Suspended Shaw to transfer to Div. II school

Updated: August 5, 2005, 2:10 AM ET
Associated Press

STILLWATER, Okla. -- As fall practice opened Thursday, Oklahoma State lost its top returning rusher.

Seymore Shaw, the top returning rusher on Oklahoma State's roster, will transfer to NCAA Division II school Central Oklahoma, UCO sports information director Mike Kirk said Thursday. Cowboys coach Mike Gundy later confirmed that Shaw was leaving.

"He made a decision on his own that in the circumstances that he's under at this time, he felt that his best opportunity to play for his senior year would be somewhere else," Gundy said after Oklahoma State's practice.

Gundy suspended Shaw, 23, in June after he was charged with felony counts of first-degree burglary and larceny and misdemeanor counts of domestic abuse and malicious injury to property. A preliminary hearing is scheduled Sept. 21 for Shaw, who has pleaded innocent to all four charges.

Shaw, a partial qualifier who earned an additional year of eligibility by graduating in May, will have one season of eligibility at Central Oklahoma. He'll be able to play this season because the Bronchos play in Division II.

"It's kind of a natural fit for him to come here," Kirk said. He said Shaw's brother, Fred Shaw, is a defensive back with the Bronchos.

Seymore Shaw played in all 12 of Oklahoma State's games last season and rushed for 377 yards and two touchdowns on 81 carries. He started in place of the injured Vernand Morency against Baylor and ran for a career-high 172 yards on 30 carries, but had only 10 yards on six rushes in the Cowboys' final two games.

He underwent rehab during spring practice after offseason knee surgery. Morency left after his junior season and was drafted by the Houston Texans. He was not listed on Oklahoma State's two-deep depth chart entering fall practice.

Kirk said Shaw is talented but will have to compete for a position on the Bronchos' squad.

"There's competition there. I don't think we're going to hand the reins over to the guy," Kirk said.

Donovan Woods and Bobby Reid, who are competing to start at quarterback for Oklahoma State, both took part in the Cowboys' opening practice. The most notable absence was Shaw.

According to court documents, Shaw allegedly broke into a former girlfriend's house May 13 and struck her, damaged several picture frames and stole a pair of Nike Air Jordan shoes and four custom chrome wheels. A judge granted the woman's request for a protective order against Shaw in May.

Gundy said he met with Shaw as Cowboys players reported Wednesday, and he and Shaw agreed that the player should explore his options.

"I can't honestly say whether it will be good or bad for him," Gundy said. "I know that he made his decision because he didn't want to wait around to see if he could play here this year. And under the circumstances he's in, he felt like he should move on and try to find somewhere to play right away. That's really all there is to it right now."

Shaw, who played at Shawnee High School, originally signed with Oklahoma, but the Sooners designated tight end James Moses as their partial qualifier. He then moved to Oklahoma State.

Fred Shaw originally signed with Oklahoma State before transferring to Northeastern Oklahoma A&M junior college and then to Central Oklahoma. Bronchos players report on Sunday.

Copyright 2005 by The Associated Press