Bedford Clarifies Fan Quote

Some Oklahoma State fans aren't happy with defensive coordinator Vance Bedford and it has nothing to do with the 34 points or 509 yards the Oklahoma State defense gave up in Saturday's loss to Houston. Bedford held court and answered a variety of questions on Monday after the Cowboys practice, including making a comment on fans he changed his verbage Wednesday to describe as "fence straddlers."

"People are saying, 'Same ol' Oklahoma State," Bedford started of some Cowboy fans and probably a lot of other fans in the state that wear a different color. "Go tell those people that told that same ol' lie to go ahead and jump off the ship like a bunch of roaches. That's OK because that's what they are, a bunch of roaches. Either you are an Oklahoma State Cowboy through and through, or you're not. You're with us win, lose or draw."

The comment received double play in both The Oklahoman and The Tulsa World. The most inflammatory use came in The Oklahoman accompanied by a column on page two from John Rohde, a writer who rarely has good things to say about Oklahoma State and has been overheard by this reporter as saying he hates covering Oklahoma State. But that is another story.

As for Bedford's story he did soften the verbage to "fence straddlers" in a post-practice interview Wednesday, but he did not change his stance.

"When I first came to Oklahoma State I was told that the Cowboys fans were good and that they would show up and support the program but I was also told there were a small number of fence straddlers," explained Bedford. "The minute the wind changed (something bad happened) they jumped off. If we are going to grow this program we need fans that are behind us - all the time. I thank those fans that support us, but as for the ones that are with you when times are good and jump off when they aren't, I don't need them."

Bedford said he isn't talking about fans that question the defense or even the calls he made on Saturday. He believes fans have a right to their opinion, but if they are going to support the team then they need to be consistent in that support.

"If fans are wondering whether we're working to make things better, we're working," said Bedford. "The coaches are here at six in the morning and the players are lifting at six in the morning. I'm sticking with this defense. These guys will get better. They give great effort and they fly to the ball. As long as they give me everything they have then we'll get better and we'll be fine. Will we win every game? I hope so, but I know we'll have more struggles and all I ask is that our fans stick with us."

Mike Baldwin, the OSU beat writer for The Oklahoman, said he checked with 10 OSU fans Wednesday and eight or nine said they had no problem with what Bedford said because he wasn't talking about them. Judging from my radio show there are some OSU fans that felt Bedford's statement was more of a blanket statement, which he said it was not.

Bedford said he hopes the only ones that he upset were the fans the comment was aimed at - the fence straddlers. One thing is clear he is not taking it back. He just wants the fans that are with the Cowboys all the way to know he appreciates their support.

"I know who I am," said Bedford. "My wife knows who I am. She's going to love me regardless. I know I can look in the mirror."

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