NewburyportNews.com, Newburyport, MA

Z_CNHI News Service

September 11, 2013

Pickens rips SI for digging up old dirt

STILLWATER, Okla. — Oklahoma State University’s biggest financial contributor has criticized the Sports Illustrated investigation into the school’s football program for focusing on corruption that happened a decade ago.

Oil mogul T. Boone Pickens, an alum who has donated more than $500 million to the school and whose name adorns its 60,000-seat stadium, said many of the  improprieties cited by the magazine are “not reflective of OSU today.”

Pickens welcomed the scrutiny the SI series has aroused, including investigations by the NCAA, the Big 12 and OSU itself of the football program. He said it was an opportunity for the school to show it is “a different university today. It is a better university” than described by SI.

His statement – notable for its defense only of the current OSU football program – was featured on a website (response.okstate.edu) created by the school to respond to the SI series. The report has detailed illicit cash payments to players, academic dishonesty, toothless drug policies and the use of sex to induce recruits from 2001 to 2011.

The SI investigation was based on interviews with 64 former players and some 40 football staff, many of whom commented on the record and even allowed their statements to be videotaped for use on the magazine’s website.

Wednesday’s installment of the series dealt with academic misconduct, including players receiving passing grades for work they didn’t do or classes they didn’t attend in order to keep them eligible for game day.

It also included comments from a former OSU defensive back, Victor Johnson, that football players were humorously surprised when  receiver Dez Bryant, now a star with the Dallas Cowboys, was named second-team academic All-Big 12 in 2008 for his scholarship achievement.

“You didn’t have no choice but to laugh at it,” Johnson is quoted as telling SI. Johnson said it was well known that tutors did a majority of Bryant’s course work, and that when he went to class, he was always accompanied by a member of the football staff.

Text Only | Photo Reprints
Z_CNHI News Service

Offbeat
NDN Video
Viral: It's Not Pitbull - It's Amy Poehler! Raw: Leopard Bites Man in India Jenna Dewan-Tatum Strips Down Rise of the Milkbots TRENDING: Brian Williams Raps 'Gin and Juice' on ‘Tonight Show’ Middle School heroes rescue students from burning bus WHOPPER OF FISHING STORY: Florida man catches massive Mako shark Maks Chmerkovskiy's "DWTS" Meltdown The many faces of Mike Woodson Ape Builds A Fire And Toasts Marshmallows In Amazing BBC Video Manchester Utd sack manager David Moyes "RHOA's" Dramatic Brawl High school, College Drug Ring Busted In Montgomery County High Court to Hear Dispute of TV Over Internet Raw: Keflezighi, Jeptoo Win Boston Marathon Teen hitchhikes in wheel well of flight from California to Hawaii Lindsay Lohan's Jaw-Dropping Secret President Sends Message To Boston And Marathon Runners LA Pastor Attracts Churchgoers with Pot Lauren Stoner Shows Off Her Incredible Bikini Body
Special Features
NRA Waterfront Plans