every student selected to participate in a Journey program will receive between $1,500 and $2,000 in guaranteed scholarship assistance to help defray

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    Julia Nelson, sports editorJoe Mussatto, assistant editor

    dailysports@ou.edu phone: 405-325-3666oudaily.com/sports Twitter: @OUDailySports

    4 Monday, February 3, 2014

    SPORTSOUDaily.com SportsFind out how your favorite Sooner team fared this weekend.

    Joe MussattoAssistant Sports Editor

    Oklahoma baseball coach Pete Hughes ad-dressed the media Saturday afternoon as the team finishes up its final preseason prepara-tions with opening day looming less than two weeks away.

    Hughes, whom OU hired away from Virginia Tech last summer, has been leading the program for over half a year, but has yet to manage his first game. That will all change Feb. 14 when his Sooners host Seton Hall.

    While the first-year coach calmly and con-fidently spoke of the progress his squad has made during the off-season, it was clear that Hughes longs to see for himself how his team will perform under the lights.

    But on Saturday, Hughes had to don a polo in the press room rather than a jersey on the diamond as he previewed his first team at Oklahoma.

    Here are the top-five things we learned from the coach and his players on media day:

    Starts at the topHughes has embraced the rich baseball

    history he inherited at Oklahoma, and its clear the OU brass chose wisely in naming the Massachusetts native to the position.

    I cant tell you how excited I am to coach my first game in crimson and cream and au-tomatically be a part of one of the greatest tra-ditions in college baseball, Hughes said.

    After the surprise departure of former coach, Sunny Golloway, a rough transition could have followed, but after spending months with the team Hughes has captured the respect of his players.

    He keeps it fun, sophomore pitcher Ralph Garza Jr. said. A lot of the times he has

    more energy than the guys on the team. Hes just like another player.

    The coach said he is excited to see what Big 12 baseball is all about, as the team tries to capture its second straight conference title. As for any goal beyond a Big 12 champion-ship, the squad said Hughes preaches one.

    Everyday our motivation is go to Omaha, go to Omaha, senior infielder Hector Lorenzana said. Im really grateful for what coach Hughes has done for our program so far.

    Youth MovementOf the 34 players on this years roster, fresh-

    men and sophomores make up 22 of the slots. Oklahoma will try to bounce back this

    BASEBALL

    Media day gives fans a look at the future of OU baseball

    season after losing its two best arms and two best power hitters. And according to Hughes, it will be up to the underclassmen to pick up the slack.

    The days of being young and being a freshman are over, that was in August, Hughes said.

    The coach showed high praise for a num-ber of young players, most notably for a pair of true freshman infielders Niko Buentello and Sheldon Neuse.

    All these new guys are going to be really crucial this season, Lorenzana said. I see

    them out there, and I dont consider them young. They have power and are going to be really productive in our lineup.

    Hughes admitted its easier to come into a coaching situation surrounded by under-classmen that have the chance to develop in the program. But besides that, age isnt an issue.

    Honestly, for the first month I didnt know if I was looking at a senior or a freshman, he said. Anytime you have freshman and soph-omores that are very talented it bodes well for the future.

    Arms raceWhere the Sooners might lack in experi-

    ence, they are oozing with depth especially on the mound.

    When the season starts, the coaching staff will likely try to narrow its starting rotation to three or four, but for now, Hughes said there are six to seven guys competing for those spots.

    We certainly dont have a depth problem, he said. Its as deep as a pitching staff as Ive ever coached with quality, he said.

    Garza Jr. will be the key returning piece in the starting rotation, but even he was unsure of his job when he saw how good the under-classmen arms looked.

    I was like, Im not even sure if Ill be able to pitch anymore from what I heard they had, he said. Theyre ready for whatever they need to do.

    True freshmen Jake Elliot and Octavio Rodriguez were two young pitchers that Hughes said had come along nicely in the offseason.

    More online at OUDaily.com

    Astrud reed/the dAily

    In this file photo, senior right fielder Max White scores on a Matt Oberste double to give the Sooners an early lead over New Mexico State last spring.

    Sooners have young guns, depth and a strong leader

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