Chris Norris read the accusations about his mom and was immediately skeptical.
His mother, Kay Norris, was among those accused of paying Oklahoma State football players in a Sports Illustrated story released Monday. Former Cowboy running back Seymore Shaw said that she paid him $700 numerous times to clean the floorboards of rental houses.
“We don't own any rent houses,” Chris Norris said.
“That's just a fact.”
Chris Norris said that the family owned one in Broken Bow, which is four hours southeast of Stillwater, but not in Stillwater.
Kay Norris, who died of cancer in 2006, was an OSU alumnus who spearheaded the memorabilia collection that became Heritage Hall, the school's athletic museum inside Gallagher-Iba Arena. She convinced past Cowboys and Cowgirls to donate items, then became a fixture around the museum.
Some said she was the best ambassador OSU ever had.
During nearly a decade working in the athletic department, she became a mentor to several football players, including defensive linemen Kevin Williams and Greg Richmond, who were pallbearers at her funeral.
“I looked at Kay as a grandmother I never had,” Richmond said. “Very sweet lady. Respected her to the utmost. Would do anything for her.”
But the idea that she did for Shaw what he alleged in the SI article angered Richmond.
“It affects her family,” Richmond said. “Those guys who wanted to portray that Miss Kay was this bad person ... that's not her.
“It's just heartbreaking that somebody would stoop that low and drag her name in it.”
Richmond often saw Norris in the academic center tutoring Shaw, a Shawnee High standout who arrived at OSU in 2001 facing misdemeanor assault and battery charges for striking his girlfriend.
Three years later, Shaw was on track to graduate and was being touted as an example of why troubled recruit Prentiss Elliott deserved a chance at OSU.
Quoted in an Oklahoman story about Shaw: Norris.
“I have watched him mature and become a responsible person,” she said. “He's grown up. I'm extremely proud of him and what he has accomplished.
“He knows his future is in his hands and he's going to make something of it.”
A year later, Shaw had an emergency protective order filed against him, was kicked off the team and transferred to Central Oklahoma.
Now, eight years later, Shaw and Norris are linked again. Her son, though, doubts the allegations the former player leveled against his mom.
“She had a soft spot in her heart for Seymore, no question,” said Chris Norris, who owns the OSU merchandise store, Chris' University Spirit. “But a $700 thing to go clean baseboards?
“Mom and Dad just aren't that generous with money.”