Thursday, August 16, 2012
OSU lineman's assault charge dropped
By David Ubben
Oklahoma State defensive tackle Christian Littlehead's misdemeanor assault and battery charge has been dropped after the case was dismissed by the state.
The Tulsa World first reported the news on Wednesday.
According to police reports, Littlehead was accused of punching a woman in the face at a party in March. He was scheduled to appear in court on Sept. 24, but won't be doing so now that the case is dismissed.
That's welcome news for coach Mike Gundy, who both has his faith rewarded in Littlehead, and gets to keep a big piece of his rotation at defensive tackle.
Gundy suspended Littlehead for the Fiesta Bowl after he was charged with misdemeanor drug paraphenalia possession. Littlehead later pleaded guilty to the charge. In May, he was arrested in Tahlequah, Okla., on a complaint of public intoxication.
This latest incident looked like it could be his third strike and his ticket out of the program, but Gundy waited to pass judgment.
Littlehead did not practice Friday, two days after police put out a warrant for his arrest, a warrant that was later recalled. Littlehead returned to practice on Saturday, and Gundy commented on his return.
"I've always followed the policy that guys are relatively innocent until proven guilty," Gundy said. "And that's the only way that we can do things. Oklahoma State people have to trust that once I get the information, I'm going to do what's best for this school."
Those words sound pretty wise in hindsight. The state collected the facts and dropped the charge. It doesn't seem like there's much work left to do for Gundy but let Littlehead do his thing on the field.
For all the times it has a negative outcome, cases like this are why coaches wait to collect facts before divvying out punishment.
Here's hoping Gundy knew the case dismissal was coming when he let Littlehead continue to practice while the charge lingered, otherwise, the decision is still questionable. That said, after the smoke has cleared, Gundy's measured approach has paid off.