Dez Bryant will remain suspended for the remainder of the football season for lying to NCAA investigators. The NCAA ruled Tuesday that the junior All-American will not be eligible to play until September 2010, possibly bringing his college career to an end if he enters the NFL draft.Is the NCAA going overboard on this one? Probably. But the more I've thought about it, the more I've realized that there's nobody to blame but Bryant. There have been conflicting reports since the beginning as to whether Sanders' former agent, Eugene Parker, was present at the meeting, and if Bryant refused to tell the truth about what happened, what choice did the NCAA have except to assume that something unethical happened? On top of that, if Bryant thought meeting with Sanders would violate an NCAA rule (which he admitted) and he did it anyway, that's not much better than actually breaking a rule. "It's the thought that counts," as your parents always used to tell you on Christmas after you opened a hideous sweater you'd never, ever wear.
Bryant's only a junior, but a source told ESPN that "if he were unable to regain eligibility to play sometime this season, he would enter the NFL draft." In other words, his college career is over. It's too bad it had to come to this point, because we got a total of three games this year from the best receiver in the country -- and we won't get a senior year at all.
The only positive for Oklahoma State is that the offense has had plenty of time to adjust to Bryant's absence, but that probably won't make much of a difference this weekend against Texas. I still think 10-2 is within reach (Oklahoma has plenty of its own problems), but those hopes rest solely on Zac Robinson's shoulders now.