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Former Oklahoma State players have said that recruits and school hostesses had sex but that nobody had direct knowledge of a coach or athletic staff member giving instructions to do so, according to Sports Illustrated's latest installment about the Cowboys' football program.
More than a dozen former OSU players told SI that members of Orange Pride, whose responsibilities included greeting potential recruits and guiding them and their families around campus, had sex with prospective players or had knowledge of hostesses having sex with other recruits making visits to Stillwater, Okla.
LeRon Furr, a linebacker at OSU during the 2009 and 2010 seasons, told SI that there were a small number of hostesses who were having sex with recruits during his time there.
"Those girls knew that they had to show the players a good time and get them [to Oklahoma State]," Furr told SI. "Sex, going out, alcohol, smoking [marijuana]."
When asked by SI whether he was aware of hostesses and recruits having sex, LSU's Les Miles -- who coached OSU in 2001-04, said by email: "I am not aware of this ever happening and am quite sure that no staff member was aware of recruits sleeping with the group of students or any other students."
According to SI, Orange Pride hostesses are required to volunteer two hours a week in the football offices. Duties include stuffing envelopes and answering phones.
University rules prohibit Orange Pride members from having sex with players or recruits, the report said.
According to SI, hostesses at Oklahoma State are required to sign documents that state they will "use appropriate conduct which is required of YOU within institutional, Big 12, and NCAA guidelines" and that they will "conduct [themselves] with high standards of ethics and morals."
A hostess from the 2003-04 school year told SI that there was a group within Orange Pride that did "cross the line."
"That's why I was only in the program for one year," the hostess, who asked not to be named, told SI. "It was very disturbing. When I found out, that's why I quit."
Another former member of the Orange Pride told a Stillwater television station she was interviewed by SI for more than two hours and that she painted a picture of the program different from the one that was published.
Julie Longan, who was a member of the Pride in 2005-07, told News 9 that members of the group interacted with current coach Mike Gundy directly and he warned them about improper behavior.
"From the very get-go, he wanted us to know that he expected professional behavior at all times, even when we weren't actually in uniform or in the football office," Longan said.
As for SI's investigation of OSU's program, Longan said: "I really think it's unfounded. I think that somebody has a vendetta against Oklahoma State."
While none of the players or Orange Pride members who spoke to SI implicated coaches or the athletic department, some did say that Miles and Gundy interviewed potential hostesses and made their selections based on personality.
"[The potential hostess] really got to meet [Miles], know what his game plan kind of was, talk about what his expectations were," Shayla Simpson, a recruiting assistant who was the dedicated coordinator for Orange Pride in 2003-04, told SI. "It was very important to him.
"He knew, yes, we all knew that the beauty helped. I'm not going to lie about that part. It's a picture. It's no different than having a pretty campus. It's no different than having a really big football field. It's part of the whole package, [but] you couldn't be pretty and an idiot and call it good. You had to really understand the game because you couldn't sound like an idiot when you talked to recruits."
Miles told SI via email that he interviewed potential candidates for Orange Pride to "stress how seriously we took their duties and responsibilities and the manner in which we expected those students to conduct themselves if they were selected."
Gundy declined to comment about Orange Pride to SI, and athletic director Mike Holder told SI that the hostess program may need to be reviewed.
Other installments of SI's series on Oklahoma State described payments for players, academic misconduct and widespread drug use.