Just let me be clear...I think Gundy is running a pretty "clean" program, "clean" of course being a relative term. I don't think anyone would believe that there isn't at least some funny business going on at EVERY big time Division 1 football and basketball program. These are bureaucracies unto themselves, too large and exposed for any head coach to adequately police, and we all know what potential money and fame/influence can induce. We can only hope that the head coach is not condoning any of it.
Many in the public are attacking the character of Thayer Evans, known OSU basher. Those same folks are attacking the character of the informants disclosed in the first installment of SI's 5 part series. Generally not a good place to go, as this is a often a common tactic when trying to discredit a witness at trial when you can't directly rebut their testimony. Bad character doesn't necessarily equal false testimony. Let their peers deal with them.
The things that struck me from the article were:
- SI, this was your flagship installment of something you've been working on for almost 1 year, yet not one single informant directly cited was a "big time" name. If this "pay for play" stuff was as rampant and overt as the piece clearly implies, then I find it hard to believe that SI couldn't get at least one of over a hundred major contributors who stayed with the program to completion to speak out. They would have nothing to lose. Not a sound way to start an expose by quoting sources of which all but a couple were kicked off the team, and now apparently one of your sources who wasn't kicked off the team recanted. Sloppy.
Also, there is not one hard piece of evidence mentioned. This is all based on "hearsay." Some would say there is a preponderance of hearsay about the same people and actions, but I would interject that this is not a court of law with a number of totally unrelated people making common statements. All of the sources were around the same program and had knowledge of same names. Not hard to get specific, even when lying. "Knowledge" of "details" is a major component in establishing validity. When you've lived in the forest, it's easy to lie about the trees to those who don't live in the forest. This is potentially compounded by the rumor that SI paid some of the informants, and it also wouldn't shock me if some of the informants were "led."
- The DeForest stuff bothers me. When you admit that you had players doing work at your home, and paid them fairly, but the compliance has no record or knowledge of it...red flag...and we all know it only takes one "key" to open Pandora's Box. Then everything comes out.
- Oh no, athletes having sex. Seriously? And Gundy was personally interviewing the girls? Maybe he was, but can you imagine Gundy openly or covertly insinuating that part of the gig would be sexual favors for recruits or current players? If this was actually proven to be true, I would have no problem blowing up the program forever.
- Come on people. I remember going to college as a freshman at OSU. I didn't need anyone doing me any favors in order to "get lucky," so I can't imagine the athletes need much help in that regard, especially with the number of people who want to be around the program.
- Adarius Bowman...his "silence" bothers me. As stated in #1, not a single source mentioned so far was a major player, and the flood of former athletes claiming this is all baloney is significant. Find it hard to believe there isn't a recognized name out there who wouldn't come clean if it was really as bad as alleged. I really wish Bowman would at least come out and say WHY he is being silent.
- Our outrage is admirable, but quite useless. OSU needs another national media giant to hop on the wagon in questioning the veracity of the claims. If the University can't go on the offensive, then they are doomed. The "truth" is almost always what comes out first, and SI did that. This is a news cycle event, so most of the media are more interested in getting out in front of it than looking into its validity.
- In the end, IMO, this will be much ado about nothing unless the NCAA finds sufficient evidence that things went on in the past 4 years. That's the major reason #2 sits in my craw, as DeFo is the ONLY connection to recent history.
- The fact that SI states that things happened under Miles and continued under Gundy could also easily mean that it took Gundy time to clean up.
- If I'm SI, I would have nixed that last paragraph. Almost comes off as a "sympathy" statement for the players that claim to have taken money or know of others that took money. Doesn't make it right, but definitely doesn't generate much outrage that some guy got an extra $500 to buy food and clothes.
While OSU still has to do work, it appears this whole thing might be unraveling a tiny bit for SI. The next few days should be VERY interesting indeed.