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Oklahoma State launches website in response to Sports Illustrated investigative series

BY GINA MIZELL, Staff Writer, gmizell@opubco.com Published: September 10, 2013
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Oklahoma State canceled its normal Tuesday post-practice media availability amidst the firestorm surrounding the release of the first installment of the five-part Sports Illustrated investigative series alleging multiple improprieties inside the Cowboy program. Current players and coaches will not be available for comment again until after OSU's game against Lamar Saturday night at Boone Pickens Stadium.

Instead, Tuesday night OSU launched a website — response.okstate.edu — designed to “keep the media, alumni, fans and general public updated on Oklahoma State's official responses and the university's plans for moving forward to investigate and address the alleged misconduct,” according to a release.

The page includes statements from president Burns Hargis and athletic director Mike Holder, along with social media responses from Boone Pickens, former players and local and national media members.

NATIONAL COLUMNIST JASON WHITLOCK RIPS THAYER EVANS ON RADIO

ESPN columnist Jason Whitlock was one of the first prominent voices to sound off Tuesday on Thayer Evans, the co-writer of the Sports Illustrated series.

Whitlock, who was a colleague of Evans when both recently worked at FoxSports.com, first ripped Evans on Twitter Tuesday morning, then hammered his credibility again on the Oklahoma City Sports Animal radio station later in the day.

“When I learned Thayer Evans was involved (with the project),” Whitlock said, “I just said, there's no way I'll read this because there's no reason to trust this reporter on anything of any substance. If you go back and look at his track record of reporting and the consistent controversy that surrounds his reporting …

“I don't want to make the whole thing about Thayer Evans, but there's just no way to avoid it. I've worked with him. He's simpleminded. He's a hack that can't write.”

Whitlock added one more dig before ending the interview.

“I honestly mean this without malice,” he said. “It wouldn't shock me if Thayer Evans couldn't spell cat and I say that in all seriousness.”

FORMER DIRECTOR OF FOOTBALL OPERATIONS DALE PATTERSON DENIES PAYMENTS

Dale Patterson, OSU's director of football operations from 2004-11, was one of several former members of the Cowboy program who spoke out against the Sports Illustrated piece Tuesday. He denied that coaches or boosters managed payments to players.

“To say that there were alumni walking around in the locker room handing out checks, people are walking down the plane, handing out money on the plane — that's ridiculous,” Patterson said. “Those things did not happen. I can't say that maybe somebody didn't call somebody and say, ‘Come and work for me,' and give them $100 for an hour's work. I can't say that never happened. It happens a lot of places.

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