As journalistic bombshells go, Tuesday's release of the first in a five-part Sports Illustrated expose into past improprieties in the Oklahoma State University football program was widely regarded as a dud. That said, both Oklahoma State and West Virginia, the school at which one of the implicated former OSU coaches now works, were in full damage control as of Monday. OSU athletic director Mike Holder addressed the media, stating, "I apologize to all of the athletic directors in the [Big 12] conference for what's about to happen, what's about to be said about a member institution. That reflects on everyone, all of our brothers and peers." Holder, who has been in Stillwater since 1966 as a student or university employee (he became AD in 2005), went on to say, "I really feel like that at 65 years of age, everything that I've done until now has prepared me for this moment in time, so I just hope to make everybody proud at the end of this process." (He later said that his apology should not be taken as an admission of wrongdoing by OSU athletics.) A proces is under way at WVU, as well. A university source told The Charleston Gazette that an in-house investigation into the accusations against Mountaineers assistant coach Joe DeForest, who SI sources claim paid players performance bonuses while at OSU during a period spanning 2001 to 2007, will be done "quickly, but thoroughly" and will focus solely on his tenure at WVU.
Today, after part two of the SI series went public, LSU head coach Les Miles, who held the same title at Oklahoma State during the period in question, went on the offensive. "I can tell you that people that were commenting on the state of the program weren't there long enough to figure it out," Miles said during an SEC coaches teleconference. "They heard me tell them attend class, do the right things and heard me routinely. I'm going to withhold further comment. I can tell you that staff, family and friends, anybody that sat in our meeting rooms, knew that this thing was done right."