Oct. 05, 2015
Oct. 05, 2015

Table of Contents
Oct. 5, 2015


    After six embattled seasons in Toronto, Phil Kessel could prove that one team's castoff may be a superstar center's long-awaited answer

  • The Islanders will christen their new barn in style—with a trip to the Stanley Cup finals

  • Last year's runners-up in the West, the Ducks, SI's pick to lift the Stanley Cup, will be second to none

  • The greatest is still an inspirational force: In the way his mere presence can move people to tears, in his brave fight against Parkinson's, and in the annual SI award that will bear his name



The next big test for Oklahoma's retooled offense comes on Nov. 14 against No. 5 Baylor, which has averaged a nation-leading 64.0 points in three victories. But for the first half in Waco, the Bears won't have the services of passing-game coordinator Jeff Lebby; his first-half suspension by the school ensures that he will not see more than two halves of live Sooners football this year.

This is an article from the Oct. 5, 2015 issue

During Oklahoma's 52--38 win over Tulsa on Sept. 19, Sooners compliance officials confronted Lebby—who was a student-coach at OU—after he was spotted on Tulsa's sideline in Golden Hurricane colors. Lebby (right, in blue) was in violation of NCAA bylaw 11.6.1, which prohibits off-campus, in-person scouting of future opponents, so he was asked to leave. The 31-year-old coach claimed ignorance of the rule and stepped away from the bench area but remained on the sideline. A source with knowledge of the incident says that Lebby lingered a few minutes because he was waiting for Baylor's compliance office to confirm the rule.

Bears coach Art Briles called the incident "embarrassing" but denied knowing that Lebby, his son-in-law, would be attending the game. Tulsa coach Philip Montgomery, a former Baylor assistant, blamed himself, saying he made a mistake in leaving sideline passes for Lebby and his wife, Staley. Oklahoma coach Bob Stoops took a harder line. "[It's] a pretty fundamental rule," he said. "I don't know what he was doing here."

In April 2014, Baylor offensive coordinator Kendal Briles (Art's son) was cleared by the NCAA after accusations of improper contact with recruits. Last month the school suspended Kendal and receivers coach Tate Wallis for its Sept. 12 game against Lamar, a 66--31 thrashing, for similar recruiting violations that took place last spring. Athletic director Ian McCaw declined to comment for this story.

"Things continue to happen," says a Big 12 source. "[When they do] you lose some of the benefit of the doubt."