SI Story: Let's Check The Facts

We still don't know all the details on the series that Sports Illustrated will publish this week both on the internet and in the magazine. I have no doubt that some of what is reported will be fact. Dig hard enough into any major football program and there will be some indiscretions. I contacted ex-player Richetti Jones and a former OSU coach who would prefer to go unnamed to get their thoughts.

Richetti Jones told me he was not contacted by Sports Illustrated but wished that he had been. He felt he might have been able to set the record straight for the researchers and authors of the story with his experience at Oklahoma State.

Jones said he was disappointed and had been hearing from friends all night about the situation. He was most disappointed with the apparent pool of players that the magazine used for its story. The ones Jones had heard of to this point were players that were removed from the program and were disgruntled.

"They basically talked to the guys that blame Oklahoma State for the fact that their lives are messed up," said Jones.

The former Cowboys coach I spoke to crossed from the Les Miles era into the Mike Gundy era. He said he was not contacted by Sports Illustrated but said he has confidence that Gundy was not involved in violation of any rules.

"Mike was always riding herd on the staff and telling them, 'We will not cheat,'" said the coach. "Gundy would threaten anyone that broke rules that they would be fired."

Another aspect that is disappointing before the stories are even released is that one local Oklahoma media outlet is reporting material from a source working on the Sports Illustrated article and basically treating that material as fact rather than trying to disprove or prove the material.

My hope is that outlets will take the stance we will here at Go Pokes, and that is do our best to either substantiate or prove false the claims made by Sports Illustrated in the stories.

The fact that the magazine used a reporter (Thayer Evans) on this project that carries such a visible and well documented hatred for the Oklahoma State program and people in it casts a high degree of doubt on the story right from the beginning.

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