|Updated: 9/11/2013 11:05 am
||Published: 9/10/2013 7:57 pm
The first of Sports Illustrated's five-part series detailing allegations of misconduct within Oklahoma State University's football program between 2001 and 2011 was about the only thing students could talk about around campus Tuesday.
But even though the first part of the series laying out cash payments to players appeared damning, students said they took the allegations with a grain of salt and remained optimistic.
"I hope it's not true," Garin McClain, a sophomore at OSU, said. "I mean, I still think we've got to wait for all of the information to come out and see what ... I mean, this is only day one."
McClain told FOX23 News he has plenty of doubts about the allegations.
"A lot of the former players are denying the allegations," he said.
"It's just kind of interesting that Oklahoma State's the target, considering also that the person that wrote the story, Thayer Evans, is an OU grad. So, I don't know if that has anything to do with it."
But McClain said he also realizes that whether the allegations are true or not, accusations alone can damage reputations.
"Whether the university gets punished or not by the NCAA or the university punishes itself for it, it still puts us in a bad spotlight," he said.
But Kiara Ealy, who graduated from OSU in May, said she doesn't think allegations of misconduct in the past should have an effect on the university as a whole right now.
"I have faith in how they're going to handle the situation," Ealy said. "I mean, I don't value my degree any less because of this. I'm still, like, really proud of my university."
Across the Oklahoma State campus Tuesday, things appeared to carry on as business as usual. And just like the alleged misconduct, any panicking by administrators or leaders in the school's athletic department happened behind closed doors Tuesday.
But across campus, McClain said the mood was light.
"It's pretty optimistic, I think."