SI Story: Gundy, Holder Address Media

Here are statements from Oklahoma State head football coach Mike Gundy and athletic director Mike Holder, both of whom spoke during Monday's media luncheon. Both Gundy and Holder said these were the only responses they would have until reading the series of articles from Sports Illustrated aimed at transgressions in the Oklahoma State football program.

Gundy's Statement
"I'm going to read this because I'm not good at this, and the good thing about this is you guys won't be able to tell if I punctuated correctly. The brunt of this is I know you guys are going to have questions about Sports Illustrated, and, obviously, I'm here to talk about Lamar. There won't be any further comment from me on this issue.

I will say that we, our staff and myself, are focused on our team doing the right things. I'm very proud of what we've accomplished both on and off the field, and our goal has always been to take young people from where their families and their parents have gotten them and make them better over a four- or five-year period. And we're very proud of that in many ways.

"o until further time, and the University will be the one to make that decision, there's not any comment we have on the Sports Illustrated article."

Mike Holder Statement
"Normally, I don't get to speak at these, nor do I have any desire to speak at it. This should be about football and indirectly what I'm going to talk about is about football, but not the football game coming up. That's what everybody wants to talk and hear about.

"Unfortunately, we've got something out there on the horizon that we are going to have to deal with. I don't know a lot of specifics, I know a little bit. I know enough to be very concerned. Sports Illustrated sent two very capable people in here to talk to us last week: George Dohrman, who is the writer on the story. he did win a Pulitzer Prize. Investigative editor, I'd never met one of those before, and his name is B.J. Schecter, impressive young man.

"They believe what they are about to write (publish) to be true. As the athletic director at Oklahoma State and an alumnus of the University I don't want to believe that it is true. We pride ourselves on doing things the right way around here.

"It is kind of unique around here as the President of the University Burns Hargis, your athletic director Mike Holder, the head football coach Mike Gundy, and then I could go down the list with a lot of the coaches, head coaches, all went to this school.

"This is more than a job, I consider it a calling. I was telling my wife on Saturday at the game, 'how lucky are we? We get to do something we love.' They call it a job, but if I were retired, I'd want to be doing what I'm doing today. A lot of people, Boone Pickens among them, would say that I've had my feet on the handlebar too long and I should get to work, and maybe he's right.

"The whole point of that is to say that we take this personally. We are all committed to playing by the rules, doing things the right way here, and for people to say that's not what's happening is disturbing. Our goal is to separate fact from fiction and then we can start dealing with it.

"We've already notified the NCAA and they are going to assign an investigator to this. We've reached out to get someone to stand with that investigator and go through the facts and at the end of the day we'll come to some conclusions and we'll deal with those, prop ourselves back up, polish that OSU brand, and move on down the road.

"I apologize to all of the athletic directors in the conference for what is about to happen and what is about to be said about a member institution. That reflects on everyone, all of our brothers and peers. I am very remorseful about that.

"I reached out and I wish I could talk to all of our supporters, all of our season-ticket holders and we have a responsibility to all of our season-ticket holders of which we are going are about to sell a record amount. They are going to suffer from this as well.

"My message was you are not going to like what you hear. It is going to be a rough few days and our hope is you may not be proud of what is said about you but we hope to make you proud by the way we deal with it. How we stood up and didn't make any excuses, we're not going to try and cover anything up.

"I'm the guy in charge and ultimately the buck stops at my door. I'm willing to accept responsibility on whatever is said, and it doesn't matter if it's been since I've been athletic director or not. I've been here since 1966 as a student, so I've seen kind of the good, the bad, and the ugly in the past.

"I really feel like at 65 years of age that everything I've done up until now has prepared me for this moment in time. I just hope to make everybody proud at the end of the end of the process that this is your institution and if you're thinking about going someplace in the future and you're a student out there think that might be a place that I want to go because I like the way these people talk and what they stand for.

"It's not appropriate now for me to answer any questions. It's not that I'm afraid of them, but it's just that I don't have any answers (because the articles have not published yet). I'm looking forward to the opportunity to read these stories no matter how many days that it takes, catch my breath, and then we'll start working through the process. Everybody out there 'Cowboy Up' and it's time to ride for the brand."


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