Oklahoma State president Burns Hargis says the school will conduct an investigation into possible rules violations by the football program that have been alleged in a series of stories by Sports Illustrated this week, and will ask the NCAA to be part of the review.
In a video statement posted online Friday night, Hargis calls the allegations "very disturbing.''
The series of stories included numerous former Oklahoma State players making allegations of cash payments to players, academic misconduct, inconsistent enforcement of drug policies and some of the school's recruiting hostesses having sex with prospects from 2001-10.
"We must review these accusations expeditiously, but thoroughly, determine the truth and take whatever measures are appropriate,'' Hargis said.
He said the school is "engaging an independent expert in NCAA matters'' to assist the review and welcomes the NCAA's involvement.
"Whether the reporting here was fair and credible is not the issue,'' Hargis said. "The issue is the substance of the accusations. It's my responsibility as the OSU president to assure that the review is fair, comprehensive and complete.''
Hargis also endorsed both football coach Mike Gundy, who has been leading the program since 2005, and athletic director Mike Holder, who also took over in 2005. None of the accusations directly implicate Gundy of inappropriate conduct.
"I believe that Coach Gundy, athletic director Holder and our entire academic faculty are committed to making our programs the best they can be,'' Hargis said. "I'm confident in coach Gundy and his staff.
"I believe Coach Gundy has guided the program in a way that exemplifies and reinforces the values of hard work, fair play and personal integrity. Certainly at Oklahoma State we want to win, but we want to win the right way.''