NORMAN, Okla. -- Nearly 500 Oklahoma student-athletes made history
Sunday night at the Carl B. Anderson All-American Plaza,
just east of the Switzer Center.
The group was the first to recite the Sooner Oath, a pledge that reminds Sooner athletes of their standing in the community and responsibility to others.
OU President David L. Boren and former Sooner football coach Barry Switzer addressed the student-athletes during the ceremony.
A little more than one year ago, OU Athletics Director Joe Castiglione approached the executive branch of the school's Student-Athlete Advisory Council with the charge of writing a pledge that might remind Sooner athletes of their standing in the community and responsibility to others.
Our greatest asset and priority is the student athletes
we mentor," Castiglione said. "We continually look
for ways to help them develop excellent leadership
traits and skills and responsible ways in which they
can be applied. The Student Athlete Advisory Council
members represent their teammates in each of the sports
Current SAAC president Jaclyn Stelzer, a member of the women's golf team, had the distinction of leading OU Student-Athletes through the oath for the first time.
"It's an honor (to lead the oath for the first time)," Stelzer said. "I am really proud of last year's SAAC. A lot of effort went into this project. It's something that is coming straight from the student-athletes."
Stelzer hopes the oath reminds student-athletes of a responsibility that transcends games and practices.
It's important for us to remember that we are student-athletes 24/7, not just while we're playing our sport," she said. "We represent the university all of the time. Both the university and athletics department are so great and we want to be good ambassadors no matter where we are or what we are doing.
"President Boren has said that we are the face of the university that the public sees and we want the oath to be a reminder that we carry that responsibility."
Each student-athlete will receive the oath on a laminated card and larger copies will be placed in team locker rooms and meeting spaces.