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SI’s latest details drug use at OSU

SI OSU Cover

In one of the most shocking developments yet in Sports Illustrated‘s expose’ on the Oklahoma State football program, the magazine has revealed that college football players are very similar to the student population at large: they (gasp!) like weed.

OK, that’s a bit flippant as the latest piece’s central focus slants toward the lax nature of the OSU football program when it came to the “drug culture” among football players in Stillwater.  And there are cursory mentions of cocaine use.  By and large, though, we’re talking about weed, man.  Weed.  Not meth.  Not crack.  We’re talking about weed.

Regardless, here are some of the highlights (get it? Highlights?) from part three of SI’s five-part series on OSU football:

  • SI leads with the story of Bo Bowling, the former OSU wide receiver initially charged with, among other things, felony possession of marijuana with intent to distribute in February of 2009 and was subsequently suspended indefinitely.  He was allowed to return to the team in May of 2010 — missing an entire season — after the felony was reduced to a misdemeanor.  SI took issue with the manner in which head coach Mike Gundy dealt with Bowling, writing that “[t]here was no internal investigation to ascertain whether Bowling’s alleged drug dealing involved teammates or if the steroids in his home indicated wider issues of performance-enhancing drugs on the team.”
  • Directly from the report: “Three former players admitted to SI that they dealt marijuana while members of the 2001, ’04 and ’06 teams. Players from seven other seasons between 2001 and ’12 were accused by teammates (or, in the case of Bowling, by police) of also dealing drugs, meaning the program hosted an alleged or admitted drug dealer in 10 of the last 12 seasons.”
  • There was a so-called “Weed Circle,” which consisted of “stars or top prospects” who had tested positive for marijuana but were not subject to penalties from the school, provided they performed on the field and attended these “counseling sessions” off of it. “We all smoked and pissed hot, but the coaches were like, As long as you’re performing, we’ll send you to [the Weed Circle],” Thomas Wright, cornerback from 2002-04, was quoted as saying.
  • Former defensive back Andrew Alexander claimed that he had never tried marijuana prior to his arrival in Stillwater, but essentially became a pothead so that he could fit in with all of his teammates who were smoking weed.
  • Former defensive end William Bell claimed he made $300-$400 a week selling weed.  Another unamed ex-Cowboy told SI he made $100 a week selling it to teammates and others.
  • Bell and Thomas Wright (2002-04) claimed they and other teammates smoked weed prior to football games.  The same two players also claimed they witnessed teammates snorting cocaine.
  • Multiple claims of assistant coaches under both Les Miles and Mike Gundy openly joking about a player’s drug use.  Included is an anecdote for running back Seymore Shaw (2002-04) about his offensive coordinator: “Gundy, at the time the team’s offensive coordinator, would walk past him in practice and, when Shaw was in the training room, put his fingers to his lips and laughingly pantomime taking a drag off a joint.”
  • Speaking of humor, one player allegedly drank bleach in an attempt to rid his body of weed ahead of a drug test.

As was the case with the first two installments in the series, the third piece is already coming under fire. Actually, it came under fire before it even hit the Internet.

Early on in part three, ex-linebacker Donnell Williams declared that “drugs were everywhere” around the OSU football program. In an interview with an Oklahoma City television station before the latest release, however, Williams claimed the following:

Williams told me Evans wanted to know who used and sold drugs but that his only answer was, “drugs are everywhere,” as in the world, not the football program. He said that was the only thing he said about drugs.

“Evans” is Thayer Evans, the SI writer who contributed to the expose’ and who has come under arguably even more fire for his tactics than OSU football has for its alleged actions.

For those who even care anymore, part four will be released tomorrow morning and will deal with young people having sex.  So there’s that, which is nice.

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18 Responses to “SI’s latest details drug use at OSU”
  1. detectivejimmymcnulty says: Sep 12, 2013 11:04 AM

    I don’t know if everyone is like me but these days I would be surprised if players didn’t “piss hot” or didn’t get paid. I expect it now.

  2. materialman80 says: Sep 12, 2013 11:07 AM

    Young people smoking pot and having sex? Man I’m shocked by this!

  3. dhlions says: Sep 12, 2013 11:08 AM

    Oh Heavens to Betsy when are we going to stop giving a shit about weed?! This entire section of the report is pointless.

  4. padraighansen says: Sep 12, 2013 11:15 AM

    The more SI publishes of this, the more we learn about the “investigative” process & tactics used by Thayer Evans and George Dohrman, the more respected journalists like Peter King continue to publicly back the writers, more the real winners of this “expose” continue to emerge: CFT, and basically, any organization not named ESPN or SI.

    Having worked as a reporter and on-air “talent” (sarcasm heavily intended) for the first 7 or so years of my professional life, I can honestly say I would never have been allowed to publish what SI has gone with so far. Never. In fact, my first editor would have berated me Alec Baldwin / Glengary Glen Ross style.

    Seriously, can anyone tell me how this is helping SI, aside from web traffic?

  5. mogogo1 says: Sep 12, 2013 11:16 AM

    Pretty huge difference between some harmless recreational use and guys actually dealing weed.

  6. dhlions says: Sep 12, 2013 11:22 AM


    So wait, you can use weed, and that’s fine, but the person who sold it to you is doing something wrong?

  7. mogogo1 says: Sep 12, 2013 11:58 AM


    Duh, yes. Your kid does some weed and you probably can just shrug it off as him being a kid. You find out he’s dealing? Much bigger problem. Doubtful college athletes had green thumbs growing their own so they were getting it from suppliers and that almost always means “gang members.”

  8. barbeaux says: Sep 12, 2013 12:06 PM

    Making 300-400 a week selling weed sounds terribly low. Nancy Botwin made thousands and thousands per week.

  9. senorpapino says: Sep 12, 2013 12:10 PM

    The only thing out of the ordinary here is drinking bleach. There should be sanctions for the sheer stupidity of that.

  10. dhlions says: Sep 12, 2013 12:54 PM


    Got it. Tolerable to create demand for a product but unacceptable to be that one fulfilling that demand.

    Bottom line this story is becoming more of a non-issue every day. Unless something comes from the pay for play or academic fraud I imagine we’ll be talking about something else in a week.

  11. helladonks says: Sep 12, 2013 1:26 PM

    seriously, people being interviewed need to have a recording of it also. would prevent alot of this “taken out of context” nonsense.

  12. helladonks says: Sep 12, 2013 1:27 PM

    as in, recording the interview themselves, in addition to the interviewer

  13. Slim Charles says: Sep 12, 2013 1:51 PM

    college students using weed, crazy. this is unprecedented. this evans fellow is a modern day sy hersh

  14. egb234 says: Sep 12, 2013 2:35 PM

    Could the expose save time and say “OSU is not BYU or a service academy”? Or is that too obvious?

  15. theboondoggles says: Sep 12, 2013 4:51 PM

    This is getting ridiculous. This is going to bury SI’s credibility with much of their target audience. What a bummer. I miss what SI used to be. This is like when WCW tried to get all extreme and badass in its final years.

    Yes, I made a wrestling comparison, therefore all previous points are invalid.

  16. sillec28 says: Sep 12, 2013 10:18 PM

    Why should college football players be paid when they can make a nice income dealing weed?

  17. totallysirius says: Sep 13, 2013 3:40 PM

    College students smoking pot….most places it is still illegal but…..yawn

    College students having sex…yawn

    College student ARE adults and what consenting adults do in their bedroom is their business ONLY!

    That being said…..


  18. 2late2matter says: Sep 14, 2013 12:06 PM

    So big deal.

    Will not say “who” but a very notable football player and award winner – will not say “what” (as I am a not an official NCAA spokesperson) – at the “where” of a major Texas university, was often arrested either by campus or city of (cannot say) only about (when) 15 years ago because he would be caught driving and (gasp!) toking pot in his vehicle.

    Okay, SI and ESPN, do your homework from the clues and write another boring, so what? story.

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