Now, he worries about the allegations that will come from the SI investigation.
“I don't want to believe them,” he said, “but I cannot abandon Oklahoma State.”
Neither can Terry Haws.
He grew up in Stillwater in the 1960s, living just a few blocks from what was then known as Lewis Field. Every fall since he can remember, he's had high hopes for the magic that might happen on that field.
When the Cowboys finally won the Big 12 title a couple years ago, Haws stood in the stands above that same field and had tears in his eyes.
His emotions are running high again these past few days. Who did SI interview during its investigation? Were those sources accurate? Or were they just disgruntled players or personnel with axes to grind?
“Whatever the case may be, I expect OSU to take all measures to see what actually happened and deal with residual issues if they exist,” said Haws, now a longtime season ticket holder. “If there are no issues or if the story proves to be unfounded, I hope the university will defend itself accordingly.
“I feel pretty confident Mike Holder will check it out thoroughly.”
Holder gave every impression Monday that he would do just that. Even though he can't talk to every Cowboy season-ticket holder individually before the SI report is published, he said that he has spoken personally to many fans over the past few days.
His message: “You're not going to like what you hear. It's going to be a rough few days. ... But we hope to make you proud about the way we dealt with it and how we stood up, didn't make any excuses. We're not going to try to cover anything up.”
Holder looked around the room at the reporters and the cameras but spoke one more time to his brothers and sisters in orange.
“Everybody out there,” he said, “it's time to cowboy up.”
Jenni Carlson: Jenni can be reached at (405) 475-4125. Like her at facebook.com/JenniCarlsonOK, follow her at twitter.com/jennicarlson_ok or view her personality page at newsok.com/jennicarlson.
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