The Norman Transcript

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September 10, 2013

Sports Illustrated to launch five-part series today about Oklahoma State’s football program

STILLWATER — Oklahoma State University will fix any problems found in its football program by a team of Sports Illustrated reporters and editors and subsequent NCAA investigation and move forward, Vice President of Athletics Mike Holder said Monday.

Sports Illustrated will launch its five-part series at 8 a.m. today on SI.com, according to a Sports Illustrated press release. The first story also is the magazine’s cover story. It will be on newsstands and tablets Wednesday. The series will continue Wednesday, Thursday and Friday at SI.com.

The 10-month investigation into OSU’s football program includes independent and on-the-record interviews with more than 60 former football players from 2001 to 2010 as well as current and former OSU football staffers, according to the press release.

“We wanted to take a comprehensive look at a big-time program, particularly one that made a rapid ascent,” SI Executive Editor Jon Wertheim said. “There’s obviously a steady drumbeat of scandal in college sports — improper benefits here; a recruiting violation there — and plenty of rumor and hearsay about the unseemly underbelly.

“For this piece, we were more about venturing inside the factory and seeing how the sausage is made.”

OSU’s transgressions began under former coach Les Miles and continue under coach Mike Gundy, according to the SI press release.

The five-story series was reported by senior writers George Dohrmann and Thayer Evans. Wertheim, SI Assistant Managing Editor Hank Hersch and SI.com Executive Editor B.J. Schecter supervised the project.

Dohrmann and Schecter informed OSU officials about general issues in the series on an Aug. 28 trip to Stillwater.

OSU officials notified the NCAA, which will assign an investigator to review the facts, Holder said.

“At the end of the day, we will come to some conclusions,”  Holder said. “We will deal with those, prop ourselves back up, polish up that OSU brand and move on down the road.”

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