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OSU construction sabotage resolved

Mike Baldwin Published: August 13, 2004

STILLWATER Brickgate is over.

Diaz Construction, the subcontractor responsible for masonry at Boone Pickens Stadium, said the person responsible for using darker bricks to subtly spell OU on the stadium's east tower has been identified and fired. The project supervisor also was fired.

"It's a shame one individual could harm our company's reputation, said Diaz Construction CEO Armando Diaz. "We've told Flintco (the company overseeing the project) and (OSU athletic director) Dr. (Harry) Birdwell we take this matter very seriously.

Diaz Construction did not identify who was fired.

The letters went unnoticed for two months and might have gone undetected if the bricklayer responsible hadn't told friends.

"You almost had to look cross-eyed just to see it, said Steve Buzzard, OSU's director of media relations. "You really couldn't tell it was even there. Who knows why someone would do that. I certainly understand why our fans wanted an urgency to take care of it, and it's been taken care of.

Diaz Construction of Kansas City, Mo., stained the dark gray bricks that spelled OU on Wednesday. Several of the estimated 25 bricks used for the symbol were scheduled to be replaced by lighter bricks Thursday night.

The incident was a hot topic on radio shows and Internet boards Wednesday and Thursday. Two Oklahoma City television stations sent crews to Stillwater on Thursday, but by that time, the bricks had been stained and the OU was gone.

"This has been blown way out of proportion, said Rob Franklin, division manager for Diaz Construction.

"We had 20 people come by and look at it and it was so vague most of them couldn't really see it. Once it was brought to our attention we investigated into the matter and corrected the situation.

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