OSU Players, Affiliates Sound Off About SI's Article

Former Oklahoma State University football players are turning to social media to speak out about the Sports Illustrated article released today.

Tuesday, September 10th 2013, 1:12 pm

By: News 9

Oklahoma State Football Scandal Day 2

Seymore Shaw 02-04 RB

"I agreed to talk with Thayer Evans with the presumption that we would be talking about something completely different. I became uncomfortable with where the conversation was going and later retracted all statements. I very clearly let him know I did not want to be a part of his story and that he did not have my permission to use any part of our conversation or my name. At no point in time was I paid or looking to "out" OSU, players, coaches, or anyone associated with the school. I can't say a lot at this time, but please know there are untruths being written and the truth will eventually come out."

OSU Associate Athletic Director/Academics Dr. Marilyn Middlebrook

"While I am surprised at the comments and allegations in today's Sports Illustrated installment, I can tell you we have a dedicated team of qualified specialists working hard every day with student-athletes to help them pursue and earn a degree.   I am proud of the work we do with our student athletes.  We have assembled what I believe in my over 20 years of experience in academics, the majority of which at Oklahoma State, a strong academic support network. We would never condone what Sports Illustrated said occurred.  What they describe is not the place where I work.   And I will also say, I greatly appreciate and enthusiastically support the President's resoluteness to conduct a thorough review to find out what is true and what is not true."

Brandon Weeden 09-11 QB

"I've read the first story that came out and literally I laughed throughout the entire thing. It's comical for a lot of reasons and I won't go through the whole deal, but obviously it's dealing more with before I got there. First of all, clean slate, I didn't take any money or do anything like that. That wasn't the issue."

"It all happened before I got there. But the guys that they did question were not very good sources to question because they are kids that got kicked off the team for drugs or for whatever it might be. They were dismissed and so these are guys that aren't real credible. And the guy who wrote the article, we had a little run-in at Texas. He's an OU guy. He's always had it out for Oklahoma State, so he comes up to me after we beat Texas and he said, 'when's it going to happen? When's Okie State going to pull it's Okie choke? Like they always do.' I laughed and said, 'Who is this clown?' to our SID guys. And long story short the guy has always had it out for Oklahoma State. He's got a track record. You can go look it up. I'm not going to say his name. You can go look and see what he's done. But he's had it out for us, so it's comical. The truth will come out. I'm surprised. Here's what I'm surprised about is that a credible institution like Sports Illustrated would do 10 months of investigation and they have no credible facts to go along with the story."

Ugo Chinasa 06-09 DE (Twitter)

"I can't speak for Miles era but why did the coaches make us do 300 yrd up downs n 100 yrd 3 legged dogs for missing or being late to class?"

Kirk Milligan 01-02 (Facebook)

"We became a better program because of a great academic department, improved scouting, better focused practices, a training table, a change in our weight training, film study, and an overall focus on the game of football. I got to see both sides as a walk on and a scholarship athlete, and I can emphatically say that in all five years I never received any kind of payment, was offered any kind of payment, or witnessed anyone receive any payment from the coaching staff or donors. I got to play two years with Deforest as my special teams' coordinator and never heard a mention of any possible bonus programs. I can't express how shocked I was to find some of the names of players who said that they were getting paid, since three of them were backups to me in 01 and 02."

"My biggest questions to the authors are who and when and where is the proof? I feel as though, since they couldn't come up with proof, they are trying to bombard us with as much volume as they can, to distract us from the fact that they have no facts."

Oklahoma State Football Scandal Day 1

The allegations made in "Part 1: The Money" implicated several former players including quarterback Josh Fields (2001-'03), running back Tatum Bell (2000-'03), wide receiver Adarius Bowman (2005-'07), defensive end Victor Degrate (2003-'06) and the deceased Vernon Grant (2002-'04) and Darrent Williams (2002-'05).

9/10/2013 Related Story:  Sports Illustrated Releases First OSU Football Investigation Article

Several former players have taken to the radio and social media to voice an immediate response.

Dez Bryant 07-08 WR (Twitter)

"I wish somebody would have offered me 25k whenever I was at #okstate lol... If I didn't get paid I'm damn sure nobody else got paid."

Rodrick Johnson 04-07 LB/DE (Facebook)

"Let me say this to all of you, I was never paid or said anything negative about OSU, that Evens guy is trash for what he wrote! He took what I said and flipped it to his own words! I never said anything about Bobby Reid, Defo, or John Talley! I am embarrassed and shamed of this article! I was lied to about what this article is about and for that I apologize to everyone for! This is something that will get resolved and I will see to that myself! The guy wrote lies! So for all of you flipping out on me, don't believe everything you read just because its in a book or magazin!" - From Rodrick Johnson's facebook page.

Josh Fields 01-03 Quarterback (On 107.7 The Franchise)

"It's atrocious that the families of Vernon Grant and Darrent Williams. It's a disgrace that their names were brought into this.

I would think that during a couple years there I would see some of this.

It frustrates me to see John Talley's name in there--he's someone who's done so much to help the community in Stillwater.

For people to know, I think everyone knows—these sources--it's basically drug user, drug user,drug user…it's ridiculous and needs to be set straight."

Tatum Bell 00-01 Tailback (Twitter)

"Folks gonna believe whatever they want. I'm not trying to convince nobody. But I do know while I was in school no one took no extras."

(on 98.1 The Sports Animal)

While being interviewed on the Sports Animal, Bell denied ever being contacted by Sports Illustrated.

"First off, I've never received any money. I've never been to (DeForest's) house at all. I can't tell you where DeFo lives or where he lived at the time… I never went to any coach house in college. Period. Let's squash that right now.

"Never received any money. Never had any hands shaked. Whatever else the article said, no boosters were allowed in the locker room … It's all just made-up stuff."

"If the sorry players were getting the money, I don't understand why the good players weren't getting money, because I was one of the best ones out there if that's the case. Kevin Williams … he was one of the big-time cats, he wasn't getting no money."

Then Bell was asked about the former players quoted in the article. He had this to say:

"I think either they didn't finish Oklahoma State … I don't remember the guys, so I can't speak on them personally. But as far as me keeping up with the program, I know that they didn't play much or they got kicked out or transferred or whatever the case is and they not happy with their life now. I don't know why they'd (want to do this) to Oklahoma State. And I don't know why they'd bring me up, they don't even know me."

Corey Curtis 01-04 OL (On 107.7 The Franchise)

"I quit the program my senior year so I have nothing to do with OSU. Was sitting next to Girtman in the locker room. If he as getting paid, I would have seen it. Paul Duren was an awesome linebacker, Kevin Williams was a superstar, why weren't they getting paid?"

Greg Richmond 99-01 DE (On 107.7 The Franchise)

"This stuff that I'm hearing and reading is ridiculious. We were part of the guys that turned that program around and we didn't receive one thing. All these guys finished at different universities. I shoulda been getting that envelope. You gonna pay me $500 to get to the quarterback? C'mon man!"

Matt Hardison OL 03-04 (On 107.7 The Franchise)

"I can't believe how much crap is going on. I was approached by one of these guys in March, asking for former Les Miles players at OSU who might have something against OSU because they lost playing time."

Anton Jamie Blatnick 07-10 DE (Twitter)

"I spent 5 years in Stillwater and never experienced any of these allegations... I'm interested to see who they got their information from."

Zachary Crissup 06-09 DB (Twitter)

"Coach Defo was my position coach, I love the man and thank him for all the TIME he invested in me." #GreatCoach

Markelle Martin 07-10 S (On 107.7 The Franchise)

"It's outrageous and it's a bunch of nonsense. It's not right for all the people who put in the work and did everything the right way to get questioned and doubted because of the words of a few who didn't."

9/10/2013 Related Story: Statement From T. Boone Pickens On OSU Allegations

Andre Sexton 05-08 LB (Facebook)

"If you want to interview people who knew what was done you need to talk to people who actually played. These people feel like they were cheated and so they have an agenda against OSU. Deforest recruited me and I saw it all. I experience every part of it. And I never saw any of that. If you look at the way Coach Gundy recruits, he doesn't go after all the five-star athletes like some other top programs. No, he brings in a bunch of 3-4 star guys who buy in and do things the right way."

"Thankful, grateful, honored, and appreciative are a few words I would use to describe the full football scholarship awarded to me by Oklahoma State University!

I had the pleasure of being recruited by Coach Joe Deforest and member of Coach Mike Gundy's first recruiting class. From the time I was recruited to my graduation not once was I offered money to play. Oklahoma State's coaching staff, strength team, and academic services help put me in the right positions to succeed on/off the field, and once my career was done ! When I needed help in any field I had a supporting cast I could rely on. I graduated with my degree and have moved on to the next stage of my life like many former players successfully.

This article is focusing on extremely small group of players that were given an opportunity to continue their football dream, but feel cheated and refuse to accept responsibility for mistakes they have made. What better time for a group of disgruntled players that left the university for one reason or another to talk down on an amazing university that has worked the right way to put itself on the map and help young student athletes succeed not only on the field but in life.

I am troubled that anyone would try to bring down such a great organization, but I'm at peace because I know I was a part of something great and I know we did it the right way. Always proud to be a football alum for alma mater Osu and will always bleed the brightest orange in America!"

John O'Dell, Fellowship of Christian Athletes State Director in Oklahoma

"John Talley has been a valued member of the FCA staff for 20 years. I believe in John as a man of integrity who has made a tremendous impact for Jesus Christ on the lives of countless coaches and athletes during his career. The outpouring of support from both current and former coaches and athletes for John during this time has not only a been a blessing for John, but a testament to his character."

Stay with News 9 and www.News9.com for more details as they become available.


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