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The Sports Illustrated report has dropped. OSU fans have some good excuses.

3:43 PM EDT on September 10, 2013

sports illustrated SI cover

Just like any other day, today is not a good day to be an OSU fan.

Earlier this morning, Sports Illustrated released the first of what OSU fans must think is an infinite part series on alleged corruption and scandal within the OSU athletic department. According to SI.com, the OSU football program was an out of control monster where athletes took cash, cheated on tests, smoked marijuana and had sex with girls. Basically, they acted and behaved like college students.

Unfortunately for OSU, NCAA athletes (fair or unfair. Hint: It's unfair) play by a different set of rules. Because of that, the report has the potential to set the program back a decade and destroy all the progress it's (rightfully or wrongfully) made under Les Miles and Mike Gundy. That may seem overly dire, but it's very possible.

Obviously, the article has most Cowboy fans in a very bad mood. Because of that, I thought I'd post a photo to cheer them up:

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See, it could be worse. Your starting quarterback could also be a cocaine dealer. Does that make you feel any better?

Okay, probably not.

I guess I don't blame you. If you're like most of the OSU fans I see on Twitter and Facebook, reality still hasn't really sunk in. You're either in the denial, searching for a different truth, or if your Aso Pogi, taking back everything you said. You probably think that Sports Illustrated's biased team of writers coaxed disgruntled ex-players who were kicked off the team to make up lies about the program in a juvenile attempt to get even with Coach Miles or Gundy. You know, kind of like how you tried to convince yourself that this was a good song:

Anyway, here are seven of the most common excuses I've seen OSU fans making on Twitter, Facebook, message boards, talk radio and sports radio.

1. "So what, stuff like this happens everywhere. Corruption and cheating is rampant in college athletics. You don't have to look too hard to find it."

I guess that's kind of true, but why does it matter? Did an OSU agricultural scientist finally prove that two wrongs make a right? These were not minor violations. Based on what's been published in only the first part of this series, it already looks like the program has a "lack of institutional control." They're lucky that most of the violations fell outside the 4-year statute of limitations.

2. "All the players who talked to SI were kicked off the team and have no credibility!"

It's actually the opposite. You'll get more credible info from whistleblowers who are no longer associated with the program. They're the ones with nothing to lose or gain. In fact, these former players don't benefit at all from going on record and exposing the truth. If anything, it hurts their credibility and damages their reputation. Why would they go through all that just to lie?

For example, say you wanted to write an article on what goes on inside Tate Publishing? Whose story would you more likely believe? A current employee that gets paid by the company, or ex-employee with nothing to hide? I'd chose the ex- employee.

"But Patrick, what about all the former players who claimed they didn't receive improper benefits."

If I played football for OSU from 2003 - 2007 and had a job in let's say, pharmaceutical sales, of course I'd come out and say I did not receive benefits. I'd talk about how rosy clean the program is. The same goes for former Cowboys who are in the NFL, media or work in the call center at Dell. You would be blacklisted from OSU athletics if you spoke up. It would possibly damage your reputation and career. That's why I believe those guys who left the program. Once again, what do they gave to gain by lying?

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3. "Why don't they talk to the Oklahoma media?!?"

Yeah, because I'm sure any whistleblower would have been treated fair by the Oklahoma media. Speaking of that, where was our media in all this? You're telling me that not one of The Oklahoman's or Tulsa World's OSU beat writers knew about any of this? This is kind of our sports version of Chesapeake story. It took the guts of the national media to bring it to light.

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https://twitter.com/R_Stuts/status/377433239989678080

4. "You don’t have any proof!"

Technically, I guess that's true. A lot of what's in the Sports Illustrated report is based upon testimony. You know, the same type of testimony that can get a man a death sentence.

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5. "The reporter had a grudge against OSU."

Thayer Evans, a senior college football writer for SI and one of the reporters for the story, is an OU alum. Therefore, he hates OSU and decided to take down the program with an all out frontal assault based on lies, speculation and innuendo.

Okay, that's not entirely true. Although Evans is a co-contributor to the piece, most of the credit goes to SI Investigative Reporter George Dohrmann. He won the Pulitzer Prize for his reporting of the University of Minnesota academic scandal in the early 2000s. Read that again, he won the Pulitzer Prize for his reporting of the University of Minnesota academic scandal in the early 2000s. Do you really think that he and the journalistic institution known as Sports Illustrated would do all of this based on a grudge? I doubt it.

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bomar

6. "Ha ha! Rhett Bomar Charles Thompson Barry Switzer Big Red Sports an Imports."

I'm not sure if it's an excuse, but it's a summary of what a lot of OSU fans are saying on Twitter. Unable to come to terms with the crisis hitting their own program, they deflect attention back to their rival.

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7. "If we were paying players, shouldn't we be better?"

This would probably be the angle I would take if I were an OU fan. Which leads to two points:

• I don't blame OSU fans for getting mad and upset, questioning SI, or even trying to pass this story off as "not that big of a deal." If the shoe were on my Crimson colored foot, I'd do the exact same thing. We treat our favorite sports teams like they're part of our family. When they are attacked or hurt, we come to their defense, regardless of whose fault it was.

• I troll on OSU from time to time, and I will more than likely continue to do so, but deep down I really hope they're able to overcome all this. Even at full strength they can't really compete with OU, so I'm very concerned what this will do to the program. It's fun to pick on your brother, but when he's too weak to fight back, it's kind of depressing.

Anyway, we'll probably have more on this as things are revealed. Leave a comment and discuss or something.

p.s. - Sorry about all the typos.

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