On the campus of OSU in Stillwater, skepticism was everywhere Thursday among students and faculty, as to what is true in the Sports Illustrated articles alleging corruption in the university's football program.
It was the main topic of discussion in Dr. Danny Shipka's strategic communication course and students made it clear that they have formed their opinions.
"How many of you think that the allegations are at least 80% true, by a show of hands?," Shipka asked a classroom full of students with only a few hands raised. "Okay, how many of you think it's 40% [true]?," he asked with almost every student raising their hands.
Shipka has been teaching student athletes for the past ten years, beginning at the University of Florida and including stints at Louisiana State University, under former OSU head coach Les Miles and now, at Oklahoma State in Stillwater.
"I think people have, sometimes, the wrong idea about athletes and athletic organizations," Shipka said, calling it an unfair "stereotype" often attached to athletes in school. "I can say that I have never, once, been asked to give athletes special consideration."
Shipka says football players in his classes have never been given a grade that they did not deserve and he has never been approached to change those grades.
The assistant professor says, while he is not sure that these stories are entirely true, it is a reminder that no football program is perfect and all schools should evaluate their practices. "I think that the reporting of this story bares examination, but I also think that OSU bares examination and I think that each organization should look within itself and see what it is that they're doing right and what it is that they're doing wrong," he said.
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