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Oklahoma State coach Mike Gundy picks up tab for Stillwater schools’ security in wake of recent shootings

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Most know Mike Gundy as the Oklahoma State head football coach. Others might also think of him as a former Cowboys quarterback or purveyor of bringing back the mullet. Fewer still know him as something else though: concerned parent.

That latter role is the one the OSU coach is taking up this week by making a donation to Stillwater Public Schools, where two of his sons attend. This isn’t just cutting a check to cover school supplies or teacher salaries however, it’s to ensure that all of the district’s schools have a fully armed uniformed officer present in the wake of the tragic mass shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Florida two months ago.

Per the Stillwater News Press, the district’s board of education voted on Tuesday to accept Gundy’s donation to fund the initiative, which will run about $35,000 — roughly $1,166.55 per day, according to the paper — for the rest of the school year. The money will directly pay for seven sheriff deputies to be stationed at schools, as well as some signage to alert parents and students about the new increase in staffing.

“I have spent more time and more hours on security in Stillwater schools than I have on Oklahoma State football in the last three weeks,” Gundy said during a school board meeting last week. “At one point, I thought I might have bit off more than I could handle, but I got in deep and I am thrilled with the meetings we’ve had with the Superintendent Marc Moore, school board members, Stillwater police and their willingness to work with the Payne County Sheriff’s department. For all of us to come together, it makes me proud to be a citizen in the community of Stillwater.”

It seems the district is still examining more long-term solutions to protecting the elementary, middle and high schools in the area but Gundy’s donation will help cover the costs in the near term to keep students safe. Schools in the state are also dealing with a teacher walkout over budget shortfalls so it’s been a busy few weeks for those in Stillwater, Oklahoma City and beyond as they deal with concerns on multiple fronts.

It’s not often you hear about active head coaches in college football straying into political issues but in this case you can certainly understand the desire by Gundy to step up and not just sit around focusing on spring ball when he has the means to help out a cause that certainly hits home for many out there.

Arizona State, Mississippi State ink home-and-home

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Arizona State and Mississippi State on Tuesday announced a home-and-home series to be played in 2024-25. Arizona State will host the first game in Tempe on Sept. 7, 2024, and the clubs will meet in Starkville on Sept. 6, 2025.

The Sun Devils and Bulldogs have never met previously.

The Arizona State trip is not Mississippi State’s only upcoming trek from the Deep South to the Southwest. The Bulldogs also lined up a visit to Arizona in 2020 and Texas Tech in 2029. Mississippi State will open the 2024 season against Eastern Kentucky and visit Southern Miss the week after its Arizona State visit, on Sept. 14. The Bulldogs have no other games lined up in 2025 as of yet, according to FBSchedules.

Likewise, Mississippi State is not the Sun Devils’ lone upcoming SEC opponent. Arizona State has a home-and-home with LSU on the docket for 2026-28, per FBSchedules. The Mississippi State games complete both of the Sun Devils’ non-conference schedules for these respective seasons. Arizona State opens with Wyoming and visits Texas State in 2024, and hosts Northern Arizona and Texas State in 2025.

UCLA lands Texas Tech graduate transfer OL Justin Murphy

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Help is on the way for Chip Kelly‘s offensive line. One graduate transfer offensive lineman has the Bruins on his list, but another has already pulled the trigger for UCLA.

Texas Tech graduate transfer Justin Murphy on Tuesday committed to UCLA in a post on his Twitter account.

A native of Belton, Texas, Murphy signed with Texas Tech in 2014 and made four starts at right guard as a redshirt freshman. He again started four games at right guard in ’15 before moving out to tackle, where he started another four games. But after battling a series of knee injuries, Murphy announced in the middle of the 2016 season he had medically retired from the game.

After sitting out 2017, Murphy announced in March he planned to make a comeback.

UCLA remarkably started the same offensive linemen in all 13 games last season, but tackle Kolton Miller entered the NFL draft, guard Najoee Toran and center Scott Quessenberry graduated.

Toledo posts, then deletes, tweet offering to change mascot to Shrek

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There are plenty of annoying trends on Twitter, but perhaps the worst is the “I’ll do X if this gets retweeted X-thousand amount of times.” I blame Wendy’s.

But blanket policies are never a good way to go through life, and an exception was made on Tuesday when Toledo offered to change its mascot from a rocket to Shrek with 500,000 retweets.

Sadly, some dreams are simply too beautiful to live in this fallen world, and the tweet was outed to be a hoax. “We are definitely not changing the school mascot to Shrek,” Toledo media relations specialist Christine Billau told USA Today. “The tweet was meant to be fun, but it caused too much of a distraction.”

Meanwhile, Bowling Green gleefully hopped on the dog pile with both elbows pointed out.

UMass grad transfer lineman narrows choices to Auburn, UCLA, USC

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It’s not yet known to where Jack Driscoll will transfer, but the field has been significantly narrowed.

Earlier this offseason, Driscoll decided to transfer from UMass.  Tuesday, the offensive tackle confirmed to that he’s down to three schools as a potential landing spot — Auburn, UCLA and USC.

Neither football program will have to wait long for a decision as Driscoll expects to make an announcement Wednesday.  Driscoll had taken an official visit to all three of the campuses prior to whittling down his transfer to-do list.

“It will come down to one of those three schools,” the lineman told “I feel like all three of the schools would be a good fit.”

Driscoll will graduate from UMass early next month, and will be eligible to play immediately in 2018 at whichever program he selects.  The upcoming season will be the first of two years of eligibility the 6-5, 294-pound lineman has remaining.

After starting eight games as a redshirt freshman in 2016, with most of those starts coming at left guard, he started all 12 games in 2017.  All of those starts this past season came at right tackle for the football-independent Minutemen. He was named to Phil Steele’s All-Independent first team while he earned second-team All-Eastern College Athletic Conference (ECAC) honors for good measure.