With a Sports Illustrated investigative story coming out Tuesday morning that details numerous violations Oklahoma State allegedly committed as recently as 2011, football coach Mike Gundy and Athletic Director Mike Holder made statements for the first time regarding the allegations on Monday.
The school is accused of a number of violations, about 85 percent of them occurring between 2001-2007 under then-coach Les Miles.
Photo via @Colby_Daniels
Violations range from academic fraud to encouraging Orange Pride, the hostess group of the football team, to have sex with recruits. The most recent allegation to come out is former special teams coordinator Joe Deforest paying players for good plays during the historic 2011 Fiesta Bowl season.
Gundy had a prepared statement before deferring to the OSU higher-ups to handle the rest.
“I’m going to guess that once we get all the information and we see what’s out there, our administration, the people inside, will look at it and we’ll see where we’ve made mistakes,” Gundy said. “We’ll try to make ourselves better and we’ll correct it and then we’ll move forward.”
Following Gundy’s press conference, Mike Holder took the podium. He said he had a meeting with the two writers of the piece, George Dohrmann and B.J. Schecter, last week.
“They believe what they’re about to write to be true,” Holder said. “As the athletics director at Oklahoma State and an alumni of the university, I don’t want to believe that it’s true. We pride ourselves on doing things the right way around here.”
The report will be split into five parts. Part I: Money; Part 2: Academics; Part 3: Drugs; Part 4: Sex; Part 5: The Fallout. The report alleges that OSU football players didn’t going to class, professors changed grades and tutors did work for players. It also accuses OSU of selective enforcement with its drug policy, with better players getting away with failed tests.
SI to publish “The Dirty Game” a 5-part series on #OklahomaState football program, starting at 9 am ET tomorrow.
— Bruce Feldman (@BFeldmanCBS) September 9, 2013
“We take this personally,” Holder said. “We’re all committed to playing by the rules, doing things the right way here. For people to say that’s not what’s happening here is very disturbing. Our goal is to separate fact from fiction, and then we can start dealing with it.”
Holder said the university has cooperated with the NCAA throughout the process.
“We’ll reach out and get someone to stand with that investigator to go through the facts,” Holder said. “At the end of the day we’ll come to some conclusions and we’ll deal with those…prop ourselves back up, polish up that OSU brand and move on down the road.”
Holder apologized to fellow athletic directors of the Big 12 and has reached out to season ticket holders of OSU.
“My message was, you’re not going to like what you hear,” he said. “It’s going to be a rough few days, but our hope is you may not be proud of what’s been said about you, but we hope to make you proud about the way we dealt with it and how we stood up, didn’t make any excuses.”
Holder concluded with taking full responsibility for all actions of the program under his watch.
“I’m looking forward to the opportunity to read these stories, however many days that it takes, catch my breath and then we’ll start working through the process,” Holder said. “Everybody out there, it’s time to cowboy up. Let’s ride for the brand. Thank you.”