Q&A With Former Cowboy Andre Sexton About SI's Allegations - News9.com - Oklahoma City, OK - News, Weather, Video and Sports |

Q&A With Former Cowboy Andre Sexton About SI's Allegations

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News 9 had a one-on-one interview with former Oklahoma State linebacker and safety Andre Sexton, who played at OSU from 2005-2009 and was a member of coach Mike Gundy's inaugural recruiting class. Sexton spoke out on the allegations and gave a first-hand account of the operations within the Cowboy football program.

What was your reaction when you initially heard about the allegations against Oklahoma State?

"I was pretty hurt because I saw a lot of players I'd actually played with – and I was familiar with the remaining ones – who took a shot at an organization who has done nothing wrong and has focused on building itself the right way. Coach (Mike) Gundy has done it the right way and that's something he always preaches; being classy on-and-off the field. It really hurt to see players who were given the opportunity to get a full scholarship and continue their football dream try and drag us under the bus when the allegations are clearly not true."

Do the claims you've heard have credibility?

"No, not at all. If you look at the players who came forward, I mean, they weren't really players who had a significant impact. A few of them had a chance to get on the field and play a little bit, but for guys with their status to get paid as much as they're claiming … you know, who are these people that are paying them? Where is this money coming from? And why were they getting paid? Were they getting paid just because they were with the team? All this stuff doesn't make sense.

"All the other players who have come out and spoken up for our organization, all credibility (of the players quoted in the article) is really gone. And to see Rod Johnson post something on Facebook about how he was misquoted and then a few other players come out and say they were misquoted, as well, and led on with questions and what-not … It really doesn't look good for Mr. Thayer Evans, the one who wrote the article."

As far as your former teammates who went on record with this story, can you speak to their credibility and were you at any point offered anything that has been mentioned in SI's findings?

"I spoke to a few people today and I was letting them know how it was pretty interesting because coach (Les) Miles, he was the one who initially recruited me before Gundy took over. I got to be part of Gundy's first class. And coach (Joe) DeForest was the one who recruited me throughout the whole change. During the recruiting process, never was I given improper benefits. I talked to other players from the Houston area who were recruited by him; never did they mention being offered anything.

"And when I was at OSU, I hosted several big-name players who were key contributors. Players like Ugo Chinasa, Keith Toston … these were some of the guys I hosted coming out of high school. Never did we do anything improper, nor were we advised to do anything improper to sway them into coming to OSU. These were guys just like me who wanted to be part of something that was great; a program that was up-and-coming. If you look back at those old interviews from the high school recruits, those are going to be the reasons they came to OSU. They liked the way the program was headed, they liked what coach Gundy was doing, they saw that we were going to be something to be reckoned with in the Big 12, and look how that turned out. Now we have people coming out of the woodwork that didn't get to finish their careers for whatever reason and they're trying to shine negativity on the positive things that were done by coach Gundy and his staff from the very beginning."

You mentioned coach DeForest, he has been implicated seriously in these allegations. He was your position coach at OSU and he recruited you. You were an All-Big 12 performer and the Big 12 defensive freshman of the year. Is there any way, given your prominence in the unit, that his ‘paying for performance' could have gone on without your knowledge?

"Well, once again, I'm not going to say I was an amazing player. I had a pretty solid career but I figure I made a significant amount of plays at key moments and had a great freshman year for sure. Never once did he come up and ask me, ‘Hey, you had 10 tackles in the game, here's $100.' Coach DeForest was a very stand-up person about doing things the right way.

"I think it's just extremely ironic that years later things aren't going well for them, they get contacted and all of a sudden want to throw the rest of us under the bus when OSU is doing so well now. It doesn't make sense to me. It seems like Thayer Evans just has an ulterior motive, an agenda, and he's just trying to give us a black eye right now. It's just not going to hold up because you've seen so many players step up and support players and a coaching staff who have been doing the right things from inside and out. From academic services, to the coaching staff, to recruiting people, everyone did things the right way and the amount of money they are saying was accepted, if that were true, why is it just now being brought to light? Don't you think someone would have messed up and said something earlier?"

If money did exchange hands, it seems difficult to imagine it occurring within the locker room or during The Walk. There are thousands of people lined up for The Walk and it seems difficult to imagine that not being noticed. Could this have happened?

"The Walk is such an amazing atmosphere because everyone comes out from the tailgates and everyone is supporting you and they're yelling; there is so much energy going on before the game that you can't help but be excited. I can't imagine a player with any status or any chance of playing in the game that's not soaking it up, getting ready, getting hyped for the game, to be worried about grabbing money. And then the accusations of players getting ‘hundred-dollar handshakes' in the locker room, I mentioned this to other people as well, that's a security issue. If boosters were allowed in the locker room, that basically means we had an open-door policy and anybody and everybody could just come into the locker room. That's not safe for players, coaches or anyone on the football staff, so clearly that couldn't have happened. The only people who I ever saw in the locker room were coaching staff members, maybe a few former football players like greats in Thurman Thomas and Barry Sanders – I saw Barry Sanders' son in there – but you're not going to see boosters in there. That is so improper on so many different levels."

Staying on the ‘improper' theme, the SI piece alleges that coach Miles and coach Gundy personally interviewed girls applying for the Orange Pride organization. Can you speak to the truth of that claim or what was discussed in those meetings?

"Honestly I can't speak to that particular process, but I know they did interview girls. But I think that was more so to determine the girls that wanted to be a part of the Orange Pride organization and what their driving motive was. If they were using this as maybe something to put on their resume, if they needed an extracurricular activity or if they were just girls who were looking for a way to get closer to athletes. Definitely they would try to weed (the latter) out because you can't have improper activities involved in recruiting because those things are so sensitive now. I had friends that were Orange Pride members and these are all stand-up girls; they are girls who were there to get their degree. I mean, they could care less if you were a football player or not, they just loved the organization and they just wanted to do their little part to help out however they could, and that was by being informative and helpful to recruits and their families on their visit, answering questions, it wasn't by doing anything improper outside of the view of the coaches.

"The Orange Pride girls were mostly there to be a second hand and to answer questions that the host players couldn't always answer or questions from the families. They just gave them a different perspective on what campus life was like, how the classes were set up, how easy it was to get to classes from the dorms, how the organization was set up. They weren't there to show players a ‘good time,' not by any means. These girls were very classy girls. To come out and make those accusations, I don't know what that says about you as a person."

Does it anger you to see a program that you've helped build get thrown under the bus?

"Of course. I know right before I got there, coach Gundy had kicked off eight-to-10 players and I know several of these guys were pretty impactful. I know Prentiss Elliott was a good player for sure. (Gundy) came in and let his first recruiting class know, ‘I don't care what you've done on the field, if you're not going to come in here and do things the right way by abiding by the policies that we and the NCAA have in place, then we don't have any space for you.' I think that was a very bold move for him and he's built his organization on that foundation.

"We don't have 10 five-star recruits that come in every year. We aren't stealing recruits by doing things in an improper way. He was getting solid, three-and-four star athletes according to Rivals to bring into his program who could fit his scheme and do things the right way. And that's what he's done. He's done a great job and people wanted to be a part of something special. I feel like Thayer Evans maybe thought it was a rise too quickly or maybe, in a sense, he was threatened by the fact we were catching up with OU. I'm not sure."

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