NCAA, Oklahoma State University issue joint statement
Joint statement by the NCAA and Oklahoma State University concerning an inquiry into the OSU football program after Sports Illustrated published a series of stories alleging a number of serious improprieties.

(STILLWATER, Okla., October 21, 2014) -- After a thorough review by the NCAA Enforcement Staff and an outside consultant hired by Oklahoma State University, allegations of misconduct in the Oklahoma State football program as reported by the media in September 2013 were fundamentally unfounded.

Although a few individuals outside the university refused to cooperate, investigators reviewed approximately 50,000 emails and interviewed nearly 100 individuals involved with Oklahoma State’s football program, including current and former coaches, administrators, student-athletes, students and prospects.

Oklahoma State fully cooperated with the NCAA Enforcement Staff and participated in the interviews. As a result of the information collected during these joint interviews, the NCAA will issue a notice of allegations detailing three possible Level II violations.

V. Burns Hargis, President of Oklahoma State University
October 21, 2014

Statement regarding the joint statement issued today by the NCAA and Oklahoma State University, as well as the report of The Compliance Group concerning an inquiry into the OSU football program after Sports Illustrated published a series of stories alleging a number of serious improprieties.

“After serious claims were made in September of last year against our football program by Sports Illustrated, we announced that we would engage a recognized consultant to do a thorough investigation of the allegations. It ultimately was determined that the NCAA Enforcement Staff and the University’s consultant would jointly conduct the inquiry. If we had done something wrong or were doing something wrong, we wanted to know. We also pledged to act upon what we learned and take appropriate corrective steps.

“Over the next 13 months, the NCAA Enforcement Staff and our consultant, former NCAA Enforcement official, Chuck Smrt, undertook a very thorough review of the University’s football program. The inquiry focused on former and current recruiting activities and other aspects of our football program. The inquiry reviewed approximately 50,000 emails and documents, and included nearly 100 interviews of current and former administrators, coaches, staff, student-athletes, students and prospects as well as alumni and donors, a number of whom were mentioned in the SI articles. Based on that review, we learned that the Sports Illustrated claims of monetary payments for athletic achievements, improper academic assistance provided by our academic services staff, rampant drug use and inappropriate interaction with football players during recruiting trips were fundamentally unfounded.

“During the extensive inquiry, a few situations were identified which led to three allegations in a Notice of Allegations from the NCAA where it appears we may have misapplied our drug testing policy and on-campus recruiting practices. While we question whether these matters warrant a Level II designation, as indicated by the Enforcement Staff in the Notice of Allegations, we have modified our policies and practices in these specific matters to ensure compliance. The institution will prepare a response to the allegations and appear before the NCAA Division I Committee on Infractions in the near future. The Committee on Infractions will review the positions of the Enforcement Staff and the University on the nature of each allegation. We look forward to our appearance before the Committee on Infractions to present our positions.

“We appreciate the Enforcement Staff’s professionalism and thoroughness throughout the inquiry.

“I also appreciate the work of our Vice President of Athletics, Mike Holder, and head football coach, Mike Gundy, to create a positive culture in our football program and build a consistently winning program the right way by adhering to the rules while promoting the welfare of our student-athletes.”

Oklahoma State University Statements regarding inquiry of football program
Mike Holder, vice president of athletics
Oklahoma State University
October 21, 2014

“I am pleased that the independent inquiry did not substantiate the primary contentions contained in the Sports Illustrated articles. Nevertheless, we take the remaining matters very seriously and will undertake the appropriate actions. As I said last year after I learned about the Sports Illustrated series, we strive to comply with the rules and operate with integrity. We want our loyal fans to be proud of our teams and our athletic program. I appreciate Coach Gundy and every one of our coaches for their desire to do things the right way.”

Mike Gundy, head football coach
Oklahoma State University
October 21, 2014

“In the aftermath of the Sports Illustrated series, the right thing to do was examine the program. I have attempted to operate our program with integrity and have reinforced to our coaching staff the importance of compliance with NCAA rules. If we had any shortfalls, I wanted to know. While I am pleased, but not surprised, that the claims in Sports Illustrated were fundamentally unfounded, we continue to work with the athletics administration to ensure a clear understanding and application of our policies. From the moment I was chosen to coach my alma mater, I have made decisions to create a NCAA compliant environment, while ensuring student-athlete welfare. I love my players and want them to succeed in life by making good decisions and respecting the rules.”

Rick Davis, Chair
OSU A&M Board of Regents
October 21, 2014

“We wanted a complete and independent review of our football program to make certain we were abiding by the NCAA legislation. There is nothing of greater importance to the Regents than the universities under our governance operating with integrity and following the applicable legislation and policies. We appreciate President Hargis and Athletics Vice President Mike Holder for their leadership in working with the NCAA and our consultant to conduct a thorough review.”