STILLWATER — Oklahoma State starting free safety Johnny Thomas has been ruled ineligible for the entire 2011 season, the school announced Tuesday night.
Thomas missed the Cowboys’ season opener against Louisiana-Lafayette on Saturday because of the “unresolved eligibility issues” that first surfaced last week. Daytawion Lowe started in place of Thomas and tallied six tackles and a pass break-up.
Thomas first announced that he was ineligible on his Facebook page, posting the following status Tuesday night: “So people can stop asking me every where I go. I’M DONE FOR THE WHOLE YEAR. I’M INELIGIBLE FOR THE WHOLE SEASON.” The same message later appeared on Thomas’ Twitter page.
If Thomas is reinstated, this season could be used as his redshirt year, making him eligible to play in 2012.
In Thomas, OSU loses one of the Big 12’s best safeties. The senior was fourth on the team with 63 tackles last season while also recording three interceptions and five pass break-ups.
Thomas was also slated as one of the Cowboys’ primary kick returners before he was ruled ineligible.
Lowe, a redshirt sophomore out of Carl Albert High who missed all of 2010 because of shoulder surgery, will permanently slide into Thomas’ starting free safety spot.
Sophomores Deion Imade and Zack Craig, who both played against ULL, will serve as the backups at safety. Sophomore Lavocheya Cooper will also be an option at the position when he returns from a knee injury sometime after Oct. 1.
Senior Hubert Anyiam and freshman Josh Stewart will be the options to return kicks alongside sophomore Justin Gilbert.