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Former Cowboy Vernand Morency 'appalled' that SI article includes deceased teammates Darrent Williams and Vernon Grant

by Anthony Slater Modified: September 11, 2013 at 12:15 pm •  Published: September 11, 2013
Stillwater, Okla.- October 16, 2004- Oklahoma State University (OSU) vs Texas A&M (A&M) college football at Boone Pickens Stadium.   Jaxson Appel closes in on Vernnand Morency.   Staff photo by Steve Gooch.
Stillwater, Okla.- October 16, 2004- Oklahoma State University (OSU) vs Texas A&M (A&M) college football at Boone Pickens Stadium. Jaxson Appel closes in on Vernnand Morency. Staff photo by Steve Gooch.

Sports Illustrated’s comprehensive five-part investigative piece into the Oklahoma State football program dropped yesterday and the response from former Cowboys has been swift and vociferous, across all platforms.

Most have spoken out against the allegations. And included in that group is former OSU and NFL running back Vernand Morency, who played in Stillwater from 2002-04, and took to Facebook to voice his opinion.

Of note, Morency seems particularly upset about the inclusion Darrent Williams and Vernon Grant, two of his former teammates who have since died and “are unable to defend themselves”, as Morency put it. Here’s his entire Facebook post:

An Open Letter Regarding Sports Illustrated’s Allegations Against Oklahoma State

I would like to address the recent Sports Illustrated article that attempts to tarnish the reputation of Oklahoma State University’s athletic program. I am proud to represent such a high caliber program and was deeply saddened to read the allegations that my former teammates have made against OSU.

First and foremost, I am appalled that Sports Illustrated has accused both Darrent Williams and Vernon Grant of receiving money from coaches or boosters. These amazing men, may they rest in peace, are unable to defend themselves or the University for which they gave their blood, sweat and tears.

I was recruited by Coach DeForest. I consider him a mentor and I am honored to call him my friend. Never, under any circumstances, did I receive or witness Coach DeForest or any other coach or donor offer monetary gifts for on-field performances. I no longer respect the men who are making these allegations. I previously considered these men teammates and friends. It is my opinion that the people that have asserted these allegations are not credible. I would not be surprised if these individuals received payment from Sports Illustrated for providing what I consider to be false and defamatory information to the magazine. It seems they have a clear vendetta against OSU, did not graduate from the university, have a history of drug use, have been arrested and/or were dismissed from the team due to conduct inconsistent with the OSU brand.

During my time at OSU, I worked extremely hard and my efforts and dedication paid off. I find it interesting that I was never handed a “thick envelope” nor was I overpaid for doing menial tasks. However, those that spent much less time on the field than I allege receiving these incentives.
I do not recall ever seeing boosters in the locker room after games and I was certainly never handed cash for any of my performances.

While in college, I was falsely accused of something that I did not do. I am all too familiar with how the University officials and those associated with the football program are feeling at this particular time. I bleed orange and it hurts me all over again to have to listen to these allegations.

I do not put my name on anything that I do not believe in 100% and I believe these hurtful and defamatory allegations are an attempt to harm not only the athletic department, but the University as a whole. Oklahoma State is an outstanding university with an impressive Athletic Department and unparalleled leadership. I have no doubt that Mike Holder and Oklahoma State University will handle this situation with the dignity and class that is consistent with the Oklahoma State University brand.

by Anthony Slater
Thunder Beat Writer
Anthony Slater started on the Thunder beat in the summer of 2013, joining after two years as's lead sports blogger and web editor. A native Californian, Slater attended Sonoma State for two years before transferring to Oklahoma State in...
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