By John Helsley
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Before issuing pleasantries to the media following his annual golf outing Wednesday at Karsten Creek, Mike Gundy delivered a bit of bad news for his program.
More bad news.
Michael Bowie, the projected starter at left tackle, new quarterback Wes Lunt’s blind side, was no longer on the team, dismissed for violation of team rules. Like others before him – most notably wideout Michael Harrison and running back Herschel Sims – Bowie botched his chance with the Cowboys by essentially being a knucklehead.
Warned and given an opportunity to walk the straight path, Bowie chose instead to cross a line drawn in the sand by Gundy, choosing a selfish act over the good of the team and his own good.
There were high hopes for Bowie this season. A solid player in his transition from junior college a year ago, spring practices offered signs that the light was coming on for Bowie, as it often does in Year 2 for Juco players.
Now his time with the Cowboys is done.
Meanwhile, for the Cowboys, the self-inflicted personnel losses are impacting depth.
Bowie will be replaced and the Cowboys will move on. Gundy raved about OSU’s wide receiver depth Wednesday. With Sims gone, a door is opened for Desmond Roland.
But make no mistake, the Pokes are thin. O-line coach Joe Wickline does a masterful job of plugging holes. And his juggling of players and positions enhances versatility. But the loss of Bowie alters the planned rotation and forces more reliance on unproven players.
And any more losses, to defections or suspensions or injuries or whatever, will only hamper their hopes of repeating as Big 12 champs.