Cowboys given full weekly practices

Thanks to a player from the past, the Oklahoma State football team won't be missing any practice time in the future.

The university announced Tuesday that the NCAA has lifted the Cowboys' Academic Progress Rate penalty after school officials discovered the recent graduation of a football player from the 1990s. The addition of the delayed graduation pushed Oklahoma State above the NCAA's minimum standard rate of 930.

Oklahoma State did not release the identity of the graduated former player.

The program was facing the loss of two practice hours per week this season. With the sanction lifted, Oklahoma State will be able to practice the full 20 weekly hours permitted by the NCAA.

"We are very thankful for the cooperation of the NCAA staff during this process, and we appreciate their focus on the accuracy of the data. We are also thankful that we received a speedy resolution," Oklahoma State athletic director Mike Holder said in a statement. "In the long term, this process will be a positive thing for our athletic department because nothing is more important to us than playing by the rules and graduating our student-athletes. This has caused us to re-examine how we monitor the APR and make some positive changes."

Oklahoma State originally came close to avoiding any penalty, scoring a 929.41 over the past four years. A score of 929.50 would have been rounded up to 930. The NCAA also had initially reduced its standard penalty of four practice hours to two hours because of the "significant improvement" Oklahoma State had demonstrated in APR over the previous two years.

The Cowboys will need the extra practice time. They open the season with Florida State, the defending national champ, in Arlington, Texas, on Aug. 30.