Oklahoma State's Pettigrew not suspended during legal process

STILLWATER, Okla. -- Oklahoma State tight end
Brandon Pettigrew, charged with assaulting a police officer, will remain a
part of the team while his court case plays out, coach Mike Gundy
said Wednesday.

"At this particular time of year it doesn't serve a purpose to
suspend him," Gundy said. "What do you suspend him from? I can't
do anything until it runs its course. I'm not in position to be the
judge and do all that."

Before Wednesday, Gundy had not publicly commented on the
situation since Pettigrew, 22, was arrested on Jan. 20, when police
officers responded to an altercation involving 10 to 15 people at a
Stillwater residence. Police have said the group was asked to
disperse, but the 6-foot-6, 260-pound Pettigrew refused to leave
and allegedly elbowed an officer in the chest.

At his arraignment in Payne County District Court two days
later, he pleaded not guilty to a felony charge of assault and
battery on a police officer and a misdemeanor count of public
intoxication. Pettigrew's next court appearance is scheduled for
March 3.

"Brandon was wrong," Gundy said. "He made a terrible
decision. The authorities in this community handled it the right
way. He has a preliminary hearing coming up. We'll have to see what
happens there.

"He and I have had discussions. Without speaking for him, he's
very remorseful. He's started some community service. We've got him
involved in things to be proactive. He is a leader. He's a guy who
made a dumb decision."

Pettigrew caught 35 passes for 540 yards and four touchdowns
last season. He chose to return for his senior season at Oklahoma
State instead of entering the NFL draft early.

In another personnel matter, Gundy said Jason Ricks, the
Cowboys' starting kicker in 2004, 2006 and most of last season, is
going to graduate and does not plan to return for what would be his
final season of eligibility. Ricks missed the 2005 season because
of injury.

Ricks hit 8 of 14 field-goal attempts last season, with a long
of 32 yards. In his previous two seasons, he was 21 of 28 with a
career long of 55 yards.

Dan Bailey, a freshman walk-on from Mustang who took over for
Ricks late last season, will be the starting kicker entering spring
practice, Gundy said. Oklahoma State also signed Quinn Sharp of
Mansfield, Texas -- ranked as the nation's top high school kicker by
recruiting service rivals.com -- on Wednesday.