Share “Oklahoma State football: Mike Gundy's...”

Oklahoma State football: Mike Gundy's waffling on Devon Thomas is making a bad situation worse

The Devon Thomas case has to give heartburn to plenty of Cowboy faithful both inside and outside the program. So, why not distance yourself from it?
by Jenni Carlson Published: July 21, 2014


photo - Broken Arrow's Devon Thomas (right) breaks away from Myron Patrick into the end zone during a 6A playoff football game against Sand Springs at Broken Arrow High School on Friday, November 9, 2012. MATT BARNARD/Tulsa World
Broken Arrow's Devon Thomas (right) breaks away from Myron Patrick into the end zone during a 6A playoff football game against Sand Springs at Broken Arrow High School on Friday, November 9, 2012. MATT BARNARD/Tulsa World

DALLAS — Mike Gundy walked into Big 12 media days about the same time Devon Thomas walked into Tulsa County District Court.

No surprise: the former was asked about the latter.

Nearly two months have passed since Thomas was arrested and charged with burglary, armed robbery and shooting with intent to kill. Felony charges. Sinister charges. And yet, the freshman running back remained on the Oklahoma State roster.

Until Monday.

Media guides that were distributed for the first time were void of Thomas. Same for the Cowboys’ online roster.

“The roster that we handed out today are the players that will report next week,” Gundy said when I asked during his morning press conference about Thomas’s status. “And if there’s a player that’s not on that roster, then he’s not a part of our team.”

Sounds pretty cut and dried, right?

Unfortunately, no.

On a day OSU could’ve — and should’ve — severed ties with Thomas, Gundy instead left some strings intact. Thomas isn’t on the roster, but Gundy said later in the day that the running back hasn’t been dismissed. Thomas isn’t part of the team now, but Gundy said during the afternoon breakout session that he wasn’t ruling out a return.

“You look at it like if it was your own child,” Gundy said. “He was accused of something, then all of a sudden none of it ever happened and his slate was wiped clean. I would hate to go out on a limb and say, ‘That’s going to happen.’ I don’t know either way. We all know funnier things have happened.

“But with the information I have, he’s certainly not part of the team at this time.”

This has to give heartburn to plenty of Cowboy faithful both inside and outside the program. Who loves OSU and wants the school’s flagship athletic program associated with someone facing three felony counts, including shooting with intent to kill?

Those aren’t words you like seeing in the same sentence as your school.

So, why not distance yourself from it?

“I always try to let the legal system work,” Gundy said. “I think that’s the fair way.”

That’s admirable, but in this instance, it doesn’t seem all that advisable. Thomas, after all, has had other run-ins with the law. As a juvenile, he was charged with distributing child pornography — according to juvenile records obtained by the Tulsa World, he recorded himself having sex with an underage girl, then showed the video to friends — and faced allegations of assault and battery with a deadly weapon. Those allegations never led to formal charges.

Continue reading this story on the...

by Jenni Carlson
Columnist
Jenni Carlson, a sports columnist at The Oklahoman since 1999, came by her love of sports honestly. She grew up in a sports-loving family in Kansas. Her dad coached baseball and did color commentary on the radio for the high school football...
+ show more


Trending Now


AROUND THE WEB

  1. 1
    OU football: Defensive tackle Matt Romar injured at practice
  2. 2
    Police: Cartel claims they have kidnapped Border Patrol agent
  3. 3
    Republicans warm to Loretta Lynch
  4. 4
    West Virginia quarterback Clint Trickett to retire from football
  5. 5
    Justin Gilbert says he's learned from teammates' criticism
+ show more