“Avoiding distractions” is one of Oklahoma State coach Mike Gundy's favorite catchphrases when describing the keys to having a successful football program.
An outside distraction will soon be inevitable, however, with an upcoming Sports Illustrated project expected to reveal allegations of multiple past improprieties within the OSU program that range from drug use to academic fraud to paying players for performance to hostesses providing sex to recruits.
Yet Gundy doesn't anticipate his current crop of players to concern themselves very much with the report.
“My personal opinion is the players go about their daily activity,” Gundy said on his Sunday evening media teleconference. “They persevere through everything, and they could (not) probably care less, to be honest with you.”
When asked specifically about the allegation that former assistant Joe DeForest paid players for performance as recently as 2011, Gundy would not comment.
“I can't speak on any of this,” Gundy said. “You guys (the media) know that. It's not even worth wasting your time on asking me the question. There will be a time when we comment, but now is not the time.”
OSU faces another upstart program Saturday, with Football Championship Subdivision opponent Lamar coming to Boone Pickens Stadium in its fourth season since a 20-plus-year hiatus from football.
In their first two games, the Cardinals blew out Division II's Oklahoma Panhandle State 75-0 and lost 27-14 on the road at Louisiana Tech in a game where they trailed by just three points early in the fourth quarter.
What's the scouting report on Lamar?
“They are spreading it out (on offense) and looking to the sideline and getting plays and play fast and try to run the ball,” Gundy said. “So it will be a good week for us. Our guys, we have got areas we need to improve in.
“We have got to become better tacklers and certainly have got to be more disciplined and stay onsides. And offensively, we have to be able to get the ball thrown downfield and play fast.”