STILLWATER — Mike Gundy's Monday afternoon press conference started with another “no comment” about the upcoming Sports Illustrated project expected to allege rampant misconduct throughout the Oklahoma State football program dating back to the Les Miles era.
But it ended with the most detailed comment the head coach has made about the subject so far, followed by a lengthy statement from athletic director Mike Holder.
Neither Gundy nor Holder can say much more until the series of stories — with allegations ranging from rampant drug use to hostesses providing sex to recruits to academic misconduct to former assistant Joe DeForest paying players performance-based bonuses — is published. Then, they look forward to responding and correcting accordingly.
“As the athletics director at Oklahoma State and an alumni of the university, I don't want to believe that it's true,” Holder said of the report. "…We take this personally. We're all committed to playing by the rules, doing things the right way here. And for people to say that's not what is happening is very disturbing.”
Added Gundy: “I'm going to guess that once we get all the information and we see what's out there, our administration, the people inside, will look at it and we'll see where we made mistakes. And we'll try to make ourselves better and we'll correct it and then we'll move forward. And I would hope that there would be some of it that we'd look at and say, ‘I'm not sure one way or the other,' based on what's out there. That's really the best way I can put it.”
Holder said he met with Sports Illustrated reporter George Dohrmann and investigative editor B.J. Schecter last week to discuss the planned project. Holder said OSU has also already notified the NCAA, which will assign an investigator to look at the program.
Holder took responsibility for what's about to be printed, noting that he's been part of OSU since 1966 as a student or employee. He apologized to the rest of the Big 12 for the way one of its member institutions is about to be portrayed. And he said he's already reached out to fans — and wishes he could contact every season-ticket holder — to prepare them for what's to come and how the department will handle the aftermath.
“My message was you're not going to like what you hear,” Holder said. “It's going to be a rough few days.
“… You're not going to be real proud about what's being said about you, 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.”
So now, Holder, Gundy and the rest of Cowboy athletic department will wait for the report to drop. Then, they'll react.
“We'll reach out and get someone to stand with that (NCAA) investigator to go through the facts,” Holder said, “and at the end of the day, we'll come to some conclusions and we'll deal with those … prop ourselves back up, polish up that OSU brand and move on down the road.
“… I'm looking forward to the opportunity to read these stories, however many days that it takes, catch my breath and then we'll start working through the process.”