Oklahoma State President Burns Hargis Responds to Sports Illustrated Expose

Mike ChiariFeatured ColumnistSeptember 14, 2013

In the wake of an investigative series presented by Sports Illustrated detailing scandals within the Oklahoma State football program, university president Burns Hargis released a video on Friday addressing how the university will deal with the allegations moving forward, according to Gina Mizell of The Oklahoman.

UPDATE: Monday, Sept. 16, at 6:45 p.m. EST by Tom Kinslow

From Kelly Hines of TulsaWorld.com:

---End of update---

While Hargis was very supportive of the school in his statement, he was not at all combative toward Sports Illustrated, as he seems to fully understand the seriousness of the outcome of the investigation. 

The five-part series, entitled "The Dirty Game," has been released on SI.com over the past several days courtesy of George Dohrmann, Thayer Evans and Melissa Segura. The first four parts entitled "The Money," "The Academics," "The Drugs," and "The Sex" have been released, with "The Fallout" still to come next week.

With all of that in mind, Hargis and the university plan to conduct an investigation of their own to separate fact from fiction. 

After reading the accounts from the former players, most of whom have long since left the university, we must review these accusations expeditiously, but thoroughly, determine the truth and take whatever measures are appropriate.

After announcing his intention to take the SI.com allegations seriously, Hargis shifted to a far more positive tone. He discussed all of the former players who still support the university and what it stands for.

While the past few days have been difficult, I have been inspired by the former players who know our football program best, and who have been so adamant about the positive characteristics and practices of our program and the university. In their hearts they know that the Oklahoma State depicted in these stories is not the Oklahoma State we know.

Hargis was also steadfast in his support of current Oklahoma State head coach Mike Gundy. The bulk of the accusations made in the SI.com reports occurred during the Les Miles era, and Hargis reaffirmed his belief that the program is strong under Gundy. 

I’m confident in Coach Gundy and his staff, and I believe that Coach Gundy has guided the program in a way that exemplifies and reinforces the values of hard work, fair play and personal integrity.

While Hargis showed plenty of personal integrity in his own right by addressing the accusations head on, he has to be prepared for what the investigation might uncover. The allegations against the Cowboys are immense.


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