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Oklahoma State football: Sports Illustrated report chat transcript

FROM STAFF REPORTS Modified: September 11, 2013 at 2:08 pm •  Published: September 11, 2013

NewsOK Sports Editor Mike Sherman and his team chatted with readers Wednesday about the second installment of a Sports Illustrated report that claims several OSU football players, from 2001 to 2011, received payment for performance and no-show jobs. Below is an unedited transcript of the chat.

Mike Sherman 9:15 a.m. Good morning folks. Let's start the conversation. I'll be chatting. Berry Tramel picks it up at 11 a.m.
Guest 9:15 a.m. The biggest mistake in the SI investigation is tarring the name and reputation of a bona-fide Christian man like John Talley. He lives his faith every day and it goes without saying that the SI charges against him are obviously bogus. This in and of itself is enough to convict Sports Illustrated of fraud and gross negligence in their approach to this so-called expose.
Mike Sherman 9:18 a.m. I just took a phone call from a former Oklahoma State football player/walkon who credited John Talley with being one of the biggest influences in his life. I also read a column posted by someone with Fox Sports that said it appeared people like John Talley may have broken rules that shouldn't be rules.
Jack 9:18 a.m. Good morning everyone. I'm getting tired of trying to determine what might or might not be true. The series will come to a close on Tuesday. How soon after that can we expect a response from the university?
Mike Sherman 9:19 a.m. Oklahoma State has started a website that it will use to handle/refute allegations made by Sports Illustrated. Here it is:

I think that will be the platform for anything OSU has to say about this until the series is complete.
Kevin 9:20 a.m. Does Thayer Evans name mentioned kind of diminish any credibility for these articles? He has been known in the past to represent "Chokie State" in a bad light. (His words, not mine.)
Mike Sherman 9:21 a.m. Among Oklahoma State readers who are aware of that story off the 2011 Texas game, yes. Every journalist, including all of us at The Oklahoman, know that our past work is our credibility.
Jennifer 9:22 a.m. How many times did reporters visit campus/locker rooms during the investigation?
Mike Sherman 9:23 a.m. Jennifer: Campus? I'm not sure. Locker rooms? Zero. The days of reporters in college football locker rooms are long gone. All interviews are conducted in interview room/group settings after games, and usually after practice.
Guest 9:23 a.m. If SI is accusing OSU of academic fraud, why are they not producing transcripts to back this up? Or naming the tutors, professors and assistant coaches who are claiming this?
Mike Sherman 9:27 a.m. There are accusers named: Artrell Woods, Andre McGill, some others.
Guest 9:27 a.m. Why is Berry sounding like Thayer Evans??????
Mike Sherman 9:27 a.m. How so?
Katy 9:27 a.m. Can OSU and the named players have any legal recourse against SI for libel? It seems like this expose is loosely based in reality and is a smear campaign against OSU.
Mike Sherman 9:31 a.m. Katy, it's possible that individuals could sue for libel. Libel suits are very expensive to pursue and defend, which is why Sports Illustrated most definitely vetted this with its top editors and lawyers -- who are experts in libel law. While there could be inaccuracies in the reporting, the process of vetting it to make sure it does not expose SI to libel lawsuits was no doubt a stringent one. I wouldn't expect to see many libel suits out of this. Remember, the standard for proving libel is also high. Plantiffs must prove malice and/or wreckless disregard for the truth.
Guest 9:31 a.m. #2 is kind of a yawner. If this is the academic piece, then where is Middlebrook? No mention, let alone comments from her. Can't wait for the sex and drugs part, because I just don't see much here.
Mike Sherman 9:32 a.m. I just told Jenni Carlson I was surprised there could be a story on Oklahoma State's athletic/academic conduct with no mention of Marilyn Middlebrook. You won't find those phrases mentioned in The Oklahoman without seeing her name. As a reader, I didn't find part 2 nearly as interesting as part 1.
Mike Sherman 9:33 a.m. When I heard about the series, I anticipated the allegations of academic fraud to be potentially the most damaging. After reading this, I have changed my mind.
Guest 9:33 a.m. How much did the interviewees get from SI?
Mike Sherman 9:33 a.m. I doubt they were paid, but I don't know.
Nathan 9:33 a.m. Any idea on when the "audio tapes" of the interviews will be released? That should debunk a lot of this "he said, she said" fiasco.
Mike Sherman 9:34 a.m. It will be interesting to see whether Sports Illustrated releases them en masse. It's more likely that if they are released, they will be specific to claims by those interviewed that they didn't say what SI quoted them as saying.
Mike Sherman 9:35 a.m. Also, Jenni Carlson was just told by an high ranking OSU official that Sports Illustrated never interviewed Marilyn Middlebrook and never asked to interview her.
Bill Wilson 9:36 a.m. It's not only among OSU fans. Jason Whitlock knows about Thayer Evans and his comments were interesting, to say the least: “ … I hope (the named parties) get off scot-free because I don’t think they have done anything wrong.. I hope they go Cam Newton. Remember when Cam Newton and his father were the worst thing on the planet. Oh my God. Thayer Evans was the leader of that."
Chris 9:37 a.m. Look. I am biased. But this was brainchild of "known" OSU hater. He goes out and interviews players dismissed from team or careers shortened. Can't the reasonable people out there see it has no credibility if you have not also interviewed Russell Okung, Brandon Weeden, Josh Fields, any Woods brother? You cannot dismiss the fact that Thayer Evans has tried this before can you?
Mike Sherman 9:37 a.m. I don't think you can.
Guest 9:38 a.m. from what i understand in order to get a transcript you must have a warrant or subpoena to access another's academic information. SI didnt show any transcripts in the article. So why not provide proof of the fraud?
Mike Sherman 9:39 a.m. For instance, how would a transcript prove Artrell Woods' claim that he got a better grade than he deserved?
Kevin 9:39 a.m. I guess what I meant to ask, is do you feel that maybe SI should have left his (Thayer Evans) name off since he had to know there would be some backlash?
Mike Sherman 9:40 a.m. That would have been a big mistake in my opinion. The people who were interviewed for the story know that he talked to them.
Jennifer 9:40 a.m. Will the NCAA require hard evidence? Or is hearsay enough to merit sanctions?
Mike Sherman 9:43 a.m. Whether any of this merits NCAA sanctions is in question. NCAA investigators will conduct interviews and none of the people who talked to Sports Illustrated are required to talk to the NCAA. The NCAA does not have subpoena power. Documents speak louder and more factually than people in almost every case. That kind of proof is always more convincing. But eyewitness testimony can't be dismissed.
Guest 9:44 a.m. Haven't read the 2nd story yet. The issue I take with the first story is that, if true, players could get welfare payments (get money just because they asked for and needed some) or players could get paid for work (payment per tackle, etc). This does not seem plausible. Where is the motive to perform if I can just ask for some $$ and get it regardless of how I play? Would love your thoughts Mike Sherman.
Mike Sherman 9:46 a.m. Good question: The players who said they got paid for performance didn't perform very well, did they. Calvin Mickens said he got paid for his performance after an unimpressive victory over a rum-dum opponent -- Montana State. I'm not saying it's not true. I am saying that if the goal is getting better performance from players, that's not a very effective incentive program.
Guest 9:46 a.m. Love Katy's question. Answer?
Mike Sherman 9:46 a.m. 9:31 mark
Jose R 9:47 a.m. Mike, the SI article today kept saying that former assistant coaches said this,former assistant coaches said that... Yet they fail to name who the former assistant coaches were. Why are their names not being listed?
Mike Sherman 9:52 a.m. Unnamed sources are used all the time. Most of the stories in the headline list on its home page are based on unnamed sources. But every journalist knows that not naming sources weakens the story in the eyes of some readers. Journalists don't name their sources to protect people who would not have spoken otherwise. Sometimes it's the only way you can get information. But in using them, you know there is a credibility risk.
Jennifer 9:52 a.m. The response to libel is the truth. Unfortunately, it's nearly impossible to prove a negative, which is why the lack of specifics are so damaging. Also, kudos to the Athletic Dept. for vowing to correct any genuine problems they uncover.
Brian 9:52 a.m. Mike, they are naming the accusers and the accused but why are they not naming assistant coaches or providing any real evidence. Seems like jail house testimony to me. Why would only the not so good players get money and grades provided for them?
Mike Sherman 9:54 a.m. It will be interesting to look back at the series to see which former players are involved with the most and biggest allegations. Generally speaking, the people who have a good experience in a workplace or elsewhere aren't the ones who complain about it to someone else years later.
Guest 9:54 a.m. Do we really believe that 100% of players (regardless of the sport or gender) do all of their own work in class ?? Gimme a break....It goes on every day all across colleges
Brett 9:54 a.m. What I don't get if a major part of this happened during Les Miles times why is there not more focus on what is going on at LSU now?
Mike Sherman 9:55 a.m. A good question for Sports Illustrated and probably something unspoken in Boone Pickens' response yesterday.
Jose R 9:55 a.m. Mike, has your staff reached out to any of the players named in Part 1 and Part 2? Will you do a recorded interview with these players yourself, if they allow?
Mike Sherman 9:57 a.m. Thus far we have not spoken with any of the accusers. We have and will attempt to talk to them. I saw a Tulsa TV station talked to Fath Carter, who is standing by his story though he regrets doing the interview. He maintains that he was told the story would be presented and framed differently. Here's that story:
Guest 9:57 a.m. Why would O.S.U. officials give the Big 12 an apology if this did not happen?
Mike Sherman 9:58 a.m. Mike Holder clarified that yesterday. He was apologizing to his fellow athletic directors and member institutions for the negative publicity that was coming, not for anything OSU did to merit it.
Guest 9:59 a.m. I think SI is reaching and I'm surprised that there's no comments about SI's motive for publishing this (not just the Thayer Evans's motive). SI has lost tons of subscribers and needs something like this to bring their sales up. They've sold out and become a tabloid, anyone agree?
Mike Sherman 10:02 a.m. Sports Illustrated's track record for investigative journalism is long and impressive. These kinds of stories are part of what the magazine has done for decades. Of course, any publication wants to attract readers, subscribers and web traffic. They, like The Oklahoman and Tulsa World, are a for-profit business. But the editors at Sports Illustrated wouldn't risk a strong journalistic brand so a reporter could pursue a vendetta against his favorite team's rival. A story this big would simply not be based on that.
Jack 10:03 a.m. As a journalist, if you had to arrange a 5 part series, how would you have done it in terms of most interesting/damaging? Have parts 1 and 2 followed a pattern you would expect?
Mike Sherman 10:06 a.m. The trouble with series is maintaining interest. Is the story compelling and interesting throughout? There's lulls in books and movies -- fiction and non-fiction -- that authors and directors have to deal with. Journalistic series are no different. When I used to work at The Tennessean in Nashville there was a joke that the worst four words for readers were "First In a Series." Sports Illustrated has chosen to divide this series into topics: Money, Academics, Drugs, Sex, Fallout. It's as close to Sex, Drugs and Rock & Roll as they could get. We shall see if the series holds up through five parts. That's a big commitment you're requiring from readers, but we must admit that they've picked a topic all 400 people on this live chat care about.
Guest 10:07 a.m. Yesterday on Dough Gottlieb's show, Dohrmann stated that the interviewees were not paid.
Scott 10:07 a.m. Has it been established how this whole thing started? SI claims they didn't hunt down the players, that the players came forward on their own. 60 players just came forward out of the blue? Does not pass the smell test. To me, it looks like a witch hunt by SI.
Mike Sherman 10:08 a.m. 1. How it started: In a video yesterday, Sports Illustrated's lead writer and its lead editor said the series started because the magazine wanted to look into a college football program that had made a rapid rise and that Thayer Evans had been hearing things about Oklahoma State.
2. George Dohrman, the lead writer, said players DID NOT come forward. He said they had to find them.
Guest 10:09 a.m. Mike, can you explain the 4-year statute of limitations rule, as far as sanctions being placed on OSU? From my understanding, the NCAA basically can throw the statute rule out if the wrong doing is proven severe enough (like Penn State). Is this correct?
Mike Sherman 10:11 a.m. The NCAA can trace violations that date back further than four years if it has reason to believe there's an ongoing pattern/system of misconduct/willful violations. I haven't read anything that makes me think the NCAA can do that from what's been reported by Sports Illustrated. There was as vague reference in Part 1 that payments for performance and work for no-show jobs or excessive pay for jobs had stretched into 2011, but there were no specific allegations made.
MB 10:11 a.m. Federal privacy laws prohibit release of transcripts or other academic information to third parties.
Jack 10:11 a.m. @Kevin: Yes they probably should have left his name off, but if Thayer did most of the reporting as said, it would have been really tough to convince him to back off on the credit.
Sean 10:12 a.m. The more I read, the more I see this as an indictment of college football in general posing OSU as the "lightning rod". Do you anticipate a collective backlash or defense against SI by those with a vested interest in the status quo (e.g., ESPN, Conferences, Universities, etc...)?
Mike Sherman 10:14 a.m. ESPN has done its own reporting along these lines. It hasn't been too long since its expose on drug use at Oregon. There are plenty of news stories that read like indictments of college athletes (Johnny Manziel, etc.) I don't see this one being any different or more damaging. However, the movement to pay players I believe could be strengthened (a little) by what we read in Part 1 and some of the follow up.
e wampo 10:14 a.m. What happens to Sports Illustrated if they are wrong ?
Mike Sherman 10:14 a.m. About what? Everything?
Matt 10:15 a.m. I have a two part question and would sincerely like the Oklahoman to look into this. SI is asserting that OSU dramatically improved their performance on the field as a result of paying players and fixing grades. Wouldn't that show up in the recruiting rankings and APR scores? I am not under the impression that OSU dramatically improved in the recruiting rankings or on their APR scores during this time period.
Mike Sherman 10:19 a.m. To my mind, Sports Illustrated has not done a strong job of linking Part 1 and Part 2 to the program's ascension on the field or off. How different would Part 1 have been if one of its top players had admitted to getting paid? How different would Part 2 have been if one of the top players had admitted to having his grades fixed? What Sports Illustrated has is second-tier players saying they got paid and their grades taken care of an alleging it happen for stars too. I'm not saying what's true or false. I'm saying that's what they reported.
JY 10:19 a.m. Didn't the Oklahoman recently do a story about how OSU is barely above the NCAA's required academic bar and that the NCAA is raising the bar in upcoming years so OSU has its work cut out to "make the grade"? Any hint of the SI information while doing that story?
Mike Sherman 10:20 a.m. Yes we've had a story about OSU and OU's academic standing relevant to the so-called APR. No, we had not heard of the Sports Illustrated information at that point.
Sooner Born 10:21 a.m. I had to remind an OSU friend of mine that this is a magazine article. The difference in proof for a magazine article versus legal or NCAA infractions are very, emphasis on very, different. YOu can run with an article in a magazine with several collaberating witnesses (which they have several people with similar stories) but that does not mean it will hold up in court.
Brian 10:21 a.m. Can you not use a FOIA request to get a manifest of the people on airplane rides? Wouldn't that be a way to check the validity of claims that boosters were on airplanes with players?
Mike Sherman 10:22 a.m. Yes, if it's a university-funded flight you can request a manifest. What you find would depend on the quality of records kept.
Joe 10:23 a.m. How would you rank the first 2 SI articles on a scale of journalistic integrity? Scale from 1 to 10. 1 being no integrity. 10 being 100% made with integrity.
Mike Sherman 10:24 a.m. I've never been asked to score a story/investigation/etc. I think time will tell.
Brian 10:24 a.m. How do we know that these alleged "boosters" weren't just fans and hangers-on that wanted to get close to the program? Hard to recognize and stop those people from giving money to players.
Mike Sherman 10:25 a.m. We don't know. That's a point a former NCAA investigator makes in this blog post to Berry Tramel.
Guest 10:25 a.m. Fields admits on Dan Patrick things could have happened that he didn't see
Brian 10:25 a.m. Remember, there was a lot of hearsay involved with Penn St. Look at the penalties it received.
Matt 10:25 a.m. guess my question didn't post. will try again. If OSU was paying players, wouldn't you see a significant jump in the recruiting rankings for OSU from 2001-20??
Mike Sherman 10:27 a.m. What do you consider signficant? Recruiting rankings are someone's opinion of how good OSU players could be. The Big 12 standings are factual proof of Oklahoma State's improvement. And there's no disputing the Cowboys' improvement there.
Mike Sherman 10:28 a.m. Also, Sports Illustrated did not alleged that Oklahoma State was paying recruits. It alleged that it was paying players for performance and overpaying for jobs or no-show jobs. If any of this were true, how would this allegedly secret system for doing so impact recruiting rankings?
Jose R 10:29 a.m. "For instance, how would a transcript prove Artrell Woods' claim that he got a better grade than he deserved?" - Mike, I think it's important to see what classes these guys took and what grades they got in the classes. If Artrell Woods took English Lit and got an "A" then you definitely now something is up there. It's easy to take a look at some of these guys and what grades they got in specific classes to tell if it was fixed.
Mike Sherman 10:30 a.m. I suppose Artrell Woods could offer his transcripts as proof. That's the only way Sports Illustrated could get them, if he or any one of the accusers give them.
Mark 10:30 a.m. As an OSU alum ('01-'06), I can understand players not going to class and then towards the end of the semester "doubling down" to try and get the grade as this is something I had to do a couple times. This would be especially easy considering that the majority of the players never made it passed the freshman level classes in their time at OSU. As any former student will attest, it takes more work to get a bad grade in these classes than a good one.
Barry 10:30 a.m. It appears these articles claim (will claim) OSU's success is only attributed to cheating/improprieties. But as an alum and donor, I see it another way. T. Boone's initial contribution started the transformation of our facilities and ability to recruit. That's what inspired me to increase my own contributions...and that's the case with my brothers and all kinds of OSU friends of mine. The increased funds (legally) gave us the shot at getting better...and at a faster pace. It seems so one-sided...I hope someone, somewhere takes time to talk about the good side to the rest of the country.
Mike Sherman 10:31 a.m. Barry: I think that has been sufficiently covered nearly ever time Oklahoma State plays on an ABC/ESPN broadcast. I stopped counting the number of times Boone Pickens does an in-game interview. Oklahoma State's rise and the positive side of is not an untold national story.
Guest 10:31 a.m. if OSU was paying players, wouldn't they have jumped more in the recruiting rankings from 2001-2012? I thought they rarely cracked the top 25 in that time period.
Mike Sherman 10:32 a.m. Asked and answered.
B. Shelburne 10:32 a.m. The question I have is why? Why, intially, did some reporter at SI decide: "Hey, I think I should dig up some dirt on the OSU football program." Why OSU? Why not OU, Alabama, Ohio State, Boise State, TCU, etc, etc?
Mike Sherman 10:33 a.m. Sports Illustrated's explanation, as I stated before: It wanted to look into a program on the rise and it had heard things about Oklahoma State. That's what an SI editor said in a video posted with Part 1.
ost8cpa 10:33 a.m. I'm an OSU alum and had classes with several OSU athletes back in 88-92, among them Byron Houston, Stacey Satterwhite, and several wrestlers. Yeah, I had a sociology class wity Byron that if you didn't make an A you were an idiot, but the other classes (statistics and business law among them) you knew Brenda Masters and Andy Urich were not giving anyone free passes. That said, I'm nobody's fool. I know that athletes get to enroll first. I know they get adivce on who's easy and who's not. I have little dobut tutors did (and maybe still do) work for some of the athletes. The disturbing part for me is (allegedly) the tutor taking a test and professors changing/giving grades. Easy class is one thing, giving it away is another. My $0.02 is that this is way worse than some kid allegedly getting the $100 handshake because it gets to the heart of the University purpose.
Mike Sherman 10:34 a.m. I thought the academic segment would be the most damaging of the series. After reading it I'm not certain that it will be.
JY 10:34 a.m. I remember 9/11 vividly. Good to keep things in perspective.
Guest 10:35 a.m. Why are they just targeting OSU? Like they are the only ones in the whole U.S. that has ever done this. This happens in almost all the big Universities across the nation everyday! DUH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Mike Sherman 10:35 a.m. See above.
Justin. 10:35 a.m. Wow. Just saw the pic from Artell Woods facebook page. These are their sources?
Mike Sherman 10:35 a.m. What's it look like, I haven't seen it?
Chris 10:35 a.m. 2 more interesting investigative reports: 1. Why Thayer Evans has it out for OSU? 2. Why on earth would SI consider him credible?
Jose R 10:36 a.m. Would there be a way for OSU to subpoena SI and get the names of the Assistant Coaches, without fully going to court?
Mike Sherman 10:36 a.m. No sir.
ost8cpa 10:36 a.m. One more thing on the academic allegations: supposedly some of these athletes e-mailed their professors asking for mercy or whatever terms they used in the article. If so, I guarantee you the University has a retention policy for legal issues. Every company does. If so, let's marry up the e-mails with the transcripts (get the subpoenas if you have to). It should be easy to debunk or prove those types of allegations as long as the retention policy at the University covers the timeframe. Same goes with the boosters on the planes. Aircraft have manifests. Let's see what boosters were allegedly on those aircraft and what players were on it. You can marry those up as well. FOI Act might be able to help you there.
Mike Sherman 10:37 a.m. Yes, to the manifests (again, if the records are well-kept. And I can promise you, many records are not well-kept). No to the correspondence about academic performance. Federal privacy laws protect those.
Bryan 10:37 a.m. The apology was for the bad press that was coming out, not an admission of guilt or wrongdoing
Mike Sherman 10:37 a.m. Right
Big D 10:38 a.m. Quick question. Will we see litigation on this from OSU and players named?
Mike Sherman 10:38 a.m. It's possible, but not likely. They would have to prove malice and/or a reckless disregard for the truth.
Guest 10:38 a.m. Weren't Auburn fans saying the same thing two years ago about the story Evans did on Cam Newton? Why does SI have it out for Auburn?? I don't think it's a vendetta, I think it's a story. Period.
Mike Sherman 10:39 a.m. Yes, Auburn fans were saying that.
Jack 10:39 a.m. As a reporter, do you have to inform the person you are interviewing that you are recording the conversation? Pogi is claiming that Evans never had a recorder out for their surprise interview.
Mike Sherman 10:43 a.m. Different states have different laws. In Oklahoma there's a "one-sided consent" provision, which states that as long as one side of the conversation agrees to it, it's OK. So, if the interview took place in Oklahoma he would not have to inform Pogi.
Big D 10:43 a.m. Does SI get a black eye for having Evans playing a part this story? If so why?
Mike Sherman 10:43 a.m. The black eye is in the eye of the beholder.
Grannie 10:43 a.m. I think the academic article is less damaging than the hype. I found the headline "Widespread" misleading, when the story claims 12 athletes admit to academic wrongdoing. Twelve athletes for the more than ten years supposedly covered? I'd say that was miniscule.
JM 10:44 a.m. And who did Cam Newton spurn during his recruiting...the common link to the Auburn and OSU "stories" is Thayer Evans, hence Whitlock's journalistic disgust.
Guest 10:44 a.m. I remember in high school I was convinced there was not a drug problem, or ANY drugs for that matter in or around my campus. I would have sworn on a stack of Bibles that drugs were not an issue at my school. As it turns out, I was not the type of kid that anyone offered drugs to, talked about drugs to or did drugs in front of. People just knew I would not be receptive to this behavior. But were there kids doing drugs at my school? YES!, OF COURSE! Maybe that is the case with the football players who are certain these things weren't going on at OSU. Most likely, these boosters, tutors, coaches, girls, etc. were not approaching the "good kids" or the kids they knew would report these issues immediately.
Guest 10:44 a.m. Why should OSU be above question. Why USC, why SMU?
StanTheMan 10:45 a.m. For the life of me, I can't figure out the point of today's story. It is like they want to be able to spin both ways. On one hand they are accusing OSU of making it too easy for student athletes...on the other hand they are complaining they didn't get enough help. It is really a bizarro article that seems to be trying to say some professors might have worked with a struggling student in some cases and that some tutors tried to help failing students but did so in a way the writer doesn't like. I don't know...this was just a confusing mess of an article to me.
Jack 10:45 a.m. @Jose, there are very strict federal laws that protect all students' academic records. They only way Artrell's transcript is released to the public is if he fills out a form that allows the university to release his records. Further, he would have to allow THE PUBLIC to have his information, not just SI.
Steve 10:45 a.m. I was underwhelmed by today's story. Maybe because I now question the credibility of Thayer Evans and some of the sources a little as well as the condescending tone taken in the article but I cannot help but still be DISAPPOINTED in OSU for allowing some of these things to take place. Despite the obvious fact that one of the writers has an obvious conflict of interest I can't help but think that when dealing with people like that you have to be hyper vigilant about not giving them anything to use against you. Where do you think OSU needs to go from here?
Mike Sherman 10:46 a.m. Oklahoma State's response thus far has been measured and reasonable. I have to say that I agree with Berry Tramel to an extent: I thought OSU looked better Monday than it did Tuesday, but the so-called bullets had yet to start flying. The website to respond to allegations, good idea.
Guest 10:46 a.m. with so many allegations from former players...this stuff has legs. People should wake up and not drink the Orange kool-Aid.
Guest 10:47 a.m. I totally disagree with Barry, and I wonder what his sentiments would be if this report focused on OU?
Robert 10:47 a.m. I loved the comments of Josh Fields yesterday. He actually played the game and saw nothing of the kind in the SI report. Let's hope the rest of the week goes well for the Cowboys and Go Pokes!
Guest 10:47 a.m. Do you think Micheal Moore helped with this story?
Mike Sherman 10:48 a.m. What recruiting class was he in? Did he play in the secondary with Calvin Mickens?
Kevin 10:48 a.m. Based on the 2 days of articles, worst case scenario for OSU football?
Mike Sherman 10:49 a.m. Most likely: A public relations hit in the board rooms and living rooms they recruit from. Worst case: An NCAA investigation. I'm not saying that there will be sanctions, not at all. But you do not want NCAA investigators looking into your program for any reason.
Guest 10:50 a.m. The word "hearsay" is being used pretty liberally the last 48 hours. Remember, if someone who was inside the program says THEY did something or witnessed something, that's not hearsay. If it was, no one would ever get convicted for anything in a court of law. Ever.
Guest 10:50 a.m. I think the better question about recruiting would did the character of the players recruited change from Simmons to Miles. Did Simmons have as many questionable character guys during his time?
Mike Sherman 10:51 a.m. Apparently he did not. I suppose you could study it and measure things like character by looking into arrest records. But character is a moving target. Hard to measure them against something like the Boys Scout oath.
Rich 10:51 a.m. I'm starting to think this is publicity rather than bad publicity. What do you think?
Mike Sherman 10:51 a.m. It's bad publicity. Ask Mike Holder.
Big D 10:51 a.m. What issues will OSU face outside of bad publicity? Can this or will this be a real issue with NCAA?
Mike Sherman 10:52 a.m. Of course it can. Oklahoma State has already contacted the NCAA and hired its own investigator. It's taking this seriously, as it should.
Brian 10:52 a.m. Thoughts about Thayer Evans saying on SI video that most would have been better off going to a technical college than OSU? Awful.
Mike Sherman 10:54 a.m. That didn't come off very well. I have to admit something: My mother used to say that to me when I was a high school junior and bringing home Cs in biology. But she was trying to threaten me into better behavior. This is different. It didn't come off well. It's hyperbole.
Big D 10:54 a.m. So if OSU wins the Big12, "looks very likley" how will this story play in Dec/Jan?
Mike Sherman 10:55 a.m. I picked the Cowboys to win. I don't know how it will play, but it will be part of the narrative if they are in the Fiesta Bowl.
Brian 10:55 a.m. It has been interesting to compare the local media's reaction to these accusations with the usual reaction to accusations made about other institutions in the recent past. Despite the multifaceted nature of this report and the alleged direct involvement of OSU staffers, the local media seems to have come to the conclusion that it's not all that bad. In fact, it seems many feel SI is more to blame than OSU. Is this a change in perspective about what goes on at many D-1 schools or is this situation somehow fundamentally different than accusations we routinely hear about SEC schools or USC? Are these things now acceptable in the public eye, if for no other reason because we know many schools battle with these issues?
Mike Sherman 10:56 a.m. That's a generalization and on balance you may be correct. But instead of generalizing about the local media, what do you think about The Oklahoman? Me?
PokeFan83 10:56 a.m. What if some of these players who recieved tutoring help were special needs students? OSU could never tell that without the player consent. That may be some of what happened.
Mike Sherman 10:57 a.m. Special needs or learning disabled? You are correct. OSU could never tell without a player's consent. It's illegal.
Guest 10:57 a.m. I live in the Northeast so watching this from afar. As an OSU graduate I truly hope this ends up in court. This is no longer about football but integrity. OSU's vs SI's/Thayer, etc... Lets's put people under oath and find who has more.
Mike Sherman 10:58 a.m. The only way that will ever happen is if there is a lawsuit. Can't see that happening.
Deep 10:58 a.m. I was a tutor at the academic enhancement center from 2001-2004. Although I didn't tutor a football player, there were a bunch of basketball players that I did tutor. If someone wanted to go overboard and help students out more than they should, its certainly possible. But I remember these kids being at the center all hours of the day getting assignments done etc. I am not saying its not possible but given that the help was mostly offered to less than stellar performers on the field, makes me wonder if a lot of this is made up. About terry henley steering kids towards a specific major, isn't that common? I mean thats what counselors are for right?
Mike Sherman 11:00 a.m. Here's what I thought was think about that specific allegation: It would have been different if Artrell Woods or someone else was alleging they had the grades to pursue a degree in say Petroleum Engineering and weren't allowed to. Was someone being discouraged from entering a career/degree feel they had a passion for and had the grades to succeed in? That would have been damaging.
Bill 11:00 a.m. I strongly disagree with Berry in the shame vs. blame game. I could easily see the ou fans and alums catching the blow back from this article if it comes out that an ou fan purposely smeared a university to help out his precious school. And the last thing they need is the NCAA snooping around Oklahoma.
Mark 11:01 a.m. Good point PokeFan83. These players might not know what they were seeing. I think the stuff in today's section is much weaker than yesterday. None of these players know which classes and professors did this?
Big D 11:02 a.m. looks to be a black eye for OSU. No question about it! But I believe that they shake it off and come out on the other end stronger. Bump in the road no one wants, (well almost no one) but OSU will be just fine!
Berry Tramel 11:02 a.m. Hey, everybody. I'm up and running. I'll jump in for Mike Sherman.
Scot 11:02 a.m. What is the likelihood of oSu taking legal action against SI, if many of these allegations end up to be untrue?
Guest 11:02 a.m. Also, ESPN was filming in the locker room of the 2001 OU OSU game. Remember, they did a documentary on the OU preparation for the game and Stoops wouldn't let them into the OU locker room after OU lost so they filmed in the OSU lockerroom. SI is claiming that OSU boosters, handed out money while ESPN cameras were rolling. Am I the only one who finds that pretty unlikely?
Brian 11:03 a.m. From what I have read, it seems the Oklahoman has been good at just handing off the information as it comes in. As for you, I'm not sure of your perspective. Do you think this is fundamentally different than similar accusations and violations at SEC schools or even Conference USA schools?
Berry Tramel 11:03 a.m. The only way anyone will ever know what's untrue is through the courts. So it's very unlikely. Hardly anyone ever sues. I don't expect OSU to sue.
Berry Tramel 11:04 a.m. I think the money stuff seems pretty standard by other scandalous cases. The academic stuff seems similar to the North Carolina scandal from awhile back. The difference for OSU is, it's all so old. Most of it 8-10 years.
Mike Sherman 11:04 a.m. Brian, I'm going to take your question and then let Berry Tramel take over. I don't want to paint a broad brush with other schools. But what has been alleged here is really nothing new when it comes to (alleged) college football scandals.
T.R. 11:04 a.m. Athletes get special treatment. They get cushy jobs that pay them more than their work is worth (yesterday's article). They get money from hanger-on boosters (yesterday's). They get special tutoring (today's). They get soft treatment or downright boosted grades from teachers. Some of the tutors go too far and actually do the work for the players. This is no big story worthy of a 5-part expose. (I'm not saying it's right or shouldn't be punished.) It seems to me that the answer for the "Why pick on OSU" question is that they could get former OSU players who would be interviewed and may not be able to get as many from other schools. They admit that Thayer Evans was the initial source for at least the first players to agree to be interviewed. A couple of the players have said their answers were twisted to fit the article's agenda. This seems like sensationalism by SI to claim this is a major story. Maybe they were wanting one so badly that it distorted their view. I think the issues of money, grades, hostesses, etc. need to be talked about, but by focusing on one school, they've allowed that noise to obscure the big picture.
Berry Tramel 11:05 a.m. That's not a bad line of thought. I was certainly expecting more on the academic side. I thought the money deal had a bunch of allegations, but I didn't think there was much meat on this bone.
Guest 11:06 a.m. I'm curious, if the sex story is as full of holes as the last two, do the family of the girls have standing in court? They are not public figures I wouldn't think--I know public figures have to prove actual malice if you want to prove libel but isn't the standard lower for individuals who are not in the public eye?
Berry Tramel 11:06 a.m. No. This is not a public-figure case, even on the football side. Everyone has standing in court. Some people just for two or three seconds. But don't look for anyone to sue.
Tim 11:07 a.m. Why is everyone's defense that "this happens at every university?" Isn't that like saying every baseball player is on steroids so it's ok? Because that's not the response people have when baseball players get in trouble for PEDs.
Berry Tramel 11:07 a.m. You're right, Tim. That's no defense. And I can tell you this. While I think boosters slip money to players at virtually every school, I don't think many schools have coaches handing out money to players. That's the most damning thing that's been alleged so far, the DeForest stuff.
skyler 11:08 a.m. In your opinion to you think there is the proof needed for osu to get any major violations at this time? So far everything is just talk . I have not heard of or seen anything that can prove any of this has happened. I don't believe its all lies but I do not see the proof either.
Berry Tramel 11:09 a.m. Proof is not the operative word. There are enough witnesses to make things tough on OSU. But the timing makes it moot. All this stuff from 2007 and before, it seems clear that whatever problems were happening, they've largely dried up.
Guest 11:09 a.m. I'm not an athlete. I did undergrad at OSU and got my MBA at OU. There were several occurrences at both schools where I went to my professors toward the end of the year, and got bumped from a B to an A or a C to a B, if I was on the cusp, and had developed relationships with professors. At the end of the day, final grades can be subjective. And this kind of stuff goes on regularly, athletes or not. Also - regarding having the "tests beforehand", every single fraternity and sorority house across America keeps copies of old tests in a filing cabinet for reference by other students taking the same classes as those the year before them.
Berry Tramel 11:10 a.m. You make some good points. I just blogged about all the allegations today, and I pointed that out -- all kinds of profs are easy and helpful to students in questionable ways. And not just football players.
Brian 11:10 a.m. If The Oklahoman had done this series, how would it have handled it differently? What would you have added? What would have been edited out?
Berry Tramel 11:10 a.m. Oh heck, that's quite a question. For one thing, I think it needed to be pointed out that most of these guys left OSU for one problem or another. Also, point out the guys that didn't -- Fath' Carter, Daniel McLemore, etc.
Guest 11:11 a.m. What would be said if Evans didn't record interviews?
Berry Tramel 11:11 a.m. I don't think anyone would have been printed. I don't think SI would have gone with anything not on tape.
Robert 11:11 a.m. OSU allowing students to do things? Come on people by the time you get to college you are adults and make your won decisions. I for one, as a student there for 5 years, can tell you I observed no sex on campus. It just didnt happen.
Berry Tramel 11:11 a.m. We all need a little more levity. Thanks, Robert.
DY 11:12 a.m. things that happen after players arrive on campus as alleged at OSU are different than actions, promises that happen during recruiting (I.e., Cam Newton)... you have to get the top players to build a program ... nothing has been shown yet that any of these things were promised prior to a player signing letter of intent ... OSU built program through recruiting, facilities, coaching, etc.
Berry Tramel 11:12 a.m. Good point. Boone Pickens' money, not Joe DeForest's money, was the driving force behind the Cowboy renaissance.
Guest 11:12 a.m. Everyone needs to take into consideration the fact that, if some of these players had learning isuues and were special education students in public school that special help will follow them through college. Some of these guys may not even know the diiference if they were special needs students or not.
Berry Tramel 11:13 a.m. What everyone needs to know is that the NCAA creates this problem with easy admission standards for athletes, who then are thrust into situations with no chance of success. That's the story of today's piece.
PokeFan83 11:13 a.m. What if these students that got all the tutoring help were special needs students. The university could never tell that without the players consent.
Berry Tramel 11:14 a.m. Special needs? That's a hard sell. You're right, OSU couldn't say anything about it, but let's not cloud the issue with crazy thoughts. That's not what we're talking about. We're talking about the NCAA allowing athletes to be enrolled, when they have no business being on a college campus.
Guest 11:14 a.m. Is it smart for local radio personalities to scream, rant and rave call out Evans mother on air. Call names and generally make fun of anyone who gives this story any credibility? Seems like certain guys are making Oklahoma look like a bunch of homers with their heads in the sand or that all this stuff is ok or something. It's embarrassing to me as an Oklahoman
Berry Tramel 11:15 a.m. I haven't heard that. But yes, it's somewhat embarrassing. I think it's OK to point out Thayer Evans' past bashings of OSU, but you have to also take into consideration SI's 70-year history as a journalism bedrock.
Guest 11:16 a.m. Reading the article, the one thing that is brought to mind when thinking about these players is: Once a turd, Always a turd
Berry Tramel 11:17 a.m. When I read the article, I thought of some people in law enforcement and prosecution, who often have to rely on the testimony of lowlifes. Why? Because that's who associates with lowlifes. Other lowlifes.
Guest 11:17 a.m. If Girtman and company got paid, why isn't there any proof? Who did they tell? I can't believe that don't have anyone who can say "yeah I remember Brad being flush with cash" or "Brad told me at t he time he was being paid". You mean he kept quiet all these years? Unlikely
Berry Tramel 11:20 a.m. There was a lot of back-and-forth talk yesterday among the accusers. There was a lot of talk about each other being flush with cash.
Guest 11:20 a.m. If SI has all the interviews on video, I would assume OSU would not have any grounds to sue SI correct?
Berry Tramel 11:20 a.m. Not all the interviews are on video. SI says it has it all on tape. But OSU can sue whenever it wants. It just won't get very far.
Guest 11:21 a.m. Tatum Bell said that he was never contacted by SI. SI claims he was contacted. Has this issued been resolved and if so, who is correct?
Berry Tramel 11:21 a.m. I have no idea. But SI says it has Tatum Bell on tape. I'd bet on SI in this one.
Steve 11:22 a.m. First of all before anyone else question Barry Trammel I challenge you to listen to his segments on the sports animal in the afternoon. I think if you do you will find him intelligent, thoughtful and completely genuine. I may not always agree with him but I respect him.
Berry Tramel 11:22 a.m. Thanks, Uncle Steve.
Dont shoot the messenger 11:22 a.m. I find it very interesting that folks are slamming Thayer Evans based upon what they find when they Google his name. You cant believe everything you read on the Internet, folks. If you do, then Thayer is a French model. Fired by the Houston Chronicle for falsehoods on his resume? He never was a Houston Chronicle employee! He never was fired!
Berry Tramel 11:23 a.m. My only problem with Thayer is the way he's written a few things the last couple of years about OSU. That makes him look bad when investigating OSU. But Thayer has a history of investigating NCAA corruption. I'm told that not only Texas, but Auburn and A&M fans, too, hate Thayer.
Guest 11:23 a.m. How is steering kids to degrees they have a hope of attaining misconduct? Today's article seems worse than yesterday's which was frankly very poorly done.
Berry Tramel 11:25 a.m. By worse, if you mean, not much to it, I agree. Steering kids to courses they can pass is not a bad thing. The system is broken, moreso than OSU academics.
Steve 11:25 a.m. Do you think SI will release the Aso Pogi tape?
Berry Tramel 11:25 a.m. No.
Patrick 11:25 a.m. In this chat yesterday, you said coaches hiring players to do work at their homes was a violation and in one of Berry's articles, he said it is not. Since DeForest has admitted he did that and he is a recent coach, then this is an important fact to get right as it is one that could stick and result in some sanctions. Could you clarify, please? By the way, I agree with Berry. Even if it's not a violation, it looks bad and should not be allowed.
Berry Tramel 11:26 a.m. It is not an NCAA violation. Some schools have their own rules against it. But it's a terrible practice. No way should coaches employ athletes.
Dont shoot the messenger 11:27 a.m. Disgruntled Auburn fans make things up about Thayer Evans and post falsehoods(and even fake websites) on the Internet, and everyone takes it as the truth. Amazing, truly amazing. Thayer is, by far, the best journalist I have ever worked with.
Berry Tramel 11:27 a.m. You're right. Lots of bad information out there about Thayer.
Guest 11:27 a.m. For the hundredth time Thayer Evans is not an OU alumn.
Berry Tramel 11:27 a.m. I can't say one way or another, but I know he went to Bartlesville Wesleyan and played basketball there.
Big D 11:27 a.m. I say dont take this out on OU. Look at OSU and face what may or may not have happen and move on down the road! thats what winners do and OSU is a winning program.
Berry Tramel 11:28 a.m. Are you talking to OSU fans? I'm a little confused. But I like the part about moving on down the road.
Dont shoot the messenger 11:28 a.m. Do not be surprised if this series wins a Pulitzer Prize.
Berry Tramel 11:29 a.m. I'll be stunned. Part I had a ton of interview evidence, but it was lacking in physical evidence. The Miami story, done by Yahoo, for example, was full of physical evidence like receipts, timelines, etc.
Joshua 11:29 a.m. I'd expect the players to sue for libel and families of those accused. Do you see that happening?
Berry Tramel 11:30 a.m. No. For a variety of reasons. One, it's hard to prove. Two, some of it is undoubtedly true. The idea that SI made all this up, or the players conspired to make all this up, that doesn't pass the smell test. Sue, and all kinds of doors are open for interrogation.
PokeFan83 11:30 a.m. Does everyone feel, as I do, that it is strange that the sources are from players that left OSU with issues? I am stating feel this thing was derived or contrived by design.
Berry Tramel 11:31 a.m. No. Not everyone feels that way. Fath' Carter didn't leave OSU with issues. Daniel McLemore. I'm not a conspiracy theorist. But if you want to believe that 25-35 knuckleheads all got together and said, let's make up this story about Joe DeForest and boosters, then more power to you.
Brian 11:31 a.m. Seem strange that SI wrote a long story about alleged missteps involving football players and academics but no quotes or attempts to talk with Marilyn Middlebrook?
Berry Tramel 11:32 a.m. I don't know if they attempted to or did talk to Marilyn, but you're right. Totally strange that she wasn't mentioned. Marilyn has been an institution in OSU's academic center for 15 years. Totally don't get it.
Katy 11:32 a.m. Aso Pogi just stated that Thayer Evans interviewed him without telling him he was being recorded or taking notes. What does that say about the entire integrity of this article?
Berry Tramel 11:33 a.m. It says Thayer wasn't totally above board. It also says Aso Pogi might say something different, depending on if he knew he was being recorded. In other words, Aso seems to be saying, I wouldn't have told all I knew if I knew I was being recorded.
Guest 11:33 a.m. UNC had an entire academic department that was giving out easy grades. I am not seeing how this is similar to that in either nature or scope.
Berry Tramel 11:34 a.m. I talked to a long-time college sports academic advisor today. He read SI's piece and said it was similar to UNC. I am going to read the stuff out of Chapel Hill and see what I can find out.
Guest 11:34 a.m. In your opinion is there any evidence out there that osu could possibly get a major violation ? So far everything seems to be talk. I do not see proof for anything that has been said.
Berry Tramel 11:34 a.m. I think right now, OSU is in good shape with the NCAA. We'll see the rest of the week.
Guest 11:35 a.m. My favorite is the allegation they escorted Dez Bryant to class. College football program goes all out to keep its best player eligible. My God, it is worse than Penn State up there. It is pretty funny when you put it in perspective how desperate SI was to print something, anything, in this story.
Berry Tramel 11:36 a.m. Seemed a little naive to me, on SI's part. The NCAA's academic standards are creating this culture by which players with no business taking college courses are being put into college classes.
D.W. Washburn 11:36 a.m. If anyone has standing for a lawsuit, it's Thayer Evans for all the false allegations being thrown about regarding his background.
Berry Tramel 11:36 a.m. Maybe so. He'd have to find some of these yardbirds who put stuff on the internet.
Phil 11:36 a.m. Berry, it seems to me that if you were to cherry pick 65 ex players from any D1 school you would most likely come up with very similar allegations. Especially as it relates to academics. What are your thoughts?
Berry Tramel 11:37 a.m. Probably so. The academic stuff was pretty mild. I don't know if it's even anything worth looking into, by the NCAA. The stuff yesterday, there was meat on that bone. But today, no.
Guest 11:37 a.m. Why would SI put their name, rep and money behind this just to help Thayer Evans hurt a school he doesn't like? They wouldn't! Catch the net goes on everywhere. 5 cars speed through a speed trap 1 gets a ticket. Everybody does it is not a defense or acceptable answer. OSU is the 1 in 5 this time.
Berry Tramel 11:38 a.m. SI wouldn't. That's been my point. We're talking about an organization that goes back to 1954 and has been a leader in the industry for six decades.
Guest 11:38 a.m. If the NCAA gets involved what do you think they will investigate first and foremost?
Berry Tramel 11:38 a.m. After two parts, I'd say Joe DeForest. I don't think there's any doubt about it.
Joe 11:38 a.m. Berry, totally agree with the DeFo comment and if the u knew about it then they should be penalized too. So far I have seen nothing that makes me think HC's knew or condoned any of this.
Berry Tramel 11:39 a.m. My only problem with OSU is this. Anyone who's been around Stillwater knows that DeForest had a reputation as a loose cannon. Maybe you didn't know exactly what he was doing, but you knew something wasn't right. That's everyone. People on campus. People downtown. Everyone.
Steve 11:39 a.m. Personally I am looking forward to part five...I want to see how they tie all of this together. Will they do it in an intelligent, thought provoking way? How do you think it will play out based on the first two parts of the story?
Berry Tramel 11:40 a.m. I think they're going to give you the life stories of some of these guys, who have not turned out so well. I think they'll say that OSU failed these guys.
Brian 11:40 a.m. That's seems to be the general line right now and is the brush being used to soften the "scandal" locally, that is that this is old news and everyone does it. So I was just wondering if that is an indicative of a real change in public opinion about the transgressions of athletic departments and athletes across the country or is this somehow fundamentally different? I do think it is different, but mainly because of the possible direct involvement of OSU staffers. I think that makes it potentially worse, but most seem to be saying this happened awhile ago and is so commonplace that it amounts to no big deal.
Berry Tramel 11:41 a.m. I think the general public is immune to a lot of this. I was on CBS radio last night, national, and the guy said it seems to him that most fans around the country don't care. He could be right. The Joe DeForest stuff is a difference-maker though. Coaches handing out cash is different. It's so old, I don't think it affects OSU, though.
Guest 11:41 a.m. In comparision to the SMU scandal, didn’t it only take one former player/drug addict to take the university down?
Berry Tramel 11:41 a.m. Don't remember. You could be right.
Robert 11:42 a.m. So Berry, do you think SI's marketing group thought that publishing this story in 5 parts maximized the potential for SI to sell more magazines or Thayer Evans getting paid more? As it is turning out it seems like it is making it easier for OSU to look at each allegation and derail them one by one like hitting a ball out of the park with each pitch! If they had wanted to inflict maximun damage it seems like it should have come in one punch.
Berry Tramel 11:43 a.m. No. They marketed it well. Let me promise you one thing, the last thing SI -- or anyone else -- cares about is how OSU fans break down the allegations. This thing wasn't written for Oklahomans. Going five parts allowed SI to maximize the hits on the website, a way to build up that brand. Probably smart.
Guest 11:43 a.m. I disagree that this article was more damaging - I thought this article was nothing if not confusing. I have read it twice and while I get an overall gist, their message was highly confusing. I heard it said it is like they wanted to haveit both ways.
Berry Tramel 11:43 a.m. Who said this was more damaging? No way.
Patrick 11:44 a.m. I know his overall point was to look at the current OSU program, but did you think Boone Pickens' statement sounded a bit like an admission that some of those things WERE going on "a decade ago?"
Berry Tramel 11:44 a.m. Sure. The idea that this is all lies, well, that's just silly.
Perry 11:44 a.m. I disagree with you about no one suing. The family of the female booster has an excellent case and could make someone's life miserable. Deforest, Porter and Miles may not have a choice. Their reputations are hurt forever by this. If the sex thing starts naming specific girls they are going to have a problem.
Berry Tramel 11:46 a.m. First off, we haven't even read the stuff yet. But the last person on earth who should want to take this case to court is the father or mother of a girl named in this case. Perhaps this hasn't sunk in to everyone yet, but SI has some lawyers on its side. They might even be capable.
Guest 11:46 a.m. Regardless of whether you believe these or not, none of the allegations involve players anyone has ever heard of and all of the big name players like Fields or Dez Bryant say it is ridiculous. Since there is no proof of any of this, I don't see how this story has any legs.
Berry Tramel 11:47 a.m. Why does your name have to be big? This story most definitely has legs. It will be hard to prove -- and disprove -- which is one more reason OSU should be fine with the NCAA.
Anthony 11:47 a.m. Berry, as a journalist, in your opinion what is the more reasonable allegation? That some OSU players took money and engaged in academic misconduct or that Sports Illustrated falsified quotes and statements as part of a conspiracy to smear OSU?
Berry Tramel 11:47 a.m. The former. Not even close.
Big D 11:47 a.m. do you think Deforest is done? I dont think most of the SI story has much cred.. however, the Deforest thing may be real deal.. and Evans, yeah he kinda made SI look like fools with past reporting and tweets, ETC.. this is the information age after all..
Berry Tramel 11:48 a.m. I think Joe is in serious trouble.
Mark 11:48 a.m. I knew plenty of people in college, who were not athletes, that I often wondered how they got into OSU.
Berry Tramel 11:48 a.m. Probably the son or daughter of a booster.
DY 11:49 a.m. if this is true, how much of an advantage did it give OSU over competition (since some to all of this is common at other schools)? ... Cam Newton payments turned Aburn on a dime ...
Berry Tramel 11:49 a.m. Not much. Like we said, Boone's $300 million is what turned around OSU football.
Guest 11:49 a.m. from the next articles, what part do you see being the most damaging?
Berry Tramel 11:50 a.m. The idea that OSU, and perhaps Gundy, fostered a drug culture. That is very disconcerting.
Darryl 11:50 a.m. Why hasn't any player in good standing with the football program come forward to backup these claims of cheating? And before you say no one would do that, Hart Lee Dykes did. He was a four year starter, two-time all-american and graduated from OSU and is one of the greatest players in their history. He actually testified against OSU and several others. And he isn't the only one, Keith Jackson at OU came out and said there was a slush fund at OU. He is in good standing at OU too.
Berry Tramel 11:50 a.m. Fath' Carter was not dismissed. He was a four-year guy who left in good standing.
Gary 11:50 a.m. i am concerned that OSU may be doing the same thing as Penn State has done, by denying all issues as false. I hope that is the case, but i will hold judgement until this plays all the way out.
Berry Tramel 11:51 a.m. I don't think OSU is denying everything. I think yesterday OSU got all caught up in the frenzy of fans and former players cominig to their defense. I think OSU will revert to a more stately response.
Guest 11:51 a.m. The sex issue will be a non issue....come on, kids in college having sex....really, where's there story? Unless they allege that the school, a coach or someone affiliated with university was running a prostitution ring. The whole story so far is a few ex players that were all kicked off the team or left early, aided by an author with a less than stellar reputation and history of targeting OSU have made allegations that have been refuted by players that had success and graduated.
Berry Tramel 11:52 a.m. No, the stories were not refuted. Josh Fields can't say that Calvin Mickens didn't get paid. As for the sex, I've been told that SI might link Joe DeForest to organizing the dates. Setting up certain recruits with certain girls, etc. That would look bad. Real bad.
Guest 11:52 a.m. Wasn't it a huge mistake for SI to allow Evans to be a part of this story? Wouldn't you want someone with no connection or history to do this story? All they did was set themselves up to make Evans part of the story. That strikes me as a pretty stupid thing to do. Why was Evans necessary? Why did they think it was a good idea to hire him to do this story?
Berry Tramel 11:53 a.m. I think Thayer probably had a bunch of the interviews. That would be my guess.
Robert 11:53 a.m. SI is a doomed publication is it not Berry? Look at the explosion of online sports bloggers and Yahoo Sports! No one reads dead tree editions of sports magazines anymore.
Berry Tramel 11:54 a.m. Yes, people still do read Sports Illustrated. And they also read Online sports bloggers come and go like tree leaves. Sports Ilustrated is here to stay, in one form or another. Look at it this way. If TMZ or had produced this, we wouldn't be paying much attention to it.
Jill 11:54 a.m. It's obvious that this is a hit piece because it's so one sided. Both sides of the story need to be given, and SI chose to ignore that.
Berry Tramel 11:54 a.m. What's the other side? Guys who didn't get paid?
Guest 11:55 a.m. Sure, lowlifes can tell the truth. But you don't take them at their word. You trust but verify. I am not seeing a lot of the verify going on here.
Berry Tramel 11:56 a.m. Here would be my argument. There's just too much there. It's not two or three guys. It's 35-45 guys over an 8- to 10-year span. Guys who didn't even know each other. Weren't in school together.
Patrick 11:56 a.m. I would say SI's "bedrock" status is seriously in question when they are hiring guys like Evans with shady pasts and it almost seems like they didn't even look at his past before turning him loose with this "story." The whole things just seems very shoddy and poorly conceived.
Berry Tramel 11:57 a.m. Let me promise you. People in California or Michigan or Tennessee aren't sitting around saying, oh, that guy's got an OSU bias. We're all a little close to the story here to see what the impact is.
Guest 11:57 a.m. the IRS can't even track cash, money hand offs will be hard to prove.
Berry Tramel 11:57 a.m. Great point.
Guest 11:57 a.m. There is info out there that Girtman and a couple other of the players interviewed were paid for thier interview. Have you heard anything like that? Also Evans apparantly is NOT an SI employee but freelance.
Berry Tramel 11:58 a.m. Info out there? Sorry, that's where you're just making SI's case. Sports Illustrated is not "info out there." So you believe that Sports Illustrated, in its eternal quest to lambaste OSU, is going to pay for interviews and throw away its long-earned reputation for journalistic integrity?
Sandra 11:58 a.m. Today's article was a mess. I guess they were trying to say that there are problems with athletes and grades, but the way they did it was confusing and illogical. They were required to go to a tutor for help. Professors listened to students and responded with things like 'Come to class and show me your notes and I'll work with you'. That seems to show a school that cares, but the way it was worded was to say that was a bad thing. I thought it was actually poorly written - I didn't agree with the first article but I could follow the logic. This one seems like it is trying too hard.
Berry Tramel 11:59 a.m. You might be right. I didn't see much to it. Tutors doing work for players, that's serious business. But the rest of it, not much there.
Brian B 12:00 p.m. While many seem to feel the story is soft because these things are typical, it seems the reaction has been typical too.
Berry Tramel 12:00 p.m. Probably so.
Rusty 12:00 p.m. I had a professor give me a back rub, was that mentioned in Sports Illustrated?
Berry Tramel 12:01 p.m. I tried insinuate from a professor of mine that I'd like to use his house on the beach at Nova Scotia sometime. He never got the hint.
Brian 12:01 p.m. People need to just STOP with any hint that OSU and/or former players should sue SI. Please name the last company and/or private citizen who won a libel case against a major publication. Thanks. End of story.
Berry Tramel 12:01 p.m. Good point.
Big D 12:01 p.m. SI like most papers and magazines are losing readers. what does this do to SI if people question the integrity of the reporting. (out side of OSU/Oklahoma )
Berry Tramel 12:02 p.m. It doesn't do anything. Most papers and magazines are NOT losing readers. They are losing subscriptions, but not readers. Their readers are moving to the internet. If people question the integrity of this story, people will go read the story. That's what's going to happen.
Patrick 12:02 p.m. Unfortunately, Tatum Bell has been shown to be a liar going back to the locker room incident when he got cut by Detroit. He later even admitted lying about it.
Berry Tramel 12:02 p.m. Great point.
Rusty 12:03 p.m. Has Barry Trammel ever fallen asleep at a coach's presser and if so did he make up stuff for the next days paper?
Berry Tramel 12:03 p.m. I have no idea what Barry Trammel ever has done. Berry Tramel has never fallen asleep at a presser, even though he's wanted to many a time.
Ken 12:03 p.m. What is of interest to me is what led to the SI investigation? Was there a whistle blower? Was there some compelling fact or truth that motivated SI to pursue the story? Loose accusations could only lead to embarrass SI in the end.
Berry Tramel 12:04 p.m. George Dohrmann has said that SI was looking to find a college football program that was "out of control" -- my words, not his -- and that in talking to some former players, SI began to uncover some stuff about OSU.
StanTheMan 12:05 p.m. Barry - Have you read Atrell's rant on facebook?
Berry Tramel 12:05 p.m. No. I've heard about it.
Guest 12:05 p.m. I can judge Theyer Evans by the fact that he was fired from one job for lying on his resume and was fired from the NYT for filing dishonest stories. And I can read his own words and conclude he has some very strange and immature hatred towards OSU. That doesn't mean he is necessarily lying. But it certainly should give everyone pause.
Berry Tramel 12:05 p.m. Thayer was not fired from the Houston Chronicle and was not fired from the New York Times. You've been reading the wrong message boards.
Berry Tramel 12:06 p.m. Hey, everybody. Jenni Carlson is taking over for me.
Jenni Carlson 12:06 p.m. Hey, folks, I'll hop on here for awhile and try to answer as many questions as possible.
Guest 12:06 p.m. Your personal conversation can be taken out of context. I think it is fair to say, Pogi being more careful in front of a recorder doesn't mean he would had something to hide.
Jenni Carlson 12:07 p.m. Any conversation can be taken out of context. Making sure that doesn't happen is something I know I'm very cautious to avoid. You want to make sure every source is quoted accurately.
Brian 12:08 p.m. Your Quote: "Aso seems to be saying, I wouldn't have told all I knew if I knew I was being recorded." - I think you have misrepresented what Aso has said so far. He has said that he entirely denied all wrongdoing, and his quotes used in the story were him expressing shock at the allegations put on the table.
Jenni Carlson 12:09 p.m. Brian, I know this wasn't submitted to be directed at me, but what I saw of what Aso said made me believe that he felt like he wasn't being interviewed, so it might be that when he was asked about living at John Talley's ranch rent-free, he didn't think to follow up with more details. He didn't do that because he didn't think he was being interviewed.
Patrick 12:09 p.m. OSU is acting like the first they knew of this whole thing was just in the last couple of weeks when the SI guys came to tell them about it. It seems a bit far-fetched that all these interviews were going on with former players and coaches over the last 10 months and none of it ever filtered back to OSU. For instance, you would think a guy like Aso Pogi, after getting questioned by Evans and having Evans telling him about all these allegations against OSU, would pick up the phone and call Gundy (his former OC and QB coach) or someone at OSU and ask what the heck is going on.
Jenni Carlson 12:10 p.m. From what I understand, Pogi was interviewed just last week, so OSU was finding out about things just about the time Pogi was being interviewed. ...
Jenni Carlson 12:11 p.m. As for word getting back to the program from players who were being talked to -- my sense is that most of the guys who were interviewed don't have the greatest relationship with the program. They don't keep touch with current coaches or players, so I could see how word might not have filtered back. Is it possible that OSU DID know something before last week? Sure. But I can also see how they were caught largely off guard.
Guest 12:11 p.m. Berry, SI is bankrupt and was recently spun off as a separate entity from Time Warrener. Look. Frank DeFord isn't walking through that door. This isn't your father's SI. Regardless of the truth of this story, SI is a wounded and dying publication like pretty much every other major magazine. So I don't think the "but it is SI they would never lie or sensationalize" defense really works.
Jenni Carlson 12:12 p.m. Much like our industry of newspapers, magazines are having a tough time these days, too. No doubt about that. I'm sure that SI, like everyone else in print, is trying to figure out what sells. ...
Jenni Carlson 12:13 p.m. Now, that doesn't automatically discredit what they've done. Not by a long shot. But all print entities are trying to figure out how to operate in this new day.
TaxProf 12:13 p.m. As a retired OSU prof, I find today's article lacking. Did the tutors help with papers? Likely, but other students hire tutors and get the same "help." Papers won't get you a passing grade, you have to pass the tests! As for profs who gave out grades, etc., it's hard to believe knowing the academic atmosphere at OSU. Most of these guys were in A&S degrees. Those profs are so jealous of what athletics have and complain about it so much, it seems that it would be hard to find someone who would just blatantly give out grades. My prof friends and I were (are) big OSU fans, but none of us would ever even think about giving out/changing grades for an athlete. I will admit that I have changed an F to a D to a student so they could graduate and get out of OSU (where they didn't belong) but they weren't athletes.
Jenni Carlson 12:14 p.m. An interesting take. Thanks for sharing some perspective from someone who's been inside the academic world at OSU.
Big D 12:14 p.m. okay, okay.. This Thayer Evans guy is getting alot of play.. any real validity to the clams against him..
Jenni Carlson 12:14 p.m. Depends on what claims you're talking about. Our guy Anthony Slater is working on a piece about Thayer. You'll want to stay tuned for it.
Guest 12:15 p.m. you sure they wouldn't?
Jenni Carlson 12:15 p.m. I read that piece earlier. Worth checking out, I think.
dooby 12:15 p.m. berry, you said the money stuff is old but Deforest was there until 2011, surely the ncaa finds more recent stuff.
Jenni Carlson 12:17 p.m. Dooby, you bring up a good point, but in the money piece, even though SI said there was wrongdoing through 2011, it gave no examples of it. All the examples dated back several years before that. If they have examples of stuff that happened in 2011, why not print it? After all, that's the stuff that falls within the statute of limitations and could get a school in trouble.
Darryl 12:17 p.m. You say you heard about DeForest and his reputation and everyone heard something about him. Did you ever hear anything about this stuff happening at OSU? If you heard about DeForrest you surely would have heard about this type of stuff too, right?
Jenni Carlson 12:18 p.m. Like Berry, I heard things about DeForest, but I never heard anything about paying players.
Dont shoot the messenger 12:18 p.m. Oklahoma talk radio folks have been repeating all the falsehoods they read on the Internet about Thayer. Why would they be so reckless?
Jenni Carlson 12:18 p.m. I can't speak for them, nor do I want to.
Bill 12:18 p.m. Deforest got his backing because when Les left OSU high and dry, Defo kept the recruiting class contacted and intact for the most part, for the interim until Gundy was selected HC. After that, I don't know.
Jenni Carlson 12:19 p.m. DeForest was a heck of a special teams coach and built a recruiting pipeline to Houston. Those were two big gold stars on his resume.
Guest 12:19 p.m. Do you relly think a coach was blatantly handing out cash in front of all the plyers and no one said anything about it until now?
Jenni Carlson 12:20 p.m. I can't say if that was happening. Every player that I've talked to said that it didn't, and I've talked to guys who were among the best on the teams they were on. Greg Richmond. Corey Hilliard. Charlie Johnson. Those guys were all-conference caliber guys. They say they never got anything. All I can go on is what I hear from them.
Guest 12:20 p.m. I am a physician and studied at OSU for my undergraduate degree. When my schedule was packed with rigorous science courses, I often padded it with one or two courses I knew would be easy to ace. I also visited professors during there office hours which sometimes led to information that helped with a test. It doesn't matter if you need a 2.0 or a 4.0, it makes sense to behave strategically. Much of what they describe isn't unique to athletes.
Jenni Carlson 12:21 p.m. Guest, I agree with that. Berry made a great point in a blog earlier today -- when he was a student at OU, he was already working in newspapers, and he's pretty sure that a couple profs gave him a break just because. He didn't ask for it. They just did it. ...
Jenni Carlson 12:22 p.m. Much of what I read today didn't seem like a systematic problem in the OSU athletic department. It seemed like a rogue prof or player here or there.
Brian B 12:22 p.m. Schools are heavily penalized all the time for conduct of rouge boosters, even when the school had no knowledge or involvement. What would the punishment look like if a coach was found to be paying players for performance.
Jenni Carlson 12:23 p.m. It would be pretty serious, I suspect. I mean, the NFL got out the whopping stick on coaches who did that ... and that was with paid, professional athletes. So, I suspect the NCAA would lower a big-time boom if a coach at the college level did that. ...
Jenni Carlson 12:24 p.m. Of course, if it happened outside that statute-of-limitations window, I'm not sure the NCAA would get the school or just punish the coach individually. It would be interesting to see, that's for sure.
dooby 12:24 p.m. the bigger problem is that it has attracted the NCAA to campus....
Jenni Carlson 12:24 p.m. If OSU is doing things right now, as officials have said, then they should have nothing to fear about the NCAA being on campus.
Guest 12:24 p.m. Isn't the stuff on the drugs and academics a lot of heads I win tails you lose logic? First OSU is wrong for not being hard on drug use and letting a culture of drugs develop. But they are also wrong for cracking down on drug use and kicking drug users off the team and not "abandoning them" as if they owe their players a lifetime of support.
Jenni Carlson 12:25 p.m. An interesting point. Kick guys off the team, then use those numbers against a program when looking at retention. Hopefully, those distinctions are made by the reporters and writers.
Joshua 12:25 p.m. For the odd people defending Thayer Evans as a "Great Journalist" here, read his Chokie State Article.
Jenni Carlson 12:26 p.m. Brandon Weeden sounded off about that earlier today. Our man Anthony Slater blogged about it. Let me find the link. ...
dooby 12:26 p.m. Traber said he thinks this is all falsified by Evans because he hates osu. thought?
Jenni Carlson 12:27 p.m. You can't falsify everything just because a reporter might like the other in-state school. Does it bring things into question? Perhaps. But it doesn't outright falsify them. These allegations need to be looked into, and by all accounts, OSU is prepared to do that.
Jenni Carlson 12:27 p.m. The link for the previously mentioned "Chokie State" piece.
Lance 12:28 p.m. Berry, Enron was a leader in the industry for years. Athur Anderson as well. Just because sports illistrated has a good rep, doesn't mean that much. Someone hired thayer, and dohrmann used him. Either dohrmann didn't know about thayer, or didn't care. Either one damages his credibility. Also the Seymour Shaw answer to Gottlieb, enough said.
Jenni Carlson 12:29 p.m. I'm neither agree nor disagreeing with what you said, but here's something that has been made clear to me in journalism from Day 1: your credibility takes years and years to establish and can be destroyed in a day.
Byron 12:29 p.m. Do you think not interviewing Marilyn Middlebrook is a little suspect? Do you think SI avoided this to keep the investigation under wraps from OSU?
Jenni Carlson 12:30 p.m. To your first question: that was surprising to me. If I think academics as they related to OSU athletics, the first person I think of is Marilyn. A high-ranking OSU official told me today that SI didn't speak to her or ask to speak to her. Odd. ...
Jenni Carlson 12:30 p.m. To your second question: it's my understanding that SI didn't talk to Terry Henley until last week, so it wasn't like they were trying to go around behind Marilyn's back before they talked to him.
Guest 12:31 p.m. Why does it have to be a conspiracy against OSU? Is it hard to believe that a magazine facing bankruptcy would falsify quotes to create a big story where their was none and thus generate web hits and ad revenue?
Jenni Carlson 12:33 p.m. I heard this morning that Fath' Carter was interviewed, and he is a guy who I believe got two degrees from OSU. I don't think he left with any significant axes to grind. He said he stands by everything he said. He, to me, is one of the more credible sources. And he alleges things that are very serious.
Guest 12:33 p.m. When I say "has legs", I mean anyone other than partisans at OSU and OU caring about it. Why does the casual fan care about this? No proof and no big name player involved.
Jenni Carlson 12:34 p.m. I'm sure for many college football fans around the country, they read these quotes and anecdotes and see that as proof. They don't know the difference between the credibility of Brad Girtman and Josh Fields. They just assume what's said is true. ...
Jenni Carlson 12:35 p.m. And people care because OSU has become a player on the national college football scene. Nearly played for a national championship two years ago. Went to a BCS bowl. Expected to win the Big 12 this season. Cowboy football is a bigger deal than it's every been.
Sooner Born 12:35 p.m. Remember that some big names were said to have been provided benifits. If you are a big name at OSU, why would you ever admit that you received benifits? It only hurts you and the school that made you a big name.
Jenni Carlson 12:37 p.m. A valid point. Those guys, though, are staking their credibility on what they say. And if you're a guy who's in the NFL, for example, you could conceivably have a lot more to lose if it's proven you lied. A guy who's kicking around his hometown, living with his mom might not have as much to lose.
Steve 12:37 p.m. Ethically should you include stuff in a piece like this because its probably true or maybe its true? Where is the line drawn? What is a journalist's ethical responsibility? I think SI shot itself in the foot a little by going for volume over substance.
Jenni Carlson 12:39 p.m. Steve, I'm not sure what you mean by "probably true" or "maybe it's true". The standard that we live by is you have to know it's true. Either we have multiple sources tell us that or someone on our staff witnessed something ... our goal is to know without a doubt that something's true by those standards before we print it.
Robert 12:39 p.m. Gundy was the one that wanted to sit Dez as soon as a hint of an investigation came about and that one act likely cost us a change to win the Big 12 that year. NO ONE could cover I SERIOUSLY doubt OSU or Gundy would foste a drug culture. Do people really think they could be that dumb?
Jenni Carlson 12:41 p.m. People do dumb stuff all the time, people who have a lot more to lose than anyone in OSU's program. Look at Lance Armstrong, Kobe Bryant, Tiger Woods ... you would think those guys wouldn't be so dumb as to do something to jeopardize their good name. But missteps happen all the time because people stupidly think they're above the rules.
Brian 12:41 p.m. Berry, it seems like the lack of names (Boosters, professors, tutors) really makes the SI claims week. "Some guys was handing out money" or "some professor was giving out grades" sounds VERY different to my ears than when a specific individual is named. Do you find this a weakness in the article?
Jenni Carlson 12:42 p.m. I thought the chance to have better documentation was definitely there today. With grades, you can ask to see a guy's transcript. "Show me the class where you got a fixed grade." "Let me see the hard proof." I would've liked to have seen that today.
Nick 12:43 p.m. You say if foxsports wrote this we wouldn't be paying that much attention, but didn't Thayer Evans write for during the time that their reputation kind of took a hit???
Jenni Carlson 12:44 p.m. You know what? I'm not as up on the Thayer conspiracies as most people, so I can't really say. Sorry.
Big D 12:44 p.m. Dohrmann Said they picked OSU because they went from dormat to BCS bowl champs and great program in short order. Kinda funny because OSU was not that good until 2009 or so... yeah OSU won 7 games a few tiimes before 2009 but really? It was the T. Boone that made this program rock. New stadium, ETC. Kinda is silly that he would say that.. am I worng on this?
Jenni Carlson 12:46 p.m. I was talking to a former player yesterday -- can't remember if it was Charlie Johnson or Clay Coe -- and he made the point that there are any number of programs on the rise that could've been investigated. Heck, it wasn't too long ago that OSU beat Alabama in a bowl game ... now Bama is on the verge of three consecutive titles. They seem like a program on the rise. Why not look at them? A valid question for which I have no answer.
Aaron 12:46 p.m. What is the consequence SI might face if the tapes confirm the words or quotes were twisted or misrepresented?
Jenni Carlson 12:47 p.m. It would largely be a credibility issue for them moving forward. But there's a chance that some of the stuff, if it was misquoted or misrepresented, could lead to slander or libel charges. We'd just have to see.
Mark 12:47 p.m. You are cominig off as kind of an apologist for SI. Objectively, do you think this series leans more towards Jerry Springer's greatest hits or a Pullitzer Prize winner?
Jenni Carlson 12:48 p.m. Mark, I know this was directed for Berry, and I can't speak for him. I don't think this is a Pulitzer winner, but I also don't think it's Jerry Springer. Deep in my journalistic bones, I believe where there's smoke, there's got to be at least a little fire. Is everything in these stories true? It doesn't seem so. But is it all lies? I have a hard time believing that either.
Cole 12:49 p.m. I ask as an OU fan and alum....what about Les Miles and LSU? Do you think that environment is so pro-Les that they wont' even entertain the thought that some of these things are going on there? Would it have to be Crimson Tide beat reporter in Tuscaloosa that would look into LSU? If the Bomar/Big Red Sports dealership case was spawned from citizen emails...could that happen at LSU?
Jenni Carlson 12:50 p.m. I'm sure LSU will take this opportunity to sit Les down and say, "Is there anything you want to tell us?" Maybe the answer is no, but much like OSU, I have to think LSU is taking this opportunity to look closely at itself in the mirror.
Brian 12:50 p.m. Will people outside of Oklahoma care about this story after next week? Will national media keep writing columns and stories about it? I think everything dies down until the NCAA investigation is complete.
Jenni Carlson 12:51 p.m. That's probably fair, Brian. I doubt they'll be much national attention paid after the final story runs. It will be a story around here longer, but beyond the state borders, it will likely fade.
Patrick 12:51 p.m. I've read so much on this the past couple of days, I'm starting to lose track of what I've read and where. Was DeForest's admission that he paid players to work at his house just on SI, or did that come from some other outlet? If just from SI, might that also be in question? You really think WVU would fire Deforest just based on what they are reading in SI?
Jenni Carlson 12:51 p.m. I've only seen that from DeForest in SI. I can't say as though I went looking for it elsewhere, though. ...
Jenni Carlson 12:52 p.m. Do I think WVU would fire DeForest for what they're reading in SI? Sure. Assistant coaches have been fired for a lot less.
guest 12:52 p.m. don't you think the entire point of the story is to point out that big time college programs are a machine. A machine that chews some folks up and spits them out. They aren't worried about providing "proof" because how the people they are primarily interviewing have turned out are the proof
Jenni Carlson 12:53 p.m. No doubt it is a machine, but I don't buy that all players are seen as only widgets in those machines. I believe there are lots of good people all around college athletics who truly care about the young people they work with. Does everyone care? Probably not. But there are way more who do than don't.
Guest 12:53 p.m. What is the statute of limitation on violations, 4 years? How much of this can actually effect, beyond embarrassment, the program? Do you think the ncaa may look at institutional control with OSU?
Jenni Carlson 12:55 p.m. Even if things happened before the four-year window, a school can be penalized by the NCAA if there's a pattern of problems. I don't have the exact wording in front of me, but the bottom line is, just because something happened more than four years ago doesn't mean that the NCAA isn't interested. ...
Jenni Carlson 12:56 p.m. That said, I've seen very little evidence that the issues in these first two stories are still big problems. Sounds like the program is solid now. That bodes well as the NCAA takes a look at past problems.
Mark 12:56 p.m. Would one expect to hear these same stories/allegations at any university if disgruntled former players are the sources of the information? Maybe the Oklahoman can test this theory by performing a similar "investigation" of the OU football program...
Jenni Carlson 12:57 p.m. Mark, you're probably right. But at OSU, I would hope that they don't brush this aside because "everyone else is doing it." Take this as an opportunity to make sure your house is in order. If it is, great. If it isn't, fix it.
Mark 12:57 p.m. I trust Tatum's about as much as the SI interviewees.
Jenni Carlson 12:57 p.m. Fair enough.
rappy 12:57 p.m. "Pogi: He didn’t even take notes. We were just conversing. It was just a conversation in my office. He didn’t take notes. He didn’t pull out a (recorder). He didn’t define anything."
Jenni Carlson 12:58 p.m. A conversation can be recorder in Oklahoma without the interviewee knowing it. He could've had a recorder in his pocket, and it would've been completely legal. Would I have recorded it without Pogi knowing it? No. I always make sure sources are aware that my tape recorder is out and on.
Earl, NYC 12:59 p.m. Maybe answered above, but why are there no professors named in today's articles, or the classes where they got these easy A's? It shouldn't be that hard for them to have got their transcript and shown exactly which classes they didn't attend, but still got an 'A'.
Jenni Carlson 1:00 p.m. Earl, a valid point. I would've liked to have seen more detail about who the profs were and what the classes were. Seems like info that would've been attainable, even if guys didn't remember. Get a transcript. Figure it out from there.
Guest 1:00 p.m. Pogi is being very clear that he didn't say what SI said he did. Either Pogi or SI is lying. Doesn't that put a cloud over the whole story? If SI lied about this, what else are they lying about? And if they are not lying, where is the tape they say exists and shows they are not?
Mike Sherman 1:00 p.m. Jumping in to help Jenni answer questions. there's a ton of them .
Stan 1:00 p.m. Jenni - Does anyone still read SI?
Jenni Carlson 1:01 p.m. I'll answer Guest's question ...
Mike Sherman 1:01 p.m. I do. Good magazine. Great writers. I've been getting it since the third grade. Love Peter King's Monday Morning Quarterback and the new website for that is terrific too.
Guest 1:01 p.m. How am I supposed to take Evans seriously after the Chokie state rant? I ask again, why did SI allow him to be a part of this? Weren't they asking for trouble?
Mike Sherman 1:01 p.m. It damages his credibility, no doubt.
Joe Fowler 1:02 p.m. I taught at OSU for 36 years and never in my tenure there was I asked by any member of the athletic staff to change a grade for any athlete or to give an athlete a grade that that he or she did not legitimately earn nor did I ever hear of such a request to any of my colleagues. I found the faculty at OSU to be dedicated ethical professionals who were interested only in seeing their students learn and succeed. Consequently, I have serious doubts about the credibility of these allegations and a lot of reservations about the integrity of the reporter.
Jenni Carlson 1:02 p.m. To Guest's question from before: When stories like this are written, it often happens that sources recant what they said. They see it in print and don't like it and say, "I never said that."
Dan - Stillwater 1:02 p.m. How can something like this be published (by and institution like SI), when there are so many holes in the article? There are no NAMES and PROOF!! All of this is hearsay.
Guest 1:02 p.m. It's clear that Jenni has decided to abandon John and Berry's fair approach and pander to the OSU side. Time to log out...
Jenni Carlson 1:03 p.m. Hey, Guest, I don't know what you feel is fair and unfair. I'm just here to give my opinion.
Mike Sherman 1:03 p.m. Dan: There's plenty of names. Brad Girtman, Artrell Woods, Calvin Mickens. We ran like three columns of the cast of characters quoted and involved in this story. There's plenty of names. Is there sufficient proof? That's for the reader to decide. Maybe the NCAA will have its chance to decide too.
Richard 1:03 p.m. Personally, I don't think this 'big series' is getting much play outside of Oklahoma. Watched ESPN last night and it was all about everyone's favorite bad boy Manziel. I think SI goofed in thinking OSU was the big story - If they had written the story about 'Bama, the entire country would be talking.
Guest 1:03 p.m. Fath Carter says they gave out money in the OSU locker room in front of ESPN cameras and on the walk to the stadium in front of thousands of people. His allegations seem a bit far fetched. He can stand by them. But that doesn't mean anyone has to believe them.
NE 1:04 p.m. As someone who has covered OSU football and other athletics in general, are you surprised by these allegations -- particularly under Mike Gundy? Same question under Les Miles...
Jenni Carlson 1:04 p.m. Richard: I think the first story got a good amount of play. Obviously with the A&M-Bama game this week, that's going to take some of the headlines. But as the week goes, it will be interesting to see what is out there about the next two stories.
mpowers001 1:04 p.m. What is the likelihood that any of this will result in any investigations, sanctions and/or punishment from the NCAA? I realize that this depends on what the NCAA can verify but what are the chances that these articles cause the NCAA to thoroughly probe the OSU athletic dept?
Mike Sherman 1:05 p.m. NE: Am I surprised that athletes are paid? No. Am I surprised that athletes receive help in classes and preferential treatment in some cases? No. This is not a new story in college athletics.
Jenni Carlson 1:05 p.m. mpowers: OSU has already asked the NCAA to get involved, so things are going to be scrutinized. My best guess is that there will be some punishment, but I don't believe it will be major sanctions.
Sean 1:05 p.m. Not that day one's allegations (Deforest) weren't serious, but from what you've seen so far, was this story worth 10 months and an entire team to develop? Or, was it overpursuit.
Guest 1:05 p.m. I attended school during the Miles era. I lived one dorm room from Darrant Williams and was my next door neighbor Junior & Senior year. I knew a few guys on the team. Many liked to flaunt, Darrant included, but in the time I knew him or the other guys they never mentioned being paid for anything. I knew they had tutors to assist them. Darrant can't defend himself, but Fields, Weeden, Williams, and others can. Why are their stories not taken into consideration?
Mike Sherman 1:05 p.m. Too early to judge. Still three days to go, Sean
steve 1:06 p.m. Well, Bedlam should be fun this year!
Mike Sherman 1:06 p.m. It's always fun, Steve.
Jake 1:06 p.m. What uniform combination will OSU wear this weekend? Isn't that what everyone really cares about?
Mike Sherman 1:06 p.m. I prefer black helmets
Linda 1:06 p.m. Did S.I pay any of these former players to give them a report regarding OSU?
Mike Sherman 1:06 p.m. Linda, SI says it did not.
Jenni Carlson 1:07 p.m. Guest: I can't speak for who SI spoke to or didn't speak to. But I agree that it's interesting that the sources didn't include many big-name, top-shelf players.
Katy 1:07 p.m. What seems interesting to me is that SI claims they have been investigating for 10 months but a majority of their "quotes" are purportedly recently collected last week. And they say the lawyers had enough time to approve it?
Guest 1:08 p.m. It seems like every person who is associated with OSU like the Taxprof who asked the question above is saying various elements of the story not being credible. Is there a person out there in a position to know, who is not in the story and doesn't work for OSU anymore and thus has no reason to lie, who believes this stuff?
Mike Sherman 1:08 p.m. Katy, I must have missed something. Where did you see that the quotes were from last week?
Ken 1:08 p.m. how do you get your comment on the page
Mike Sherman 1:08 p.m. Like that.
Jenni Carlson 1:09 p.m. Guest: I can't speak for everyone, but I thought the academics story was a chance to have more hard-and-fast facts. From transcripts, for example. But instead, it was all he-said stuff, as near as I can tell.
Hyun 1:09 p.m. OSU is institution that goes back to 1890’s. Berry said SI is institution that goes back to 1954. Both institutions could risk integrity motivated by greed. Of course, we have to wait till how it all falls out. But to say, SI must be telling the truth because they have so much journalistic integrity to lose seems to be as shaky as OSU couldn’t have done all those things because all the alum of OSU are good people.
Steve 1:09 p.m. Usually, in investigative reporting, there is something that "triggers" a journalist into thinking an investigation is needed. Barry, what do you think "triggered" the SI journalist into writing this piece? Did someone come to them? Such as a player or coach?
Jenni Carlson 1:10 p.m. George Dohrmann said yesterday in an interview that about a year ago they started hearing some talk that some funny business was happening at OSU.
Kast 1:10 p.m. Have you read Artrell's Facebook rant? Doesn't seem like a great posterboy for the SI story.
Jenni Carlson 1:11 p.m. I did see the rant. Once upon a time, Artrell Woods was the feel-good story of OSU. Paralyzed, and he got back on the football field. What an amazing tale. ...
Jenni Carlson 1:11 p.m. But the thing is, even though he suffered a traumatic injury in the weight room, OSU didn't owe him a degree as he said in his rant. I'm sorry, but that's the truth.
Dont shoot the messenger 1:11 p.m. I hope Anthony Slater doesn't throw around the same old falsehoods about Thayer that everyone else is. He wasn't fired by the NY Times nor the Houston Chronicle. Heck, he never was a Chronicle employee to begin with. He cut his journalistic teeth as a non-sports freelance reporter for the paper's community news sections. He was a better reporter than most of the paper's actual reporters. He did a stand-up job for them.
Jenni Carlson 1:12 p.m. Anthony is one of our best. He's going to tell the story the right way.
Guest 1:12 p.m. If OSU was paying players, wouldn't have they been paying Dez Bryant? And if Dez was being paid, wouldn't have the NCAA found out when they suspended him over the lunch with Dion? HE did get a lot of scrutiny. And they didn't find anything.
Ken 1:12 p.m. Does anyone even read SI anymore?
Mike Sherman 1:13 p.m. Asked and answered by me. Yes, I do. I enjoy it.
Katy 1:13 p.m. They interviewed Talley last week. Aso Pogi last week.
Jenni Carlson 1:13 p.m. Guest: I don't know if the NCAA would've found anything like that then, but it's reasonable to assume that it checked into a lot of things about Dez at that time.
Guest 1:13 p.m. Has anyone contcated Bill Young? I wonder what he would say about all this.
Jenni Carlson 1:14 p.m. Guest: A great point. We've made a lot of calls and have a lot more to make. Seems reasonable that we'd reach out to Bill when we have a chance.
John 1:14 p.m. It will be interesting to see if any boosters are allowed in the locker room this week...
David 1:14 p.m. Sorry I have only read till the noon portion of this chat, but I am losing more and more faith in Berry Tramels lack of bias in this. Perhaps I am wrong, but that is the way you have come off to me (my opinion) in articles for some time now, and your apologetics for Thayer Evans are not helping. There is no way, given his history Thayer Evans should have been involved in an investigative report of OSU. I think the Oklahoman would be wise to consider the same with Mr Tramel.
Jenni Carlson 1:15 p.m. John: From what past players have told me, the only non-football people they ever saw in the locker room were people like Barry Sanders. Former stars who come back. They never remember seeing any boosters in there.
Jenni Carlson 1:15 p.m. Stan: By the way, I still read SI, too. Sorry I forgot to comment earlier!
Mike Sherman 1:15 p.m. Sorry, David but Berry is one of our very best people and one of the finest journalists I know. If you mean his lack of bias I consider that to be a compliment. I can't speak for what Sports Illustrated thinks about Thayer Evans, but I can speak for what The Oklahoman thinks of Berry Tramel.
Eli 1:15 p.m. As a reporter how do you find guys to talk on a subject like this?
Jenni Carlson 1:16 p.m. Hey, folks, I'm sorry to bolt, but I need to get to work on some stuff. Your questions have been great, and we really appreciate you taking time out of your day to hang with us. Take care, and we'll talk tomorrow.
Mike Sherman 1:16 p.m. You mean locating them. I'm sure Sports Illustrated used Lexis-Nexis and public record to find addresses of former players and then networked through them. Facebook and all kinds of other social media makes it a lot easier to find people these days.
Eric S. 1:17 p.m. I appreciate the fact that the Oklahoman has staff all over this story and even willing to have "hours long" chats about it.
Mike Sherman 1:18 p.m. We're in it for the reader. We're here because a thousand of our readers have questions or are interested in seeing questions and answers on this topic. Oklahoma State football is a passion topic for our readers.
Guest 1:18 p.m. How could anyone give a player a $100 handshake during "The Walk" without videos and pictures going viral with the number of people present?
Mike Sherman 1:19 p.m. Good question: None have surfaced. That doesn't mean they won't but none have. There weren't as many camera phones five years ago, of course.
Guest 1:19 p.m. Berry's article on how OSU should respond in tone and tenor to these allegations is great. As an orange blood...I hope that is how we proceed.
Mike Sherman 1:19 p.m. Thanks, I'll pass that along to him.
David 1:19 p.m. Just feedback from a reader Mr Sherman. I sincerely hope I don't find Thayer Evans Apologist pieces in upcoming editions of the Oklahoman. Let this story play out for what it is.
Mike Sherman 1:20 p.m. Appreciate the feedback.
David 1:20 p.m. And let's be clear. I said biased.
Mike Sherman 1:20 p.m. What's Berry Tramel's bias?
Mark B 1:21 p.m. Would you really know a booster by looking at them? Do they wear a booster uniform or have a nametag? Other than Boone Pickens or other high profile people.
Jeff Jones 1:21 p.m. I am surprised by the lack of fact checking. Wouldn't a smart journalist fact check whether Kay Norris ever had rent houses?
Mike Sherman 1:21 p.m. That would be a fact that is knowable, and it seems doubtful that he went to the one in Broken Bow.
Mark B 1:22 p.m. How come this guy/gal named Guest is getting all his/her questions answered?
Mike Sherman 1:23 p.m. I'm guessing a lot of folks haven't signed their name. But it's good manners to treat the guest well.
Eli 1:23 p.m. Do you think SI is trying to bust open the lid on the college football underworld starting with OSU?
Mike Sherman 1:24 p.m. Sports Illustrated has a long track record of investigating wrongdoing in college football. Ask Penn State, Miami, USC, SMU, Oklahoma, etc.
Sooner Born 1:24 p.m. Ok people, YOu cannot claim that "everyone is doing it" then say how could OSU do it without any of the other players see it. It must happen or everyone would be on probation if as you say "everyone is doing it"
Eric S. 1:24 p.m. This is probably the first time that a story has been released in the twitter, instagram, internet age with instant discussion from all sides. When the Cam Newton Auburn story hit, there were players refuting it, but I do not remember all of the former players getting on the internet and all of the media outlets refuting what was said. Obviously we are talking about a 10 year time frame to involve many players. But OSU has alot of players doing interviews and going against the stories in one way or another. Can you discuss the impact of social media and the response to this investigation.
Mike Sherman 1:26 p.m. It's been incredible. So much feedback. So many different viewpoints, which takes a sledgehammer to the old saying about their being "two sides to every story." That was never true and we all can see it now. That's been an interesting dynamic of this story. I don't think it's the first time, but it's relatively new and I'm sure it had a lot to do with how Sports Illustrated designed this project. In the old days an outlet like Sports Illustrated or The Oklahoman would publish an investigative story and wait for the reaction. It's now immediate and everyone everywhere can respond.
Robert_CRFF 1:26 p.m. The rent house could have been someone elses.
Mike Sherman 1:27 p.m. Also true.
Eli 1:27 p.m. Do you think SI could have written a 5 day piece documenting these types of activities at say 5-10 schools? Rather than focus their attention on one school, would it have been more of a story to have the same allegations but at multiple schools?
Mike Sherman 1:27 p.m. Yes, but again, Sports Illustrated says it chose Oklahoma State because it wanted to go inside a program on the rise. That's what SI editors said.
Eli 1:28 p.m. I would love to be the person sifting through all the questions coming through. I bet there are some interesting questions being generated.
Mike Sherman 1:28 p.m. Yes, there are. I'm trying to get to all of them in a quick, efficient manner.
Rick 1:29 p.m. why didnt the article talk about the supposed cheaters majors? For example Vernon Grant was studying engineering before he passed. Its a little hard to cheat on an engineering test....
Mike Sherman 1:29 p.m. Good point. What were these guys majoring in?
Chris 1:29 p.m. Inside program on the rise, please. Thayer Evans wanted to go inside OSU because he doesn't want us to be a successful football program. Anyone can clearly see that. He went after Texas too. Hmm wonder why? lol
Blake Allen 1:29 p.m. It's sad that when people or programs have success, the first inclination that people have is they are doing something wrong to get there.
Mike Sherman 1:30 p.m. Yes, Blake. Unfortunately there are also so many examples of how cheating propelled those rises. Auburn. USC's rebound from oblivion off the top of the head.
Eli 1:30 p.m. What are your biggest issues/concerns with the story's reporting? If any.
Mike Sherman 1:32 p.m. Context. I'd like to see more context. In part 1 the missing context was what happened to these guys. Sports Illustrated doesn't tell us that Brad Girtman was kicked off the team. That's important to know. Someone just said it would be good to know the majors of the guys in Part 2. Context matters.
Bob S. 1:32 p.m. I'm a loyal reader of SI
Brian 1:32 p.m. I'm already excited to read Sunday's Oklahoman. I know there will be tons of great stories, graphics, etc. about this story.
Mike Sherman 1:32 p.m. And two football games.
Joe Guest 1:32 p.m. "Sports Illustrated says it chose Oklahoma State because it wanted to go inside a program on the rise. That's what SI editors said." Actually I believe the video SI had up yesterday said they were going to do the piece on another school and then one of the reporters (Thayer?) suggested OSU.
Mike Sherman 1:33 p.m. Jo, I didn't see that. But I did see where they also said they had heard things about OSU.
Brian S. 1:33 p.m. When did Thayer get hired by SI?
Mike Sherman 1:33 p.m. I'm not sure, Brian. It's been fairly recent. Last year or two.
James 1:34 p.m. As a big fan and alum of OSU, I can say that sometimes Berry drives me crazy with his approach and his opinions. But I have always had the utmost respect for him as a journalist and storyteller. I believe Berry has taken a very unbiased approach to this story. He writes a lot of opinion-based stories because his opinions are well-considered and thought provoking. A good measuring stick of his balance might be in the number of fans of both state schools who have opposing opinions on his bias. He calls it as he sees it. We may not like it, but he's not going to pander to any single fan base. I applaud his approach even when it stings. Sports in Oklahoma are better because of him.
Mike Sherman 1:35 p.m. I agree with everything you said, except for the driving me crazy part. Although, there are times....
Guest 1:35 p.m. Does Berry believe that things like this could be going on at OU?
Mike Sherman 1:36 p.m. I don't know what he believes. But it has gone on at OU.
Blake Allen 1:36 p.m. In the video he said "Thayer had heard things...Thayer reall went after it"
Eric S. 1:37 p.m. I'm like most fans, I believe that boosters help players out in a variety of ways at every school. No school is completly clean. I find it amazing that no stars were paid. The pay for play did not impact one star. Instead it was the second teir players getting all of the $$$ and attention. It's like SI took all of the slop and threw it on the wall. Surely some of it will stick. The articles are sloppy and not well thought out. Could this be because one person did the research and one person wrote the story. The writer was left to cobble together information he did not gather or have a direct hand in?
Mike Sherman 1:38 p.m. Lots of journalism projects have multiple reporters involved and often the work is divided that way. And usually there's an editor who helps pull it all together and make sure it flows.
Steven 1:39 p.m. Dohrmann compared OSU to Stanford that also rose quickly but that Stanford could offer their education and location to live vs. Stillwater as a way to rise. Is this a "fact" or his "opinion" since he lives in California? Seems like they think a fact is what they believe or want to believe.
Mike Sherman 1:40 p.m. There's no doubt that Stanford recruits a different kind of football player because of its academic standards. In that light, a look at how it has balanced the two during that change would be interesting. I'd read it.
Brian 1:40 p.m. Do you think these stories and the increased negative attention toward OSU will affect the current team/season/players? Could this story affect the locker room?
Mike Sherman 1:41 p.m. That has to take a toll on Gundy. Imagine if this was being said about the program you are responsible for leading. That's where I think the burden lies. The players? Nah.
Collin 1:41 p.m. What are the chances The Daily OK can run a piece profiling guys like Kyle Eaton, Paul Duren, Darnell Smith and the dozens of other guys that weren't dare interviewed??
Mike Sherman 1:42 p.m. Good. We'll be talking to tons of former players as the days go on.
Guest 1:42 p.m. Mike you said that you're not surprised that players were getting paid and there were academic issues. How do you know these players are telling the truth? Sounds like you're believing the article without an ounce of proof. Blidly believing SI puts in print?
Mike Sherman 1:44 p.m. 1. Joe DeForest told SI he paid players to work on his house. 2. OSU compliance said John Talley paid players for speaking engagements. I have not seen these two allegations refuted. I didn't say I believe all of it, because I have no way of knowing and neither do you.
Guest 1:44 p.m. Since Jenni and Berry both stated above "they heard things about DeForest" did the Oklahoman investigate any of these issues? If not, why?
Mike Sherman 1:46 p.m. The things depends on the reporter. I don't know what things they heard. I'll ask them what specifically they are referring to.
Chris 1:46 p.m. Mike it won't affect your credibility but are you an OU grad or what school did you attend?- just sheer curiosity.
Mike Sherman 1:46 p.m. The University of Central Oklahoma, then known as Central State University.
Eric 1:46 p.m. kinda like how you are blindly beliveving the ones who say they weren't
Bryce 1:46 p.m. The only way this affects the current team is if these things are still going on this season and the NCAA starts investigating. If the academic fraud is still ongoing and has to stop for an NCAA investigation then some players could become ineligible.
Brian 1:46 p.m. How much worse could things have been had ESPN, not SI, printed this story? That media organization has a much bigger reach (TV, print, radio) than SI.
Mike Sherman 1:47 p.m. That's true.
Guest 1:47 p.m. Mike, what is your take on the players that were quoted in the SI articles that are now stating that they didn't say those things, or that their words were completely changed?
Mike Sherman 1:48 p.m. I reserve judgment for a couple reasons. 1) It's common for people to be quoted and then come back and say their comments were taken out of context or distorted. Happens a lot when people see their comments in the light of day. Doesn't mean they haven't been. 2) It's possible that they were changed. It's possible that they were asked one question and the quote got used in association with another. 3) I wasn't there so I don't know.
Guest 1:49 p.m. Come on Mike. This isn't rocket science and the basis of this article needs to be out in the open. Thayer Evans has it out for anyone that threatens ou in the big 12 or elswhere. This wasnt "I pick them because we want to cover a program on the rise" this was I pick them because I just started my new job at SI and OSU just beat ou for the big 12 championship and I want to do a piece to bring them down. It's clear Thayer Evans had/has an agenda to bring osu down. Lets just get that out in the open.
Mike Sherman 1:50 p.m. Thayer's past comments and writing about Oklahoma State is out in the open. As Bob Stoops would say, you can Google it up.
PER 1:50 p.m. A Berry Trammel article noted this prior to first article coming out...* OSU officials expressed their distrust of reporter Thayer Evans, who worked on the project and has written a variety of anti-OSU pieces over the years, before he landed at Sports Illustrated. Including references to OSU as “Chokie State.” OSU sources said Dohrmann and Schecter were taken aback by that response. It is OSU’s understanding that Evans’ name will not be on the report." So Dohrmann and Schecter didn't know that Thayer was grinding an ax with OSU? And what happened to Thayer not having a by-line on the report? Clearly this "investigation" was initiated by Thayer and his role in central here. A Pogi is quoted as saying that Thayer attempted to manipulate him into saying negative things about the team and staff as late as last week. SI needs to release Thayer's interview tapes if they want to maintain credibility with this story.
Mike G. 1:51 p.m. Typical UCO bias
Mike Sherman 1:51 p.m. Does it count if I haven't been to a UCO football game in 10 years?
Guest 1:51 p.m. 1. Pay for work performed. 2. FCA pay was reimbursment for gas.
Guest 1:52 p.m. 2. Forgot to add - Aso's Pogi's words re; gas money
Darryl 1:52 p.m. How is it this guy Evans got the scoop on OSU where the DOK failed?
Mike Sherman 1:52 p.m. Sports Illustrated invested sixth months of an investigative reporter's time on this story. That's quite an investment.
Brian 1:53 p.m. Do you think schools will still try to hire Gundy? Or is his name not as hot now because of these allegations?
Mike Sherman 1:54 p.m. We'll see what's in the last three parts. I don't think this helps him in the board room, but that's more of a perception/PR thing. What's the chance that this is no more damaging than arguing with your boss about non-conference scheduling?
Guest 1:54 p.m. In more important news, Doug Williams was fired by Grambling this afternoon
Mike Sherman 1:55 p.m. That's too bad for Doug. He was great in that Super Bowl against the Broncos.
Robert_CRFF 1:55 p.m. What would be a reason that SI wouldn't bring out the tapes? (other than the obvious)
Mike Sherman 1:55 p.m. I don't know.
Mike Sherman 1:55 p.m. In other news USC held a players-only meeting. And you think Mike Gundy has problems....
Guest 1:56 p.m. The sports director at Tulsa's Fox 23 has sent a tweet saying Chris Massey, quoted today, says Evans showed up at his house unannounced working on a "follow-up on former players." Story to come
Guest 1:56 p.m. So, if a reporter for The Oklahoman gets a few tips of cheating at OSU or OU, they won't investigate because they don't have 6 months to investigate? It doesn't take 6 months to know whether you have a story or not.
Mike Sherman 1:58 p.m. I didn't say that. And how do you know how long it takes to know whether you have a story or not? There's plenty of stuff you can say and talk about. But writing about it takes a whole different burden of proof. And a good percentage of the people on this live chat are convinced Sports Illustrated hasn't even met it after six months. So obviously it's not quite as cut-and-dried as you may think.
Mike Sherman 1:58 p.m. Folks, it's been fun. We've done this since 9 a.m. and we're going to wrap it up. Thanks for joining the conversation and stay with The Oklahoman and NewsOK Sports for more on this story.


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