SI Story: Which Ex-Players Are Quoted?

Several reliable sources indicate that Sports Illustrated started its research of the expected five stories (three on the website and two in the print publication) by contacting Oklahoma State players, starting with the 1999 season, who did not finish their eligibility at the school. In other words, Sports Illustrated was looking for players that might have an axe to grind regarding the program.

That would include transfers and players that chose to leave and either quit playing football or transferred to another school.

The release on Saturday from Oklahoma State on the situation claimed that Sports Illustrated said there were no current players or coaches involved in improprieties cited in the articles regarding NCAA or academic eligibility. Also, that the program in its current state was much different than the program was from the years of which the bulk of their information in the stories is coming from.

We have from reliable sources that one former player who was interviewed for the story was former defensive tackle Brad Girtman, who was dismissed for violation of team rules by Gundy after he was named head coach in 2005.

But according to several players that were on the team during that time (Girtman lettered in 2003), he was routinely flunking drug tests conducted on behalf of the school. Girtman was one of nine players that Gundy initially dismissed from the team around the period he was named head coach. The others were:
Andrew Alexander, CB, lettered in 2004
William Bell, DE, never lettered
Doug Bond, OL, never lettered
Prentiss Elliot, WR, lettered in 2004
Seymore Shaw, RB, lettered in 2002-03-04
Walter Thomas, DT, lettered in 2004
Thomas Wright, FS, lettered in 2002-03-04

Two players were dismissed from the team but were allowed to returning after agreeing to follow Gundy's rules, including giving up their scholarships and then walking on. They are Jeremy Nethon and Bo Bowling.

Here is a list of other players dismissed by Gundy later in his coaching tenure:
Jeremy Broadway, WR, lettered in 2005 & '07
Marcus Brown, LB, lettered in 2006
William Cole, WR, never lettered
Chris Collins, LB, lettered in 2006
Damian Davis, WR, lettered in 2007-08
Calvin Mickens, DB, lettered in 2005-06
Herschel Sims, RB, never lettered

Again, my opinion here, but you could use this approach at virtually any major college football program in the nation and likely come up with similar material or worse at each program, other than the military academies. Actually, we have found that the academies have their own issues.

Gundy was asked Sunday during his teleconference with the beat media was asked about the situation and had this response, "I can't speak on any of it at this time. There will be a time when we address that. Right now it is a waste of your time to even ask the question," said Gundy when asked about the impending Sports Illustrated articles by Tulsa World beat reporter Jimmie Tramel.

Gundy said he really didn't think his team would be impacted by the Sports Illustrated situation.

"I'm not going to comment on any of it," emphasized Gundy. "My personal opinion as far as our players is they should go about their daily activities. I think they care less about that to be honest with you."

Gundy knows his team is a mature team with a lot of older leadership and that will certainly bode well with dealing with this or any other distractions, which the team did a fantastic job of avoiding the entire offseason and summer.

Preparations for Saturday's game with Lamar and the home opener, the first game at home in six games, began with a practice on Sunday night.

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