NewsOK Sports Editor Mike Sherman and his team chatted with readers Thursday about the Sports Illustrated reports that claim several OSU football players received payment for performance and no-show jobs, participated in academic misconduct and used drugs. Read the complete chat transcript here.
Have you given thought into the long term consequences of the series? Will this hurt OSU's program going forward?
Gina Mizell - We haven't had any formal discussions at our office yet about it, but it's definitely crossed my mind. This story will be important locally for a long while. I'll be curious to see the recruiting impact, etc., if there is any. What changes are made internally? Does Joel Tudman remain the program's drug counselor? Things like that. It's a good opportunity for OSU to look in the mirror and fix what needs to be fixed, and keep the status quo on what's good. Based on what I've read so far, I still don't anticipate any major NCAA violations. And we know how long those investigations can take
Is Tatum Bell still denying talking to SI?
Gina Mizell - I haven't heard anything from Tatum since Tuesday. If SI releases those tapes, that would clear up those conflicting stories.
With the current team, the one playing Lamar this weekend, do you get the sense that it's business as usual or is there any noticeable distraction?
Gina Mizell - I'm sure it's a factor for Gundy and the people named in the report. I was in the academic center yesterday talking to Marilyn Middlebrook and it was clear they were all upset by it. But the current players? I'm sure many of them have read it and heard about it from friends, family, classmates, etc., but I really don't think this will impact them too much. Most of these allegations happened well before they got on campus. Heck, I was in seventh grade in 2001. And these kids are younger than me.
Will this be the end of Gundy?
Jenni Carlson - Meaning will he get fired because of this investigation? I sure don't think so. Do I think OSU is going to take a long, hard look at itself? Yes. But Gundy's head will not roll, at least not over what we've seen so far.
Do you think any of this will make the NCAA want to look behind the scenes at Miles and his current state of the program at LSU?
Jenni Carlson - I suspect the NCAA might be a little more interested in Les now than it was this time last week.
Do you think of these stories will affect recruiting for OSU?
Jenni Carlson - I suppose it could. Parents may wonder if it's a good idea to send their kids to OSU after these stories. But I suspect there are all sorts of programs that you could say that about. From what I've heard, no recruits currently committed to OSU have backed out.
Does the university have a duty to all of its students to provide resources such as counseling and rehab? Does the athletic department have a higher duty to provide those to athletes?
Jenni Carlson - The university at large isn't testing students, to my knowledge, so I don't believe the school has any obligation to provide non-athletes with counseling or rehab.
The athletic department is motivated to provide those services, in part, because they want athletes to get off the stuff, stop testing positive and not get kicked off the team.