If you have met me, you know I am a die hard OSU fan. Everything I say has a slight (ok, heavy) orange tint to it. So when this SI article came out, I was sick to my stomach. I have been hearing about it for a while, but I wanted to wait until the article came out to really say a lot about it. Like any fan, I am going to obviously defend my school, like the Aggies did Manziel or the Sooners did Bomar or Walt does Jesse. But I promise not to be the annoying fan that ignores logic. I don't want to sound like an idiot who does not see both sides of the story. If my program did this, we should get the harshest punishment for it. If we paid players, had sex slaves, lied about jobs, than the Cowboys should get everything that is coming to them. I just wanted to point out a few things that SI did not cover, or just brushed past. (Notice their recruiting ranking, would you spend money on that kind of recruit)
Before we start, there also has to be some credit to OSU for coming out ahead of the story and being transparent. They came out telling the truth and were open to any and all questions.
Calvin Mickens (3 star) - Played 10 games in 2007 and was dismissed from the team after the season by Gundy from not making good decisions.
- Said at the beginning of the article that he "did not know it was illegal to take money." This is hammered into your head the moment you sign that letter of intent. This is who SI decided to start their article off with.
- He first says he got $200 for a game against Montana State. A 15-10 win at that. 2 things: not a lot of money and an unimpressive win.
- Mickens also stated that he recalls getting $800 for an interception in a 62-23 LOSS at Texas A&M. Getting paid for a pistol whipping must be a new thing. That doesn't speak very highly of our alum and their intelligence
Brad Girtman (4 star) - Suspended in the 2004 season for violating team rules
Rodrick Johnson (3 star) - Had a good career at OSU. Surprised about what he said.
** Recent update ; Roderick Johnson speaks out
Chris Wright (NA) - recruited by Bob Simmons to play LB. Converted himself to WR. Career stats - 2 tackles, 0 receptions. Left OSU early for the draft
- Said he saw stacks of cash handed to players, but he was offered but never took any
Seymore Shaw (NA) - talented RB for the Cowboys. finished 2004 as the teams 2nd highest rusher. Along with Tatum Bell, became the first duo to rush for over 100 yards since 1998
- Was suspended in 2005 "after he was charged with felony counts of first-degree burglary and larceny and misdemeanor counts of domestic abuse and malicious injury to property."
Artrell Woods (3 stars) - career stats with OSU, 1 tackle on special teams, 2 receptions for 9 yards, 2 rushes for 4 yards
- Broke his back while working out in the OSU locker room and then nominated for the FWAA courage award
- Transferred to UCO
Aso Pogi (NA) - Starting QB for 2 years. See stats here
- Transffered to UCO
Ricky Coxeff (2 stars) – 9 tackles, 1 interception and 2 passes broken up
Thomas Wright (3 stars) - WR for OSU, played 33 games in 3 years with 52 catches
There are three names that keep being brought up by the players who are central to the accusations. The first is Darrent Williams. He was accused of taking an envelope “full of cash.” Williams was gunned down outside a night club in Denver, Colorado in 2007 while playing for the Denver Broncos. Vernon Grant dies in a car crash in 2005. Mama Norris has also passed away. Three sources that are having their legacy run through the dirt.
The other names implicated have come out and said it is simply not true. I was listening to an Oklahoma radio station this morning, the Franchise, hosted by Sam Mayes. He had Josh Field, Andre Sexton, Greg Richmond, Markelle Martin, and a number of other players, who were actual stars, on his show and they all denied it. In fact Greg Richmond, if you can get the clip it is hilarious, says he wishes he was paid. He was "having to scrounge money together for pizza" and "beg his girlfriend to do his laundry." And if anyone deserved money for stats, it was Richmond. In fact, Josh Fields pleaded with the guys making the claims to call in and have an open discussion.
I knew a High School football player that played ball and was recruited with Girtman. He texted earlier and said, "the best thing you have going for you is that Girtman is behind this. He has always been a liar and making stuff*(only he didn't say stuff) up."
They drug John Talley's name through it. I was a student at OSU from 1998 to 2002. I went to FCA and knew John Talley pretty well. I went to his ranch a couple of times and saw players there. The fact that his name is getting thrown under the bus is a huge deal. From the few times I was at his ranch, I never saw anything like this. I can't go on with this topic, because it makes me want to vomit.
Kevin Fite, the compliance director had some good things to say against the speaking engagements and work. The fact that it was never cleared through him is a little scary. But does that it mean they were paid a lot of money?
As you go through the entire article, it is a lot of he said/she said. There are differing stories (the working at Boone Pickens Stadium) and not a lot of evidence. The stadium work is a stretch for some evidence. Did guys work, I am sure they did. Did they sign in and go slack off, I am sure they did. Hell, they even said they did. Not worried about that.
If any of this is true, I hope we get what we deserve. But there is a lot of holes and a lot of pissed off former players who are stepping up to defend their Alma Mater. I hope that people will not take one article as their only source, Dig around yourself. Listen to everyone and stop following one source like a lemur. Come on America, we're better than that
Here are some Tweets from former players who were named in the article: