Former Oklahoma State quarterback Aso Pogi, who is a source “The Money” installment of Sports Illustrated’s five-part investigative series on the Cowboy program, went on Sports Talk Network’s The Rush radio show with Dusty Dvoracek and Teddy Lehman Tuesday afternoon to attempt clarify his involvement in the project. He claims his quotes were “misinterpreted” in this excerpt of the story:
Quarterback Aso Pogi (1999 to 2002) says he and another player lived at Talley’s ranch one summer rent-free. In retrospect Pogi says, “It’s a big deal. I was the starting quarterback.” (Talley says that Pogi lived at his ranch and had to work to cover his rent; Pogi denies that he did any work.)
Two things about the interview with Dusty and Teddy: I wish they would have asked specifically if Pogi lived at Talley’s apartment rent-free. They also didn’t specifically ask of George Dohrmann or Thayer Evans interviewed him.
Here’s the full transcript of the interview:
On his first reaction after reading the story:
When I heard (about) the article and when I read the article, I was in complete shock. No. 1, that was nothing that I said. It was completely misinterpreted. It was out of context. Nothing was spoken in that way. And so it just kind of threw me off. I was just kind of like wow, he really did that. So basically the small things that were written about us being at the farm, things like that, just completely out of context.
On if the interviewer asked leading questions or just “straight-up” misquoted him:
Just straight-up. For example, the quote I said that, “Wow, it’s a big deal, because I was the starting quarterback,” that was in reference to, as he was quoting off all of the allegations, I was repeating it back to him. So he would make allegations about OSU about football players and I’m sitting there just kind of like, “Wow, this is crazy. You mean this was going on?” So I’m just basically repeating what he’s saying, and then I said, “Man, that would have been a big deal, because I was the starting quarterback.” That is the way it was actually being said. And then he took that quote and said, “It’s a big deal, because I was the starting quarterback.” It was nothing like it. Now, when he asked me specifically, “Aso, were you a part of this? Did you see any of this going on?” I said, “Absolutely not.” My time at Oklahoma State was phenomenal. We had a great time. It was just all good. And I saw absolutely nothing of that manner going on.
On if he ever witnessed a player being paid for performance by coaches or boosters:
Absolutely not. There was none of this stuff going on. And if it was going on, nobody had a clue. None of this. I never saw anything in my time as a starter, as my time as a player. Anything. I never saw anything of this sort going on in my time there. And with the group of guys that I hung out with, we never saw anything like that. It’s just complete ludicrous and, really, just somebody trying to down the program. Oklahoma State’s done a great job, and I don’t want to get away from that, but none of that was going on in my time, never saw anything like it.
On the atmosphere of the OSU locker room and if boosters were ever present:
It’s just a bunch of guys. Good camaraderie. A lot of great guys in the locker room. No boosters. There’s nobody in the locker room, No. 1. It’s just coaches and players. But never saw anybody outside of the program in there, any boosters or any of that sort coming into the locker room. It’s just a bunch of guys, a bunch of football players building camaraderie, having a good time. You know, just locker room fun. That’s pretty much it. There was nothing else going on. We saw nothing. There was no other people coming in and out of the locker room. (The story) makes it sound like it’s a movie, and it just was nothing like that. Absolutely nothing like that.
On the character of players making the allegations:
These guys were low-character guys. This guy (the reporter), when he came to do the interview, No. 1, he just shows up at my church after Bible study and just pops in, walks in and (says), “Oh, man, we’re doing a story on OSU,” this and that. I don’t got time, he’s just kind of bombarding his way in and then starts quoting off allegations about OSU and then he wants to tell me about the players that he’s interviewed. No. 1, a lot of guys that didn’t even play, you know what I mean?
That’s what’s so funny is Chris Wright and some different guys that they named off, guys that are in prison. I mean, come on, man. These are low-character guys, guys that didn’t play, and you’re putting them (in a story) and interviewing them and giving them a little attention. You’re saying it’s Sports Illustrated, so they’re just jumping up to say something. And, you know, it’s just kind of crazy. But it’s just one of those things. None of this stuff was going on. And for those guys who say they remember this going on, hey man, I don’t remember nothing. My time there, I enjoyed it. We had a great time. None of this stuff was going on.
On why he thinks Oklahoma State was the subject of the story:
I’ll be honest with you, I really don’t know. One thing I do know is you can find negativity in anything. I don’t know why they want to draw negativity towards the program. But I really have no idea why they’re trying to do this. But I do know that we had a great time there at Oklahoma State. There was a bunch of good-character guys there, guys that did things right, players that did things there. We had a great time, coaches included. It was just a good time for me.
On if he knows if anybody was paid for an exclusive interview:
You know, I can’t say. I really can’t say if that went on at all or not. I know that these guys bombard their ways in. They just kind of came in out of nowhere, had no clue they were coming and just kind of came in and just started ripping off on allegations of Oklahoma State. I’m in complete shock (over) the whole thing and everything this guy’s saying. I’m just repeating back to him, kind of like “Well, they said that (Orange Pride) girls were sleeping with players,” and I’m like, “Whoa, for real? Are you serious? That’s crazy.” And then he would turn around and ask me, “Well, Aso, did you see any of this? I said, “Absolutely not.” I didn’t see none of this stuff going on. And so it’s just kind of come of the (the blue) somewhere, and I know people are just trying to find negativity in a program that’s really doing good things.
The quotes that are in there are absolutely not accurate. They were misquoted. They were just completely (inaccurate). I just want people to know that Oklahoma State, in my time there, we did things right. I enjoyed my time there. Just had a great time at Oklahoma Satte and, really, there was nothing to this. I saw absolutely nothing, and, like I said, I thought we had great-character guys and we did things right.