It’s been exactly 40 days since Wes Lunt played an entire game for Oklahoma State, and will be 42 when Saturday rolls around. It’s been 33 days since the true freshman quarterback has actually taken a snap in a game that counted.
A knee injury suffered in the Sept. 15 win over Louisiana-Lafayette win has led to the ongoing uncertainty surrounding Lunt’s status, although in early October head coach Mike Gundy referred to the presumptive starter’s status as day-to-day.
A couple of week’s after that proclamation, Lunt is officially listed as questionable for the Iowa State game this weekend, although the coaching staff continues playing coy as to whether it’ll be the season-opening starter or the starter since — J.W. Welsh — under center. With the Cowboys officially reaching the halfway point of the season Saturday, though, the word “redshirt” has entered into the discussion as far as those outside the program are concerned.
For those on the inside? It hasn’t been according to Gundy by way of the Daily Oklahoman.
“No. Certainly, when he was lying on the field out there, everybody thought he was done for the season, so it was not anything that would have to be up for discussion.
“Then we found out that it wasn’t that type of injury. Now, it just becomes a day-to-day basis on stability and strength and pain tolerance.”
As Lunt has already burned his true redshirt by way of playing in a game, a medical hardship waiver would potentially be in play. Here is a summation of NCAA bylaw 14.2.4 as it pertains to any medical hardship waiver requests:
- The student-athlete may not have participated in more than two contests or dates of competition or 20 percent of the team’s completed contests/dates of competition.
- The injury or illness must occur prior to the completion of the first half of the season.
- The injury or illness does not have to occur during practice/competition, but it must be incapacitating.
- Appropriate medical documentation must exist and be provided.
As it would relate to Lunt, if it gets to that point and OSU takes that tack, 20 percent of his team’s 12 games would be 2.4, which the NCAA rounds up to three; he’s played in three games this season. And, if a medical hardship waiver is to be sought, none of the participation in contests can occur after the first half of that sport’s season has been completed; as noted above, OSU will be playing its sixth game and will have reached the halfway point of the 2012 season.
Thus, OSU is at the very outer limits, NCAA-wise, as to what they can do with Lunt. The OSU program is in a tough spot when it comes to how to handle this situation, bringing their QB of the future back for what walks, talks and looks like a .500-ish season vs. bringing their QB of the future back and risking an aggravation of the injury that results in what would essentially be a lost season of eligibility.
And if Lunt plays this weekend — or the next or the next, etc. — and has no injury issues? The above is a moot point.