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OSU Responds To News Of Sports Illustrated Investigation

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OSU President Burns Hargis said the University is deeply troubled by the claims in the Sports Illustrated article OSU President Burns Hargis said the University is deeply troubled by the claims in the Sports Illustrated article
STILLWATER, Oklahoma -

There are shocking allegations surrounding the Oklahoma State Football program. A Sports Illustrated investigation has revealed accusations that players were paid, their grades were changed, and recruits received sexual favors.

9/7/2013 Related Story: Oklahoma State Football Subject Of Sports Illustrated Report

OSU is now responding.

OSU President Burns Hargis said the University is deeply troubled by the claims in the Sports Illustrated article. The writers told OSU officials that the majority of the alleged misconduct happened between 2001 and 2007.

For OSU fans who bleed Orange, claims of any inappropriate activity in the athletics department is unsettling.

"It sounded like a lot of rumors to begin with but it looks like there may be more to it," said Emmett Brotherton, who graduated from OSU last year and says he is a lifetime Cowboy fan.

"But you kind of distance yourself from that stuff since you only care about what's on the field."

According to Sports Illustrated, misconduct in the football program include:

*Coaches and boosters paying players for performance.

*Tutors doing classwork for players and athletes having their grades changed.

* Widespread drug abuse

*Hostesses in the Orange Pride having sex with recruits.

OSU Athletic Director Mike Holder said in a statement Saturday:

"We are shocked by the allegations raised about our football program.  We take the allegations seriously.  Whether they have merit or not, we don't know.  But we will find out."

Coach Mike Gundy was asked about the allegations after OSU's defeat of UTSA, but he declined to comment.

"I think you know the first week or two, there will be some backlash, but as soon as there's another negative story in the sports world like if Johnny Manziel has another big deal, it will fall to the wayside as quick as it came up," Brotherton said.

Sports Illustrated says it planned the five-series a year ago. Reporter Thayer Evans, who has written many articles on OSU before is a part of the reporting team.

OSU says the allegations outlined do not involve any current coaches or players. The University says it has already contacted the NCAA and detailed the accusations, and once the stories are published, it will look into them with the assistance of an independent investigator.

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