Tahlequah Daily Press

September 12, 2013

Former OSU players, coaches sound off on SI report


Associated Press

— North Carolina coach Larry Fedora says he never saw signs of alleged rules violations reported by Sports Illustrated while an assistant at Oklahoma State.

SI reported improper payments to players from boosters and academic fraud within the program from 2000-11. Fedora was the Cowboys' offensive coordinator under Mike Gundy from 2005-07 before becoming head coach at Southern Mississippi.

Fedora, now in his second year at UNC, called the allegations "shocking" Wednesday evening but says he doesn't know if they're true. He says Gundy and administrators made it clear "that you were going to do things right there, no doubt."

Fedora said he has talked with UNC athletic director Bubba Cunningham about the allegations. He also said he expected Oklahoma State officials would be "aggressive" and "transparent" with any investigation.



Vikings' OSU alumni deny charges in SI report

EDEN PRAIRIE, Minn. — Minnesota Vikings Kevin Williams and Charlie Johnson say they never saw the kind of impropriety detailed in a Sports Illustrated report about alleged corruption at Oklahoma State.

The report charges that Oklahoma State players were paid while playing at school. It also quotes one player saying that Williams was among those players that had course work done for them to keep them eligible.

Williams brushed off the report. He says he wished he had been paid. He says he wishes "they could pay all the college players. But I don't know where they're getting their information from. I didn't."

Johnson says he never saw money being handled or passed from boosters to players. He says "I never participated in anything like that."



Beckman shocked by allegations at former school

CHAMPAIGN, Ill. — Illinois football coach Tim Beckman says he saw none of the improprieties alleged this week in a series of Sports Illustrated articles when he was an assistant coach for the Cowboys.

The Sports Illustrated stories allege a range of problems from 1999 through 2011. They include claims of players being paid by boosters to having their school work done for them.

Beckman was defensive coordinator at Oklahoma State in 2007 and 2008.

The Herald & Review in Decatur reports that Beckman said he was shocked when he learned about the allegations.

The second-year Illini coach said he's never broken rules as a coach and wouldn't have gone along with any of the alleged improprieties if he'd known about them.



Weeden calls Oklahoma State allegations 'comical'

BEREA, Ohio — Browns quarterback Brandon Weeden called Sports Illustrated's allegations of widespread corruption within Oklahoma State's football program "comical" and said one of the magazine's reporters has an agenda against the school.

Weeden, who set numerous records at Oklahoma State from 2008-11, said he "literally laughed out loud" while reading the first part of SI's investigative series. Weeden said the players SI interviewed for the expose "are guys that aren't real credible." Weeden said he did not accept any money while he was at OSU and praised coach Mike Gundy for running a clean program.

Weeden said he did not see any wrongdoing during his time at the Big 12 school.

The second-year NFL starter believes SI writer Thayer Evans targeted Oklahoma State because he's a fan of rival Oklahoma.

Weeden said "it's comical. The truth will come out."