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Oklahoma State, Mike Gundy agree to new five-year deal

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At least contractually, the reported rift between Oklahoma State’s head football coach and its most prominent booster is a non-issue.

Late Tuesday morning, OSU announced that Mike Gundy has signed a new five-year contract to remain with the program.  The new deal replaces the old one that was set to expire on Dec. 31, 2019.

This latest contract, which the school states “provides for annual automatic rollovers,” is still subject to the approval of the university’s Board of Regents.

Gundy will be paid $4.2 million in the first year of the new deal, up from the $3.9 million he pulled in last year.  With Bob Stoops‘ retirement from Oklahoma and Charlie Strong‘s dismissal at Texas, it’s very likely that Gundy, with the new deal, will surpass TCU’s Gary Patterson as the highest-paid head coach in the Big 12.

As part of the annual rollover, Gundy’s salary will increase by $125,000 every year.

“I’m very pleased with the new contract because it reflects our mutual commitment and long-term vision to take our football program to an even higher level in the years to come,” said Gundy in a statement. “I appreciate the support and confidence of President Hargis and Coach Holder in me to continue to lead this program for many years to come.”

A former OSU quarterback, Gundy has been the Cowboys’ head coach since 2005 after spending the previous four seasons as his alma mater’s offensive coordinator.  He’s 104-50 in those dozen seasons, making him the winningest coach in the program’s history.

Eight times in the school’s history has the football team posted double-digit wins in a season; five of those occurred under Gundy, including each of the last two years.  After a 4-7 first year in 2005, the Cowboys have played in 11 straight bowl games.

OSU ATHLETIC DIRECTOR MIKE HOLDER
“Today is a good day for Oklahoma State football. The new contract recognizes Coach Gundy’s success at building and sustaining a premier college football program and reflects our appreciation and our long-term commitment to Coach Gundy. Not only is he one of the best coaches in the country, he also does things the right way.

“His players love playing for him because he is the consummate players’ coach. While I believe his achievements are often overlooked nationally, he’s certainly appreciated by those of us at Oklahoma State. We are excited about the future of our football program under the direction of Mike Gundy.”

OSU PRESIDENT BURNS HARGIS
“Coach Gundy loves his alma mater and is passionate about success both athletically and academically. He is a strong leader and motivator who gets the very best out of players, coaching colleagues and the organization.

“He runs the program the right way, graduates players and creates a positive culture built around responsibility and accountability. I am excited for the future of Oklahoma State football under the leadership of Coach Gundy.”

In statement, Mark Dantonio says LJ Scott’s ‘status will be affected for Saturday’s game, but he will play’

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At least on the field, LJ Scott‘s latest boneheaded misstep won’t prove too costly.

Thursday, it was reported that Scott was arrested Wednesday for the seventh time in the last year and a half for driving on a suspended license or similar offense.  There was some question as to whether this latest off-field incident will cost the running back playing time for Michigan State’s game this weekend against Indiana.

In a statement, head coach Mark Dantonio said it would. Kinda.  Sorta.

In what has been a lengthy process, LJ Scott now has a valid driver’s license, free of any restrictions. He has resolved the matter completely, and has paid a price, both financially and publicly. His status will be affected for Saturday’s game, but he will play.

Scott currently leads the Spartans with 408 yards rushing and is tied for tops on the team with three rushing touchdowns.  He’s coming off a career-high 194 yards in last Saturday’s win over Minnesota.

Ragin’ Cajuns LB dismissed after felony identity theft arrest

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After a rather quiet week or so on the arrest front, the last couple of days have made some noise.

The latest racket can be attributed to a Louisiana Ragin’ Cajuns football player, with multiple media outlets reporting that Ferrod Gardner was arrested last Friday for felony identity theft.  The linebacker was released from jail after posting a $5,000 bond.

No details of what led to the arrest and charge have been released.

As a result of the felony arrest, Gardner has been dismissed from the football program for violating unspecified team rules.  UL confirmed the dismissal nearly a week after the arrest, and not long after the news of the situation became public knowledge.

Gardner was a JUCO transfer who joined the Sun Belt Conference team this past offseason.  The Daily Advertiser writes that “Gardner was slated to start at the Will inside linebacker position, but he never played a game for the Cajuns after undergoing season-ending surgery to repair a foot injured early in preseason camp.”

FAU will allow star WR with felony charges pending to return, play

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I’m going to go ahead and guess that some will have some fun with and/or angst over Lane Kiffin for the decision made by his current employer.

In mid-June, Kalib Woods was arrested on two counts of felony battery. The charges stemmed from a January party in which it’s alleged that the Florida Atlantic wide receiver broke the jaw of one man and caused internal bleeding in another.

Because of the charges, Woods was suspended for the Owls’ first six games of the season. Despite the fact that the felony charges are still pending — his next court appearance is Jan. 10 — his lawyer has confirmed to OwlAccess.com that his client will be allowed to play in this Saturday’s Homecoming Game against North Texas.

The decision was made during a university disciplinary hearing Monday.

“I applaud the university or doing the right thing despite the fact that criminal charges are still pending,” Woods’ attorney, Michael Gottlieb, told the website.

Initially barred from campus after the arrest, the school ultimately reversed course, which allowed Woods to attend classes and practice with the team. The website also reports that Woods was removed from scholarship and is now a member of the team as a walk-on.

Last season, Woods was easily the Owls’ top threat in the passing game as he led the team with 68 receptions for 934 yards. For his career, the redshirt senior’s 111 catches have produced 1,487 yards and six touchdowns.

Texas RB Kyle Porter ‘probably’ out for Oklahoma State game

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As Texas looks to keep pace with the Iowa State’s of the Big 12, they’ll do so in a key matchup without a reliable piece of its running game.

By way of the Austin American-Statesman, it’s expected that Kyle Porter is “probably not going to play” in Saturday’s Week 8 game against Oklahoma State.  The sophomore running back suffered an unspecified chest injury in the Week 7 loss to Oklahoma.

The American-Statesman writes that “Porter attempted to participate in Thursday’s practice but was pulled after feeling pain.”

Porter is currently second on the team in carries (56) and rushing touchdowns (three).  His 161 yards rushing are third on the team behind quarterback Sam Ehlinger‘s 275 and Chris Warren‘s 274.

At 2-1, Texas is currently tied with Iowa State, Oklahoma, Oklahoma State and West Virginia for second place in the Big 12, behind 3-0 TCU.