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More holes poked in SI’s OSU expose’

Fath' Carter

And the walls are quickly crumbling around the Oklahoma State football expose’ penned and produced by a pair of Sports Illustrated writers.

Assailed from the outset by dozens of former Cowboy football players and one mega-booster, the five-piece installment from SI has been picked apart more than just about any other report since the Warren Commission.  A sizable chunk of the former players who spoke on the record and leveled the most serious accusations had reasons to be disgruntled, with Tulsa World writing that “[o]f the 12 former players who either pointed fingers or admitted guilt, nine either were kicked out of school, dismissed from the program, transferred for playing time issues or just quit. Of those, several had criminal records.”

Thus far, that aspect of the expose’ has yet to be included in any of the stories that SI has released thus far.

One of the players quoted in part two of the five-part series and whose accusations were among the most serious, Fath’ Carter, is not one of those 12.  Yet his accounting of his time in Stillwater has come under fire from, of all things, facts.

In the second installment that focused on academics, Carter claimed to have graduated from OSU.  In an interview, one of the writers of the series, George Dohrmann, claimed that Carter had two degrees from the university, stating that “I have no reason to believe he lied. And he’s certainly not disgruntled.”  According to’s Brett McMurphy, Carter’s also not a graduate of Oklahoma State University per the school’s registrar office.

Carter also claimed that, in 2003, he and former OSU running back Tatum Bell attended the same class with the same professor and received A’s despite the fact that neither did any work or even attended the class.  In 2004, Carter claimed, the same instructor gave the pair F’s for a class he taught because they were no longer important to the football program as their eligibility had expired.  The only problem with that accusation?  Bell didn’t attend classes at OSU in 2004.

“I withdrew from school after the (Jan. 2, 2004) Cotton Bowl,” Bell told McMurphy. “I was never enrolled in 2004 and never attended classes in 2004.”

In and of itself, McMurphy’s findings are not exactly earth-shattering.  But, poke a hole here, poke a hole there, and pretty soon the whole premise becomes weak and, ultimately, comes tumbling down.  At this point, it’s fair to ask if it’s a matter of when and not if that happens to the SI series specifically and the magazine in general.

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18 Responses to “More holes poked in SI’s OSU expose’”
  1. padraighansen says: Sep 12, 2013 3:49 PM

    TMZ is starting to make fun of SI’s “journalistic standard”.

  2. angelheartsbuckeyes says: Sep 12, 2013 4:02 PM

    A few years a ago SI did a piece on a football program exposing the dirty underbelly of raffle fixing and they were practically given a symbols Pulitzer.

    Oh how far we’ve come.

  3. angelheartsbuckeyes says: Sep 12, 2013 4:04 PM


  4. detectivejimmymcnulty says: Sep 12, 2013 4:06 PM

    The guys doing this story do not care about facts. They want clicks. I have not read any of the report and do not intend to.

  5. MasMacho says: Sep 12, 2013 4:09 PM

    Dhorman is a liar.

  6. alligatorsnapper says: Sep 12, 2013 4:11 PM

    I have never seen an “investigative report” which such shoddy “journalistic standards” in my life so far as in the OSU piece. Former players deny it. Quotes from folks who have died and they could not have spoken with. Impossible accusations. No verification from first hand sources. It is a bunch of crap.

    But note who is one of the authors and why he was fired from other jobs….

  7. vanmorrissey says: Sep 12, 2013 4:29 PM

    I think JT should do an expose on the expose. Media on media bashing, I love it! SI would be guilty of exactly what they claim they do, investigative reporting with thorough research. Apparently, only if it suits their needs.

  8. theboondoggles says: Sep 12, 2013 4:43 PM

    I can still vaguely remember the fantastic stories I found in SI as a kid. Even through the transition from paper to websites, I loved the work of Peter King, Don Banks, and Stewart Mandel. Those guys broke news, but they also put it into context and built a story that anyone could sink their teeth into.

    It’s really depressing to think that the entire SI brand has fallen so low. Compare the reporting quality in a tentpole series clearly meant to put SI back on the map to the quality and standards of Yahoo’s Fluker piece: they aren’t even in the same galaxy.

    As a Pokes fan, I wasn’t all that worried to begin with, but now that the content has come out and the sources have been scrutinized, this is just depressing. Thayer Evans attempted to take down a sports institution that I love, but only managed to humiliate another. Shame on those that supported him in that effort.

  9. chachooga says: Sep 12, 2013 5:38 PM

    The light handed we feel sorry feel on this story is really annoying as a UM fan.

    Nevin Shapiro (the only yahoo source on the record) had a HUGE bone to pick with UM first….second he is in jail as a felon…..what sort of felon? A liar, he ran a billion dollar ponzy scheme.

    I sure wish UM got this sort of sanitized treatment.


  10. chachooga says: Sep 12, 2013 5:41 PM

    alligatorsnapper –

    Not one single former player confirmed quotes in the UM story. Not one.

    Yet it still drags on over a ex booster with a bone to pick, sitting in jail because he is a felon…..that was the source.

  11. Deb says: Sep 12, 2013 5:54 PM

    Writing an exposé on 10-year-old incidents that can’t be pursued by the NCAA … puzzling.

    Writing a five-part exposé on 10-year-old incidents that can’t be pursued by the NCAA … bizarre.

    Writing a five-part exposé on 10-year-old incidents that can’t be pursued by the NCAA and are discredited before the series finishes its run … humiliating.

    Is SI trying to jump the shark?

  12. sportsdrenched says: Sep 12, 2013 5:59 PM

    “Nevin Shapiro (the only yahoo source on the record) had a HUGE bone to pick with UM first….second he is in jail as a felon…..what sort of felon? A liar, he ran a billion dollar ponzy scheme.

    I sure wish UM got this sort of sanitized treatment.”
    In the UM Peice, and the Fluker Piece the Yahoo Authors have documents to back up their accusations.

    I originally defended this SI piece on OSU. However, I’m halfway through it and I have to admit there’s no documentation, even when they’re talking about things that should be verifyable. I’m going to finish reading it, but, I’m gonna look at it a little differently.

  13. overratedgators says: Sep 12, 2013 7:17 PM

    “the five-piece installment from SI has been picked apart more than just about any other report since the Warren Commission.”

    I stopped reading once they accused Les Miles of being the second gunman on the grassy knoll.

  14. chachooga says: Sep 12, 2013 7:33 PM


    what documents? phone records showing that Shaprio talked to recruits????

    there were no documents worth a lick. It was a hyped hit piece on “The U”. Because it was “The U” it still goes on. Because it was “The U” the NCAA broke laws and illegally coerced testimony because of all the pressure to convict UM of something.

    It is a joke that it was pursued as far as it was. Most of the things went back 10 years. All of the serious things were with coaches and players from the past.

    Only 8 current players were “involved” and the worst case of those was taking a little over 1k in benefits.

    If you cared you would realize the EXACT same thing happened at Boise St, at the EXACT same time. Only difference is no HYPED Yahoo hit piece with flashy lines of BS from a convicted felon singing a revenge tune from prison.

    Yahoo had “documentation”…..Bull.

    This SI story has zero legs if everyone didn’t run around like school girls over the Yahoo story.


    Don’t complain now.

  15. godsowncrunk says: Sep 12, 2013 8:00 PM

    I stopped subscribing to SI many years ago after one-too-many fuzzy-headed rants about gun control. The magazine of Dr. Z, Frank Deford and quarterly epic Gary Smith stories embodied the best about sportswriting and sports – it gradually turned into what most other men-centered magazines turned into: politically correct twaddle penned by nancy-boy beta males who clearly never had much use for the sporting life.

    As a Poke State alum who was there when all this was supposedly taking place, I smelled a rat immediately. I’m glad to see that’s starting to become the truth.

  16. vincentbojackson says: Sep 12, 2013 9:06 PM

    What I find most shocking about this whole thing is that people still read magizines.

  17. 1historian says: Sep 13, 2013 12:54 PM

    I was a longtime subscriber to SI until I let it expire a few years ago.

    The photography was and remains spectacular but the writing is just poor and nowhere near the standard that they so proudly set for so many years and – for whatever reason – have surrendered.

  18. 1222tmiller says: Sep 13, 2013 1:06 PM

    I wish some of you out there would take a closer look at the PSU issues as they got railroaded with lots of untruths too. Jerry is a pediphile, but there was no cover up or a problem with the football culture. PSU has some administrative things that needed fixing so they can spot the “nice guy” predator better, but Second Mile and the state and local child protection agency missed it too. Most reports just see it as a ratings thing at this point and continue to misrepresent the truth.

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