Stillwater, OK, United States (4E Sports) – Though unhappy about losing practice time as a result of his team failing to hurdle the NCAA’s Academic Progress Rate threshold, Oklahoma State coach Mike Gundy accepted responsibility for the shortcoming.
“I’ve accepted it,” said Gundy, who is 77-38 in nine seasons at his alma mater. “I’m in charge. It’s not the AD’s fault. It’s not the president’s fault. It’s not anyone’s fault but mine.”
“I’ll deal with it. It’s not going to affect our team. It’s not going to affect our players. Is it a disadvantage? Sure it is. But we’ll be OK,” he added.
The Cowboys will lose two practice hours per week for the 2014 season after the program’s four-year score came up .09 shy of the 930 minimum APR needed to avoid punishment.
Gundy said the actual loss of time will not affect them because the Cowboys had already reduced their practice hours in recent years.
He estimated that the team has been using about 19 of the allotted 20 hours, so he and his staff will have to figure out a way to account for the loss of the additional hour.
The NCAA initially said Oklahoma State would lose four practice hours per week, but it cut the number in half after the school appealed because of how close the score was to being in the acceptable APR range.
Even with the success of the initial appeal, an Oklahoma State official said the school would continue to move to have the punishment dropped altogether. At the same time, the official said, there’s an understanding that accountability is needed for the matter.
“We are taking steps to ensure that our APR numbers improve moving forward,” athletic director Mike Holder said. “We are accountable for what we do and, ultimately, we are here to serve our student-athletes and do our best to keep them on track to be lifelong contributors to society.”