I really did not want to comment on the Sports Illustrated article that has put my Oklahoma State Cowboy football program in the national news. Because there is a lot that I don't know. I don't know why SI came after us. I don't why the article's "sources" are all players who were either kicked off the team, failed out of school, or quit. I don't know why the author, Thayer Evans, has some vendetta against OSU. I don't know why Sports Illustrated does not feel the way that other sports writers feel about this quack of a "journalist" (and I use that term lightly).
I also don't know if any of the allegations are true. I wasn't in the locker room or on the field. But it sure seems like a lot of the guys that were there have something to say (and it's not what you'll read in Sports Illustrated). I did have class with some athletes--I sat next to John Lucas in speech and can tell you he was there every day and gave every speech that the rest of us gave. A lineman was in my ag econ class, and he, too, showed up to class every day. If those guys are a representation of the program, I'd say that the truth will not look much like the magazine article.
Another thing I don't know is why the article includes mentions of Cowboys who are unable to defend themselves like Vernon Grant and Darrant Williams. Vernon was neighbors with College Roomie at I at OSU. He was a good person. A son. A friend. He was killed in a car accident back in 2005. How dare someone drag his name through the mud now based on what seems to be a ridiculous, unsupported vendetta. Shame on you, Sports Illustrated. Shame on you. Let him rest in peace.
Here is what I do know. I know that the three years I spent at Oklahoma State University were life changing. That while I was there, I created friendships that will last forever. I know that we are a school that pulls together and takes care of our own, whether it be a plane crash, an illness, or a magazine article. And that I got an education that allowed me to succeed in law school and in my career. I know that there is nothing like being part of a sea of orange singing the alma mater on game day. Except for maybe rushing the field after beating OU for the Big 12 Championship or seeing the winning field goal at the Fiesta Bowl. I know that 60,000 people coming back to campus every year for homecoming speaks volumes. I know that no matter where I am, if I am wearing my orange, someone will come up to me and say, "Go Pokes" because they understand. I know that I saw Mike Gundy include Coach Budke's widow in accepting the Fiesta Bowl trophy with tears in his eyes--and that's a pretty good picture what we mean when we talk about the OSU family. And that the people who have graduated from my university and those who live in Stillwater are some of the best anywhere. I know that I am proud to have my diploma hung on my office wall and to wear orange on Fridays and to call myself an alum of Oklahoma State University.
That's what I know. That's what important. And that's why I'll ever be loyal and true.