Stillwater News Press

September 9, 2013

NCAA to assign investigator to look into Oklahoma State football allegations

By Chris Day
Stillwater NewsPress

STILLWATER, Okla. — Oklahoma State University will cooperate with an NCAA investigation into allegations anticipated in articles to be published in Sports Illustrated magazine and on its website, Vice President of Athletics Mike Holder said Monday.

The articles are anticipated to start with this week’s issue.

The university has notified the NCAA, which will assign an investigator to determine the facts.

"At the end of the day, we will come to some conclusions,” Holder said. “We will deal with those, prop ourselves back up, polish up that OSU brand and move on down the road.”

Oklahoma State will assign a person to work with the NCAA investigator and help uncover the fact, Holder said.

Holder and OSU coach Mike Gundy shared the spotlight at the coach’s weekly media pregame press conference. The Cowboys are scheduled to play Lamar at 6:30 p.m. Saturday before a record crowd at Boone Pickens Stadium.

Sports Illustrated reporter George Dohrmann and Executive Editor B.J. Schecter informed university officials on Aug. 28 about the yearlong investigation into the football program.

“I don’t know a lot of specifics. I know a little bit. I know enough to be very concerned,” Holder said.

Dohrmann and Schecter believe what the magazine is about to publish is true, Holder said.

“As the athletic director at Oklahoma State and an alumnus of the university I don’t want to believe it’s true. We pride ourselves on doing things the right way around here,” he said.

The Cowboys football coach briefly touched on the magazine articles before previewing Saturday’s home opener.

Gundy said the football program is focused on complying with NCAA rules and regulations.

“I am very proud of what we have accomplished here both on and off the field. Our goal has always been to take young people from where their families and parents have gotten them and to make them better over a four- or five-year period. We are very proud of that in many ways,” Gundy said.

The Sports Illustrated series is expected to focus on four areas.

• Payments from boosters to football players for no-show jobs and players receiving cash bonuses for on-field performance.

• Players receiving grade changes to remain academically eligible and tutors doing their class assignments..

• Female hostesses for the Orange Pride football booster program providing sex to recruits.

• Widespread drug use as well as an uneven drug policy.

“I think the university looks forward to when they can give our side. This is not an individual story,” Gundy said. The coach indicated he might be the focus of a portion of the articles.

“We have had tremendous support from the administration — the people behind the scenes that have looked at this and researched it,” Gundy said.

Mistakes will be evident once the articles are published and investigation completed, Gundy said.

“We will try to make ourselves better and we will correct it,” Gundy said.