On Tuesday, the Oklahoman reported that Oklahoma State will lose one day of practice per week thanks to the program's APR scores falling below the NCAA's minimum threshold.
To the layman, the penalty seems significant. In reality, it may not be.
Oklahoma State already spends less time on the practice field than most programs. Here's Mike Gundy explaining his team's practice routine to ESPN.com in 2011:
Furthermore, the NCAA did not say which day of practice Oklahoma State had to lose, simply that they must forfeit a day. If the Pokes were prohibited from seeing the practice field on a Tuesday or Wednesday? That would leave a mark. Instead, Oklahoma State could forfeit Friday practices each week.
The Oklahoman also theorized that the Cowboys could forego their customary light Sunday workouts and give the players a full day off on both Sunday and Monday.
The NCAA has yet to lay out the letter of the law in this case, but if it's a certain number of hours per week that the Cowboys are docked, well, they're only on the practice field five hours per week as it is. It's a well-run program led by an established coaching staff. We don't think losing a practice day per week will knock the program on its backside. A rebuilding program with a brand new coaching staff needs every allowable minute on the practice field, but a school with loads of continuity like Oklahoma State, Oklahoma, Stanford and the like should be able to overcome this.
We'll have to wait and see exactly what the NCAA dictates Oklahoma State is or is not allowed to do, but on the surface this appears to be yet another sanction with lots of bark and very little bit.
Any coaches have thoughts on how they'd handle a similar penalty?