The misdemeanor assault and battery charge against Oklahoma State defensive tackle Christian Littlehead was dropped Wednesday after the case was dismissed by the state.
As first reported by the Tulsa World, Littlehead was accused of punching a woman in the face at a party in March in Cherokee County. A warrant was issued for his arrest last Wednesday but was recalled two days later. Littlehead was scheduled to appear in court on Sept. 24 before the case was dismissed.
Littlehead missed practice Friday but returned to the Cowboys for Saturday's scrimmage. OSU coach Mike Gundy said that night he would wait until more information came out about the situation before making a decision on Littlehead's status with the program.
The charge was Littlehead's third run-in with the law in the past eight months.
He was charged in December with one count of misdemeanor drug paraphernalia possession after OSU police found two homemade smoking devices with residue at his on-campus residence. He pleaded guilty in February, and his final sentence was deferred until Aug. 27. He was also suspended for the Fiesta Bowl by Gundy.
In May, Littlehead was arrested in Tahlequah on a complaint of public intoxication.
Littlehead, a sophomore, started four games for the Cowboys last season, recording 16 tackles and a sack. He is listed as a backup on OSU's preseason depth chart.
LINEBACKER DEPTH SHOWING IN PRACTICE
The Cowboys return all three starting linebackers, with productive veterans manning each spot.
Still, competition rages, both among for backup spots and by prospective backups bidding to earn a significant share of the playing time. Linebacker might be the team's deepest and most talented position.
Linebackers coach Glenn Spencer encourages the competition, regularly rotating players in with the No. 1 defense.
“There are a lot of 2s who are getting reps with the 1s now,” Spencer said in a post-practice report released by OSU. “I'm trying to mix and match to make sure that I'm seeing everybody against the best competition that they can go against, so I can get a better evaluation of who's getting better and who's playing better against better competition.”
Shaun Lewis, Caleb Lavey and Alex Elkins seem to be secure as starters. Behind them, Ryan Simmons, Lyndell Johnson and Nico Ornelas are pushing.
“It goes back to having a lot of guys that can play and trying to develop as much depth as I can,” Spencer said, “knowing that during the course of a season, that's going to pay off big dividends.
“We're going to get banged up. We're going to get bruised – those things happen, not to mention limiting the total number of reps that one guy can get, so you've got some fresh legs in the fourth quarter.”
COWBOYS UNRANKED IN SPORTS ILLUSTRATED PRESEASON POLL
When the quarterback is an unknown commodity, a team's worth can be hard to rank.
But throughout the preseason, many outlets have shown Oklahoma State, the defending Big 12 and Fiesta Bowl champs, plenty of poll respect. Depending on the service, it's common to see the Cowboys somewhere in the 15-20 range. They were No. 19 in the USA Today coaches' poll.
But Sports Illustrated hasn't followed that trend. In the release of all its preseason content today, the popular magazine didn't have OSU in its top 25. Five Big 12 schools did make the list: Oklahoma (No. 5), West Virginia (No. 10), Texas (No. 15), Kansas State (No. 16) and TCU (No. 21).
OLYMPIAN COLEMAN SCOTT VISITS PRACTICE
The Cowboys got a practice visit Wednesday from Coleman Scott, the former OSU wrestler who won the bronze medal in the 60-kg freestyle at the Olympics in London last weekend.
Of course, Scott brought his medal to show off to players and coaches after being introduced to the team at the end of practice.
Staff Writer Anthony Slater contributed to this story.