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Oklahoma State football: Why OSU is better off expressing shame than blame

COMMENTARY — The tone of Oklahoma State's official response to a Sports Illustrated investigation has changed, from contrite to defiant — and from better to worse.
by Berry Tramel Published: September 10, 2013

I understand. It's human nature. But such defiance is counterproductive. Don't forget the shame.

Sure, there are holes in SI's report. But not that many holes. This is a long-trusted American source of sports. Sports Illustrated is not a scandal sheet. It's not in the business of lazy journalism.

Even if only half the allegations are true, the remaining half is an imposing number.

Even if you throw out the testimony of all the players, there's self-incriminating information in the report.

Joe DeForest admitting he employed players privately to work at his house. Are you kidding me? That's reckless in and of itself. No way OSU should have allowed that to go on, no matter how long it did.

DeForest had a loose cannon reputation in his 11 years in Stillwater. Can anyone truthfully say they're shocked at the claims that DeForest paid players for performance?

And Sports Illustrated is not even to the academic, drug culture and sex portions of the report.

This is no time for OSU to get feisty and fight back. That's a no-win gameplan. Not against Sports Illustrated. Not in the court of public opinion.

Defiance doesn't play well with the NCAA. Defiance draws flies. Contrition draws mercy.

A stiff upper lip and a vow to get to the bottom of the allegations is a better move. The Cowboys always have the out that Pickens espouses — things have changed.

No reason to play that card now. Shame, with a vow to do better, is the way to go.

Berry Tramel: Berry can be reached at (405) 760-8080 or at He can be heard Monday through Friday from 4:40-5:20 p.m. on The Sports Animal radio network, including FM-98.1. You can also view his personality page at

by Berry Tramel
Berry Tramel, a lifelong Oklahoman, sports fan and newspaper reader, joined The Oklahoman in 1991 and has served as beat writer, assistant sports editor, sports editor and columnist. Tramel grew up reading four daily newspapers — The Oklahoman,...
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