Part 3 of Sports Illustrated's series on Oklahoma State football — “The Drugs” — leads with Bo Bowling, who, after pleading guilty to two misdemeanor counts of marijuana and drug paraphernalia possession and spending time in jail, was dismissed from the program, before later being allowed to rejoin the Cowboys the following season.
Bowling, who was not contacted by SI for the story, came back to the Cowboys as a walk-on and underwent weekly drug tests during the 2010 season. He also stressed that he did not experience the rampant drug culture portrayed in the SI story, nor did he ever see or know of any teammates dealing drugs.
And rather than be perturbed by his place in the story, Bowling hopes it's a reminder of what he considers a success story, considering his rehabilitation, return and graduation.
“Honestly, this isn't frustrating at all to me,” Bowling said. “Actually, I'm glad they came out with this. I've been talking all day with people, this is a success story in the end, and it just shows you what kind of program coach Mike Gundy and Coach (Mike) Holder run. It's a good, clean program.
“I've never seen any of these allegations the time I was there, from '08 to 2010. I didn't get no special treatment from OSU. I had to walk back on the team, and honestly, the steps I took to get back on (the team) was hard. But when people look into this, it's going to show you what kind of people they've got at Oklahoma State. It's gonna be success and a good story, positive. They're trying to shine a negative light, but there's no negative to Oklahoma State. I brought this on them.”
ARTRELL WOODS VOICES ANGER TOWARD OSU
Thursday delivered Part 3 of Sports Illustrated's series on OSU.
But it also delivered a peek into Part 5 — “The Fallout” — due Tuesday as the series finale and framed around what has happened to players reportedly no longer of use to the program and subsequently cast aside.
The Fallout will clearly feature Artrell Woods, who has already been a source in the series, but said in an interview with OSU student Kieran Steckley that he blames OSU for the weight room accident that broke his back in 2007.
And he wants to be paid.
“All this (bleeping) back pain is because of Oklahoma State,” Woods told Steckley in the interview. “That's the bottom line. Everything I'm going through right now, they're responsible for. They could have gave me something. They could have made sure I left with a degree. Those (bleeping bleeps) ran me out of there and you will hear more about it on Tuesday (Sept 17). You will see a video about it on Tuesday. They ran me the (bleep) up out of there. They could have treated somebody who broke their spine better.”
To that end, Woods is talking about money.
“All I want is what the (bleep) I'm owed,” Woods said. “I signed something that said I will not sue but when I signed it, I bet you I was drugged up on something, some kind of pain medication.”
So, would he consider suing?
“No, no. Maybe, maybe not. I don't know. I will not comment on that. Just know, somebody is going to have to pay me what I'm owed. I don't even want much. All I want is a better (bleeping) way of life than what I have now. Because I know before I came to Oklahoma State, if I was doing the job that I'm doing now, I would be just fine doing that job. But since I went to Oklahoma State, the job I'm doing now hurts my (bleeping) back. Actually any (bleeping) job I do now pretty much gives me back pain.
“I wouldn't have those back pains if I never went to Oklahoma State and played football for them. It's the only point I'm making. I don't give a (bleep) about that other stuff. That stuff is irrelevant to me. I don't care. I don't care if this is selfish. It is very selfish of me. I could care less what happens to Oklahoma State. Somebody needs to pay me. That's all I know.”
COREY CURTIS DIDN'T SEE THE MONEY
Former OSU offensive lineman Corey Curtis started 18 games for the Cowboys from 2002-04. And while he was on scholarship, balancing the books was a continual struggle.
So when he heard and read the SI reports that teammates were being paid by boosters and coaches, openly, during his time in Stillwater, he said he had to speak out.
“I started 18 games and I never saw a penny,” Curtis said. “I'm still paying off student loans, because I had to pay extra money and charge it against my bursar so that I could eat. If anybody wants to look at my statements, they can. I pay them every month.
“My point is, while times were rough, our scholarship checks weren't worth a damn, they barely paid the bills if we lived off campus — and I lived in the crappiest apartments in Stillwater — but we made do. I got 50 bucks every two weeks from my dad in my bank account and I took out student loans for the rest of it.”
SI RESPONDS TO WEEDEN
Former Cowboys quarterback Brandon Weeden ripped into SI reporter Thayer Evans to the Cleveland media on Wednesday, recalling a postgame exchange with Evans after a 2011 win at Texas and questioning Evans' motives in pursuing this story.
Weeden called the SI series “comical for a lot of reasons.”
In the case of Evans, Weeden said: “And long story short, the guy has always had it out for Oklahoma State. He's got a track record. You can go look it up. I'm not going to say his name. You can go look and see what he's done.
“Here's what I'm surprised about, is that a credible institution like Sports Illustrated would do 10 months of investigation and they have no credible facts to go along with the story.”
Thursday, Sports Illustrated spokesperson Scott Novak issued the following statement to Cleveland. com:
“The facts of the matter are that a team of award-winning reporters conducted a 10-month investigation that included on-the-record recorded interviews with 60-plus individual players from the Oklahoma State program. Any attempt to discredit an individual reporter is an attempt to deflect the matter at hand.”