Pokes Notes: Missouri Game Stays Oct. 8

Senior Associate Athletic Director Dave Martin told me Tuesday that Oklahoma State told the Big 12 Conference and TBS that OSU would not agree to moving the home game with Missouri from Oct. 8 to Sept. 24. The conference and TBS had asked both OSU and Missouri to consider it because TBS was left with such weak options for its national telecast because so many of the schools were open that weekend.

TBS was choosing between Iowa State-Army, Kansas State-North Texas, and Texas A&M-Texas State. Martin said the decision made by head coach Mike Gundy and his staff was based on possibly needing the off week for adjustmetns heading into conference play. The move, no doubt, would have caused some problems for fans that had based their fall plans on the already released football schedule. Also, TBS has done nothing in the past for Oklahoma State while Fox Sports Net, ABC Sports, and ESPN have give the school great exposure. There couldn't have been any great desire to help out a network that too many times has passed over OSU.

Martin also added that the game at Florida Atlantic, which OSU did agree to move up to a weekday game, has been set for Thursday, Sept. 8, at Dolphins Stadium. The game will be nationally televised on ESPN2 and will kick off at 6 p.m. Oklahoma time.

Gundy Says It's Tough
The image of Mike Gundy cleaning up the progran and booting players off the squad is an inaccurate one. Gundy would not address specifics on the dismissals of safety Jeremy Nethon, offensive guard Doug Bond and redshirt freshman defensive end William Bell except to say that it was not criminal activity and that the players have to be responsible to the team and their teammates. Gundy did say that making those moves is very difficult.

"It's not easy at all telling a young man that he is no longer a part of the football team," said Gundy. "I don't enjoy it all and it hurts. Nobody likes to be the bearer of bad news. It is very difficult having a young man upset and in your office knowing how much it hurts him. I hope I don't have to do this very often, but players in this program are going to do things right."

Johnson A Huge Loss for Softball
I inquired with several sources, but the reason or reasons for standout freshman pitcher Marjorie Johnson leaving the squad are being kept very quiet. The sources that I did speak to made it sound as if it was more of a situation with Johnson. One source described it as Johnson leaving the team for personal reasons. That same source also said the door was not closed to Johnson returning to the program in the future. There is no doubt that OSU will be severely handicapped in their effort to advance later this week in the NCAA Regional in Tucson, Arizona. OSU opens up with Princeton in the first round opposite Lehigh and Arizona.

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