Oklahoma State president Burns Hargis and the OSU/A&M Board of Regents announced Monday the appointment of former NCAA director of enforcement Charles E. Smrt to lead an independent review of the alleged misconduct inside the football program following a five-part investigative series by Sports Illustrated.
“While the articles do not implicate any current coaches or players to have direct involvement in any alleged misconduct, we have a responsibility to confront these disturbing reports head on and with complete transparency,” Hargis said.
Smrt spent 18 years as the NCAA's director of enforcement and director of enforcement supervisor before founding The Compliance Group, a consulting firm that specializes in compliance audits and the review of information concerning potential NCAA violations, in 1999.
“I appreciate the unfettered access and cooperation that president Hargis has offered to help me carry out my review,” Smrt said. “He has asked me to pursue the facts wherever they may lead. I assured him that I will do so, and that I will conduct the review with care and urgency.”
Athletic director Mike Holder said he applauds Hargis for undertaking a comprehensive review and that “we welcome the scrutiny.” Coach Mike Gundy added: “I support a quick and comprehensive review. I am proud of our football program, and I can assure everyone we are committed as coaches and staff to winning the right way.”
JOSH STEWART NAMED BIG 12 SPECIAL TEAMS PLAYER OF THE WEEK
Three weeks into the season, Oklahoma State has already completed the Big 12 weekly awards trifecta.
Josh Stewart was named the Big 12 Special Teams Player of the Week on Monday after tallying 114 punt return yards against Lamar, including a 67-yard touchdown. It was OSU's first punt return for a touchdown since 2010.
OSU linebacker Caleb Lavey earned the Big 12 Defensive Player of the Week award after recording 11 tackles against Mississippi State in Week 1, while quarterback J.W. Walsh was named the Offensive Player of the Week after completing 24 of 27 passes for 326 yards and four touchdowns against Texas-San Antonio.
WEST VIRGINIA GAME TIME SET
OSU's Big 12 opener will be a matinee affair, as the conference announced Monday that the Cowboys' Sept. 28 contest at West Virginia will kick off at 11 a.m.
The game will be televised on either ABC, ESPN or ESPNU. That will be determined after the Sept. 21 games.
GUNDY TALKS BYE WEEK SCHEDULE
Even though OSU did not have its regular media luncheon on Monday because of the bye week, Gundy still did his weekly spot on Sirius' College Football show.
Not surprisingly, the interview didn't include any questions about the Sports Illustrated series. But Gundy did discuss his typical bye week plan for players, which included a light practice Sunday, a day off Monday, practice Tuesday and Wednesday, a light workout Thursday and days off Friday and Saturday before resuming to their normal game week schedule.
“Five to six days off over the next 10 days before we start to get into West Virginia on a Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday practice (schedule) is how we keep our players fresh,” Gundy said. “Because in our opinion, they don't really recover unless we give them like 48 hours off.”