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OSU athletic director Mike Holder addresses upcoming Sports Illustrated series

NewsOK.com Sports Staff Modified: September 9, 2013 at 3:25 pm •  Published: September 9, 2013

OSU athletic director Mike Holder, shown here during Saturday's game at UT-San Antonio, addressed the media Monday regarding an upcoming investigative piece by Sports Illustrated. / Photo by Nate Billings, The Oklahoman
OSU athletic director Mike Holder, shown here during Saturday's game at UT-San Antonio, addressed the media Monday regarding an upcoming investigative piece by Sports Illustrated. / Photo by Nate Billings, The Oklahoman

Oklahoma State athletic director Mike Holder addressed the media Monday regarding an upcoming project by Sports Illustrated that is expected to uncover improprieties in the football program dating back to 2001.

Here is a complete look at what Holder had to say:

“Unfortunately we’ve got something out there on the horizon that we’re going to have to deal with.

I don’t know a lot of specifics…I know enough to be concerned.

Sports Illustrated sent two very capable people in here to talk to us last week – George Dohrmann, who is the writer on the story, he did win a Pulitzer prize; investigative editor, I’ve never met one of those before. His name is B.J. Schecter and he’s an impressive young man.

They believe what they’re about to write to be true.

As the athletics director at Oklahoma State and an alumni of the university, I don’t want to believe that it’s true.

We pride ourselves on doing things the right way around here.

You know, it’s kind of unique because the president of the university, Burns Hargis, your athletic director, Mike Holder, the head football coach, Mike Gundy, and I could go down the list of a lot more coaches – head coaches – all went to this school.

This is more than a job and I consider it a calling.

I was telling my wife on Saturday at the game, “How lucky are we? We get to do something we love and they call it a job.”

If I were retired I’d want to be doing what I’m doing and a lot of people say, Boone Pickens among them, that I’ve had my feet on the handlebar too long and I need to get to work and maybe he’s right.

The whole point of that was to say that 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.

Our goal is to separate fact from fiction and then we can start dealing with it. We’ve already notified the NCAA and they’re going to assign an investigator to this.

We’ll reach out and get someone to stand with that investigator to go through the facts 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 apologize to all the athletic directors in the conference for what’s about to happen and what’s about to be said about a member institution. That reflects on everyone, all of our brothers and peers. We’re very remorseful about that.

I reached out, and I couldn’t call all of our supporters…I’d really like to talk to every season-ticket holder we got, and we’re about to sell a record number of season tickets – we have a responsibility to those people because they’re going to suffer from this as well.

But my message was you’re not going to like what you hear. It’s going to be a rough few days.

Our hope is that 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.

I’m the guy in charge. Ultimately, the buck stops at my door and I’m willing to accept responsibility for whatever is being said. Doesn’t matter if it’s been since I’ve been athletic director or not. I’ve been here since 1966 as a student or as an employee. So I’ve seen the good, the bad, and the ugly in the past.

I really feel like that at 65 years of age everything that I’ve done to now has prepared me for this moment in time. I just hope to make everybody proud at the end of the process that this is your institution and if you’re thinking about going someplace in the future if you’re a student out there you think ‘that might be a place that I’d like to go because I like the way these people talk and what they stand for.’

I don’t think it’s really appropriate for me to answer any questions. I’m not really afraid of them, I just wouldn’t have any answers.

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.

Everybody out there, it’s time to cowboy up. Let’s ride for the brand. Thank you.”



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