Gundy: We Support Dez 100 Percent

STILLWATER – Mike Gundy says it's a waiting game now that All-American receiver Dez Bryant's future is in the hands of the NCAA, but the Oklahoma State head coach stated Monday that he supports Bryant as he seeks a chance to be reinstated and play for the Cowboys again.

Oklahoma State suspended Bryant last Wednesday, and he did not play in this past weekend's 36-31 victory over Texas A&M, after it was found that he had lied to NCAA investigators questioning him about his relationship with former NFL player Deion Sanders. Bryant has admitted that he lied to NCAA investigators that he met with Sanders at a training facility in the Dallas area and then had dinner at the former NFL star's home.

Bryant, OSU compliance officer Scott Williams and an attorney representing Oklahoma State are scheduled to travel to Indianapolis Tuesday to meet with NCAA officials to seek the standout receiver's reinstatement.

There is no timetable for when a decision could be made, but it is highly unlikely that Bryant will play in 16th-ranked Oklahoma State's nationally televised homecoming game against Missouri on Saturday night at Boone Pickens Stadium.

"The only thing that we can say is we have started the reinstatement process, which means we're in support of him 100 percent," Gundy said. "He made a mistake. He was untruthful, and he's admitted that. How long it's going take, I don't know. Whether they're going to reinstate him or not, I don't know. I don't know if anybody knows that answer."

The Cowboys had four young receivers step up to make plays in Saturday's win over the Aggies. Hubert Anyiam had the best day of his collegiate career with three catches for 58 yards, including his first ever touchdown on a 27-yard pass from Zac Robinson. Freshman Tracy Moore's 51-yard catch and run for a TD was OSU's longest scoring play of the season. Dameron Fooks finished with three receptions, including first-down catches on third-and-nine and third-and-12 plays. Justin Blackmon made a career-long 32-yard catch to set up a Cowboy touchdown.

But playing without Bryant, who had 87 catches for 1,480 yards and 19 touchdowns last season, would be tough for any team to overcome.

"The other question that's come is there are other people, there are guys on TV talking about it, and this relationship has gone on and this relationship has gone on. There's nothing out there that we were not aware of from day one," Gundy said. "There's nothing out there that changes our situation. We're aware of everything going on, and we know what's going on out there, we know why it's happened, and we know what direction we're going.

"I just hope that Dez can hang in there and push through all of this because Dez is a very unique individual who has ups and downs all the time. But one thing that Dez likes to do is Dez likes to practice and Dez likes to play football. Right now, that's taken from him.

"Right now we're concerned with him working his way through this, and us being there in support of him, even though he made a mistake. We're going to support him and try to get him back on track. If the NCAA would like to reinstate him, we'd like to get him back in the flow of things and work him back into our offense. That's all we can really say at this point.

"As we told De, now the decision is not in our hands. Now the decision is in somebody else's hands, and so all we can do is sit and wait until they say here is the final outcome."

Gundy said that Bryant would not be practicing with the Cowboys until the issue of his eligibility is finalized.

"We had a discussion the other day, and we're in full support of him but it's out of our hands now. The process has to take place. Until some of that gets cleaned up in the next few days, he really needs to take care of that business. Not that he's a distraction (at practice). It's just not the time and the place right now, until somebody says, ‘OK, here's what direction we're going.' When that's going to happen, I'm not sure."

The fifth-year Oklahoma State head coach did say that the school has always taken measures to ensure that players know who they can and should not associate with, but those would be looked at again.

"(The players) are so tired of us saying, stay away from alumni money, if it's out there, stay away from agents, stay away from anything that could at some point affect your life, your career or your team," Gundy said. "This is not an issue that hasn't been discussed with players for a number of years. I think now because of resources for information, things are now out and people know everything that's going on, so it's magnified much more. We will look into it again, and we will probably do more counseling in those areas.

"The things the NCAA worries about are gambling from outside sources trying to get information, they worry about agents, and they worry about players being involved with boosters outside the program. Those are things they should be worried about. We counsel them all the time."

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