NewsOK Sports Editor Mike Sherman chatted with readers Friday 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. Part 4 of the installment also claims some hostesses for the Orange Pride program had sex with recruits as a way of enticing them to come to OSU. Read the complete chat transcript here.
Mike Sherman - My biggest problem with the series has been the lack of context: Who are these guys? Where are they now? What was their OSU career like? Where they stars, reserves? Did they play? Were they kicked off the team? How could that not be mentioned at least in passing? When did allowing people to make allegations about someone else not require some explanation of their qualifications for making the charges? If they are stars, their allegations carry more weight. If they were kicked off the team, probably a little less.
Do you think ESPN will continue digging to further discredit the SI series?
I think McMurphy got a legitimate tip on a relevant news story and looked into it. Don't count on ESPN doing what Patrick suggested The Oklahoman do either.
Why do you think they chose Oklahoma State?
Sports Illustrated's stated explanation (paraphrased): They wanted to look at a program on the rise. They had heard things about Oklahoma State.
Why is Berry knocking OSU's recruiting? Does Berry think the majority of guys recruited are less than stellar in the character category?
The guys quoted in this report are from the Les Miles era and Gundy's early recruiting classes. They don't exactly speak well for those classes, but you're right. Gundy has done a lot better in that regard in recent years. And Berry and others have pointed that out. I'm not sure Sports Illustrated hasn't.
Gina tweeted about a third person being added to the byline in Part 4. Do you know who she is and her position at SI? Opinion on whether her being included in this part was planned all along?
On a project this big, different people handle different elements. Perhaps she was someone who conducted interviews only for this part. Perhaps this is the only part that her reporting has been used through four parts. Jenni Carlson informed me that Melissa Segura was part of the intern program for the Association of Women in Sports Media. According to her LinkedIn profile, she's been with SI for 11 years and graduated from Santa Clara State.
How long do you think it will be before we hear an OSU rebuttal or the results of the OSU and NCAA investigation?
Rebuttal: You're starting to hear it here and there. Marilyn Middlebrook spoke Wednesday. The investigations: That will take months.
Will LSU participate in any follow-ups to these articles?
Les is a two-time national champion coach. So yes, his involvement draws in readers from SEC country and makes the story more relevant nationally. But Oklahoma State is more relevant nationally. Can't say what LSU is going to do.
If OSU finds that there have been some relatively minor violations, do you think there is a possibility they might self-impose some minor penalties like reducing a few scholarships or something?
I heard Al Eschbach mention that on the radio last night. It's possible, but my question is how recent allegations that would justify NCAA scrutiny are. There's a four-year statute of limitations unless there's a pattern of violations that traces back.
George Dorhman says the smoking gun is the drug counseling. Do you see a smoking gun?
I think drug counseling is a problem not a smoking gun. I see problems for OSU to fix. We all have problems. Progress is moving on to a new set of problems.