STILLWATER — Oklahoma State coach Mike Gundy said Tuesday that wide receiver Michael Harrison, who has been suspended for the 2012 season by the NCAA, has left the Cowboy football program.
The Oklahoman learned last month that Harrison would not play in 2012. Harrison notified Gundy last week that he had decided to leave the program.
“The NCAA suspended him,” Gundy said. “I never suspended him, and then he chose to not play football. He made that choice himself. My recommendation to him was to finish school, because that's what you have to do. You can't go anywhere at this particular time…and then if he chooses to (leave), that's his call.
“I don't know what he wants to do. I just know that he's decided he does not want to play football anymore.”
Harrison is still enrolled at OSU and using the athletic department's academic services. Gundy said OSU would grant Harrison a release from the school if he wanted to transfer at the end of the semester. But to the best of Gundy's knowledge, Harrison has not asked for one.
“What his future is, he would only be able to tell,” Gundy said. “Because he has not gotten back to me on any of that.”
Harrison, a candidate to start at outside receiver in 2012 before the suspension, caught 20 passes for 255 yards and three touchdowns as a sophomore last season.
OSU's top returners at wide receiver are seniors Tracy Moore and Isaiah Anderson and sophomore Josh Stewart. The Cowboys also signed six receivers in their 2012 recruiting class, along with pass-catching junior college tight end Blake Jackson.
The Cowboys begin spring practices on Monday.GUNDY STILL UNDECIDED ON SPECIAL TEAMS COACHING DUTIES Gundy has not yet designated an assistant, or assistants, to handle coaching or coordinating OSU's special teams and does not plan to make that decision until after spring practice. “We'll do it as a group through the spring,” Gundy said. “And then I'll make the decision after that on who I want to have (coach) each category or if I want one person to control the entire (special teams unit).” Joe DeForest, who left OSU after 11 seasons to become the defensive coordinator and safeties coach at West Virginia, was the Cowboys' special teams coordinator. DeForest's replacement, Van Malone, has a background coaching special teams, as does wide receivers coach Kasey Dunn and cornerbacks coach Jason Jones. INJURY UPDATE: DEVIN HEDGEPETH WILL MISS SPRING, JONATHAN RUSH WILL BE LIMITED OSU will be relatively healthy heading into spring practice, as backup cornerback Devin Hedgepeth (Achilles) is the only Cowboy expected to be held completely out of workouts. Hedgepeth injured his Achilles in OSU's victory at Texas A&M in September. Offensive lineman Jonathan Rush (knee) will be limited in practice, while safety Deon Imade (knee) may be able to participate in some drills by the end of the spring.