Sports Illustrated's latest volume — “The Sex” — in its exposé on Oklahoma State, paints the picture of hostesses from the Orange Pride organization being paired with recruits.
And it's true, said former Orange Pride member Lindsay Fredenburg.
Yet for a far different purpose than the sex which Sports Illustrated suggests.
“We were absolutely paired with specific recruits,” said Fredenburg, who served in the organization from 2004-06. “I'm from Houston. It only makes logical sense to pair me with a recruit from Houston. I can tell that kid what it's like to come from the big city to Stillwater, Oklahoma. I can tell that kid's parents what it's like to catch flights in and out of Hobby Airport. What airlines run specials at certain times. What the drive times are like. What route seems to be the best way to get from here to there.
“I'm paired with that kid because I can relate.”
OSU's Orange Pride group was at the center of Sports Illustrated's latest piece, which attempted to connect the football support volunteer organization as influencing recruits through sexual favors. The report involved former players — many of the same already introduced in SI's previous stories in the series — and former members of Orange Pride, although none quoted spoke of directly being involved in the sexual encounters.
The opening of “The Sex” outlines a 2003 recruiting visit from one of the nation's top prospects, who told SI he was greeted by two Orange Pride members, women who soon were both having sex with him.
“Rock ‘n' rolling, I had the best of the best — the aces,” the one-time recruit told SI.
The recruit was not identified, “to protect the identities of the two women,” in the report that featured a shared byline of George Dohrmann, Thayer Evans and Melissa Segura, a new writer to the series.
The online release of the story was delayed from an announced 8 a.m. delivery by more than three hours, finally being added to the website around 11:45.
“The Sex,” outlined the growth of the Orange Pride program through the coaching tenures of Les Miles and Mike Gundy. The piece focuses on the premise that girls hooked up with recruits, with knowledge of coaches who may have paired willing hostesses with key recruits, although SI reported that “none of the more than 30 former players or the 14 Orange Pride members who spoke to SI about the group had direct knowledge of a coach or athletic department staff member instructing a hostess to have sex with a recruit.”
Artrell Woods, a wide receiver from 2006-08, said he did not have sex with an Orange Pride member, but was aware of others who did.
“There's no other way a female can convince you to come play football at a school besides (sex),” Woods is quoted as saying. “The idea was to get (recruits) to think that if they came (to Oklahoma State), it was gonna be like that all the time, with … girls wanting to have sex with you.”
Richetti Jones, who played for the Cowboys from 2007-11, said it wasn't the job of the girls to convince recruits to attend OSU, instead praising their other roles.
“These girls are just another part of the team,” Jones said. “They help out in the football office, they help out with recruiting and paperwork, helping with the little things coaches don't have time for.
“They decorate the locker room. They decorate the football office. They're the girls who meet and greet parents when they first come to Oklahoma State on official visits. They're the people who are going to help you find out where you need to be.
“They do so many things to help the program. And they're part of the OSU faithful. If we're winning, losing, whatever it is, they're always going to be cheering for us, because that's the role they've committed themselves to do.”