Mike Gundy has made it clear that he wants to be the coach at Oklahoma State for a long time. He also remains hopeful that he will sign a new contract with the school soon.
Gundy would not offer any more details about the ongoing negotiation process at his Monday press conference, his first media appearance since the night it was announced that OSU would play Stanford in the Fiesta Bowl more than two weeks ago.
“There's just really not anything for me to say about that,” Gundy said. “I would prefer to keep that under wraps. I wish that we didn't have to make those situations public, but it's not going to change. I just don't feel comfortable in talking about contract negotiations.
“The only thing I'd say is that I've made it real clear that I want to be here a long time. They couldn't give me enough years for me to sign on. I wouldn't look at something and say, ‘Oh, that's too many years.'”
Gundy, who has led OSU to back-to-back 11-win seasons and the school's first outright conference title and trip to a BCS bowl game, has four years remaining on his current contract with a base salary of $2.1 million in 2011. For the first time in his career, Gundy hired an agent to be the primary figure involved in the negotiation process with OSU officials.
“He only updates me if he thinks that I need information about what's going on, based on what he feels like is a fair contract,” Gundy said. “And if it gets too far away from one side or the other, then he'll contact me and we'll have a discussion.
“Other than that, I haven't had any talks with Oklahoma State officials regarding the contract.”
LITTLEHEAD SUSPENDED FOR FIESTA BOWL
OSU defensive tackle Christian Littlehead, who was charged with one count of misdemeanor possession of drug paraphernalia last week, has been suspended for the Fiesta Bowl.
“I will say this for Chris: we've all been young. We all make mistakes,” Gundy said. “I'm still behind him 100 percent, but he's lost his right to play in the bowl game.”
Littlehead, a part-time starter who tallied 16 tackles this season, is scheduled to appear in court on Dec. 29.
Anthony Rogers, who started eight games at tackle this season, is likely to see more snaps in Littlehead's absence. Davidell Collins and James Castleman could also see increased playing time.
Gundy said he has not yet decided on an appropriate punishment for offensive lineman Jonathan Rush, who was charged with the same crime as Littlehead after OSU police found two homemade smoking devices containing residue at Rush's and Littlehead's on-campus residence at Sitlington Hall, according to the initial filing by the Payne County Courthouse. Rush suffered a season-ending knee injury in the Cowboys' game at Texas A&M in September but has been granted a sixth year of eligibility.
JOE DEFOREST INTERVIEWS AT HOUSTON, REPORT SAYS
OSU associate head coach and special teams coordinator Joe DeForest has interviewed for the head coaching job at Houston, the Houston Chronicle reported Monday.
Houston interim head coach Tony Levine and Cougars' co-offensive coordinator and receivers coach Jason Phillips have also interviewed for the job, the report said.
Gundy said Monday that seven of his assistants are or have been in the mix for jobs at other schools.
The name mentioned most often has been offensive coordinator Todd Monken, who was a candidate for the head job at Tulane last month and acknowledged Monday that he has had discussions with Southern Mississippi.
JEREMY SMITH TO MISS PRACTICE WITH ANKLE INJURY
OSU running back Jeremy Smith will be held out of practice this week while he continues to recover from an ankle injury suffered on a fumble in the second half against Oklahoma.
“(It feels) much, much better,” Smith said. “It was like, too swollen and purple. It was bad, but it feels real good now. I'm walking on it.”
Smith is expected to return to practice when the Cowboys travel to Arizona.
WEATHER ALTERS PRACTICE SCHEDULE
Weather has altered OSU's Fiesta Bowl practice schedule, as the Cowboys took Monday off because of rain and will not practice Tuesday because of the potential for snow.
The Cowboys were originally scheduled to have Sunday off, practice Monday through Thursday and take Friday through Sunday off for Christmas. Instead, they practiced Sunday and will work out again Wednesday through Friday.
OSU will arrive in Phoenix for the Fiesta Bowl on Monday.
FUTURE NONCONFERENCE GAME AGAINST RICE POSTPONED
OSU's scheduled nonconference game against Rice in 2014 has been postponed, according to the Houston Chronicle.
Rice announced Monday that it has scheduled a game at Notre Dame that season in addition to nonconference contests against Navy, Army and Wake Forest.