Unfortunately for the Oklahoma State athletic department, a five-part Sports Illustrated investigative piece that took 10 months to put together was released on Tuesday. The article alleges widespread payments to players, hostesses having sex with players, players using and dealing drugs, as well as other varying and ethically questionable actions on the part of the athletic department.
For the most part, the article describes events that took place before current coach Mike Gundy came aboard in 2005. That being said, he will not escape the fallout. He has released a response to the allegations put forth in the magazine, via 247Sports.
“This is not an individual story, and I will be real honest with you, I know the part that maybe involved me. I’m not sure we know it all yet,” Gundy said. “We’ve had tremendous support from the administration, from the people who work behind the scenes that have looked at this and researched it.”
Cryptic words. When prodded a touch further, Gundy would only explain that he needs time to explain everything that happened to the university itself.
“I think the University looks forward to when we give our side of the story. We will try to make ourselves better and correct it and move forward.”
Athletic director Mike Holder also spoke regarding the SI report.
“Unfortunately we have something out there on the horizon that we are going to have deal with,” Holder said. “I don’t know a lot of specifics, I know a little bit. I know enough to be very concerned.”
“We are all committed to playing by the rules and doing the right things around here, and for people to say that is not what is happening, it’s very disturbing,” Holder said. “Our goal is to separate fact from fiction and then we can start dealing with this.”
Finally, Holder wants to take full credit for whatever fault is found within his department.
“I am the guy in charge. Ultimately the buck stops at my door. I really feel like at 65 years of age, everything I have done up to now has prepared me for this moment in time,” Holder said. “I just hope to make everyone proud at the end of the process. Everybody out there, time to Cowboy Up and let’s ride for the brand.”
It will be interesting to see the ramifications, if any, from the Sports Illustrated report. We are just now beginning to be able to digest what allegedly went down in Stillwater, Oklahoma.