A&M, Oklahoma Get Bad News on Unofficial Opening DayPosted by dnspewak on November 12th, 2011
Two Big 12 teams received some tough news on Friday: Texas A&M learned it will lose star wing Khris Middleton for about a month, and Oklahoma received three years of probation as a penalty for major violations under former coach Jeff Capel‘s watch.
There’s a theme of promise with both situations, though. It could have been worse. Middleton, considered a candidate for Big 12 Player of the Year this season, hurt his knee in the first half of A&M’s season opening win against Liberty and will miss three to four weeks. The Aggies will have to make major adjustments without their star, as their offense essentially runs through him on every possession. Between now and the middle of December, though, A&M plays just one school from a BCS conference: Mississippi State, next Thursday. Besides that, A&M won’t have another major test until Dec. 17 at Florida. By then, Middleton should be back, so the damage here is minimal.
As for Oklahoma, the word “probation” always hurts, and Lon Kruger‘s new staff will suffer recruiting and scholarship restrictions. Plus, the NCAA will vacate 13 wins from OU’s dismal 2009-10 season, but we get the feeling Sooners fans would rather forget the memory of that season anyway. Capel was not implicated in the findings, but the violations stem from Tiny Gallon and certain illegal payments during his career in Norman. Kruger will be a bit handcuffed here, but overall, his program should recover.