In case you’ve been on another planet for the last week, here’s a summary of the five-part series Sports Illustrated did on Oklahoma State.
Part 1 — Some backups took money from some unnamed boosters.
Part 2 — There might have been cheating going on among some of the tutors and some rogue advisors but we can’t prove it. Oh, and we screwed up some of the years the people we wrote about were in school.
Part 3 — College kids do drugs. Bo Bowling is a star.
Part 4 — College kids do sex.
Part 5 — A few football players over a 12-year time period were upset with how their lives played out and were looking for someone (or some entity) to blame it on.
Did I catch you up adequately?
Somebody on Twitter today told me I wasn’t even considering if any of this happened and that my objectivity had flown out the window. No, I think most of it did happen which is also why I think Sports Illustrated looks so foolish!
Reason No. 1 why SI looks foolish: Five parts and still zero physical evidence. That’s insane.
Reason No. 2 why SI looks foolish: If everything in here happened — and I’m willing to believe it did even though our physical evidence-less sources are more questionable than John Potter in a free throw contest — I was simply told that there were a few one-off occurrences of improper behavior over the course of 12 years at a major Division I football school (according to SI, “a powerhouse”!)
Do you understand the silliness of SI not pointing at systematic failure?
Or the ridiculousness of not using all these second-stringers to point to a big fish like Justin Blackmon or Dez Bryant. I mean, my gosh, if you do a five-part series on improprieties at Oklahoma State and you can’t prove that Dez Bryant did anything wrong outside of insinuating that his Academic All-Big 12 status was…uh…not on the up-and-up, you haven’t done your job.
The thing before all this started that was really going to bother me was if there was a system in place that Gundy or Miles or Burns or Holder knew about and condoned. Did that happen? Maybe, but SI never showed it to me and didn’t even come close.
So would I be OK if everything in this five-part series was 100% true? Sure, because you are a fool to think that a college football program (of all things!) is the essence of a squeaky-clean business.
Do I want kids to do drugs and not succeed in life and do I want boosters to give kids money, and by doing so showing them that their participation in illicit behavior is valued above their ability to finish college? No, I don’t.
But all SI showed me is that businesses are often not well-run and like Mike Holder said before all this started, I’m kind of glad SI pointed that out.
Because now OSU just has an opportunity to make theirs even better.