I first heard of the 5 part series over the Oklahoma State football program about two days before the release of the the first section on si.com. The feature story is about the Oklahoma State Football program preforming several illegal acts. If you haven’t heard of Sports Illustrated’s “The Dirty Game” feature story written by Thayer Evans, I STRONGLY suggest you do so now. Click here to view part one.
Before you go off, and make me out to be an “OSU hater”, please realize that I have been to 3 Oklahoma State football games in the last 2 years, and even sat in the student section for some of them. I am not saying that the article is 100% true, or 100% false.
Being located right in the middle of Oklahoma the way I am, there is a lot of argumentation over the credibility of this story. Clearly no Oklahoma State supporter wants to see this be the truth, that ranges all the way from students and athletes, all the way up to alumni and boosters. Nobody wants to see the program they’ve known and loved for years be involved in such a hairy mess as this one.
I think people are being too quick to call Thayer Evans (the writer) a “liar” or “an OSU hater”. Lets all keep in mind that Mr. Evans works for Sports Illustrated, the largest sports magazine in the world. On top of all that he’s one of their few investigative writers, a job almost every print journalist in the country covets. This guy is no joke, his writing skills are as good as any I’ve seen recently in the sport journalism world.
Another argument a lot of people are using is “this guy has no solid evidence!” Well, you’re absolutely correct, but what you are failing to realize is that most of this “evidence” is upwards of 10 years old. Money doesn’t exactly always have a receipt. Once cash is spent there is no record of it anymore. It’s pretty hard to prove that I once had a $100 dollar bill in my pocket.
The newest trend in arguing this story is players that were only commenting because they were “disgruntled” with the university. To be honest, most of the players that were quoted in the 5 part article were either kicked off the team, quit, or transferred. When you think about it, that’s the only people that would make comments on such a subject. Do you honestly think that players with great standing with the university, and its fans would just come out and say, “Oh yeah we did that! I took money, sex, drugs, and someone did all of my homework!” Absolutely not, and neither would you. The players gain nothing, but lose everything if they came out and admitted to all of the accusations. They know that 90% of what is being accused of them can never be proven to be true. They do nothing, but hurt their reputation by admitting to such acts.
There are allegations against OSU that I believe every Division 1 school is guilty of, such as tutors doing homework for students, and teachers passing athletes even though they didn’t attend class. Having gone to college for 4 years, I can honestly say I’ve seen some athletes being treated differently than “normal students”.
I’ll be honest with you, as I’ve said before, there’s almost no way that absolutely everything stated in the article can be true, but conversely, not everything in the article can be false. A common question I’ve been asked is, “do you think that the NCAA will take any action?” Theres no way to really know, if the NCAA feels there is someway to prove that these allegations could be true, then I think they do. The worst possible punishment I could see them handing down is maybe a loss of several scholarships, after all most of the issues would’ve happened when Les Miles was the head coach (Now LSU’s head coach).
Overall, I feel that this article has some definite truth to it, but I think that a lot of the things mentioned probably happen at most places, and if they were investigated we would see many of the same problems surface. I see this as Oklahoma State being guilty, don’t get me wrong, but I also see this as the College Football culture being guilty. Some things need to change.