Sports Illustrated dropped the third installment of its investigation into the Oklahoma State football program today. This one deals with drug use in Stillwater. Again, several players go on the record to discuss how rampant the problem became… much of it under the watch of then-coach Miles. Here’s an example:
“It is unclear when marijuana use became so pervasive that a player like (Andrew) Alexander would feel excluded for not smoking. Andre McGill, a quarterback in 2000 and ’01, says it coincided with the arrival of Les Miles, but that is at least anecdotally false. Players from earlier years say that marijuana was used before Miles was named coach in December 2000, though they say it increased during his tenure.”
Whew! There for a second it looked like SI’s writers were going to claim Miles introduced his players to weed.
Frankly, in light of the documented evidence uncovered by Yahoo! Sports — and they really are the best thing going in sports journalism today — this SI.com piece seems a bit light. Especially when you consider the fact that one Oklahoma paper pointed out earlier this week that most of the players who’ve gone on the record to talk about the issues at OSU left the school before their careers were up. In other words, a lot of those doing the talking have a bone to pick with the school and/or Miles.
Last evening, The Tulsa World interviewed former Cowboy quarterback Aso Pogi about his “interview” with SI’s writers. Turns out it was more of a hit-and-run than an interview. At least that’s what the ex-QB says.
Meanwhile, Miles defended his running of the Oklahoma State program during yesterday’s SEC teleconference. According to USA Today, the coach’s voice cracked while discussing his days on that campus. “I revered my time at Stillwater,” Miles said. He added (in vintage Miles-speak):
“And the idea that somebody would characterize the program that was run there as anything but right and correct… Did we work hard? You betcha. Did we make tough decisions about starting lineups? You betcha. But every guy was encouraged to get his degree, to stay the course and to fight. And I can tell you that (former players) that were commenting on the state of the program weren’t there long enough to figure it out. And that they heard me tell them, ‘Attend class and do the right things,’ and heard me routinely. So, I’m going to withhold a further comment. I can tell you that staff, families and friends and anybody that sat in our meeting rooms knew that this thing was done right. I will hold further comment because frankly I want to get a team ready to play against a very quality Kent State, and that’s my push. I like my practice. I like my team.”
The fourth part of Sports Illustrated’s investigation will launch tomorrow