The News Courier in Athens, Alabama

Z_CNHI News Service

September 13, 2013

Ex-player backs off comments criticizing OSU

(Continued)

TAHLEQUAH, Okla. —

In the series, Johnson also comments on OSU standout Dez Bryant's being named a Big 12 academic all-Americans even though Bryant didn't go to class unless escorted by a team tutor. He's quoted as saying, “You didn’t have no choice but to laugh at it."

Johnson now contends he was only laughing over the question posted during the interview. He said he's never said anything bad about Bryant or OSU.

Now a senior safety at Northeastern State, said he wasn't sure how Sports Illustrated got his number, and that he was lured into the interview thinking the reporter was working on a story about his career since leaving Oklahoma State.

On Thursday, the magazine released a statement supporting its reporting:

“In its 10-month investigation of the Oklahoma State football program, Sports Illustrated spoke independently with more than 60 former players and eight former assistant coaches as well as members of the university’s administration. Interviews were recorded and subsequently reviewed by a team of editors and fact checkers. Sports Illustrated stands behind the work and the investigation.”

Ben Johnson is sports editor of the Tahlequah, Okla., Daily Press.

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