OSU puts in motion independent investigation into football program after Sports Illustrated series

STILLWATER, Okla. - Oklahoma State University announced the hiring of an independent investigator Monday to look into a litany of allegations posed by Sports Illustrated, with the school's president declaring it would confront the reports "head-on."

OSU President Burns Hargis, in conjunction with the OSU/A&M Board of Regents went public with the appointment of former NCAA Director of Enforcement Charles E. Smrt to spearhead the third-party review Monday afternoon.

"With the strong support of the OSU Board of Regents, I have authorized a thorough and expeditious investigation. To assure that the investigation is unwavering in its pursuit of the truth, the university has retained Charles E. Smrt, a veteran NCAA enforcement officer and one of the foremost experts in the compliance field, to serve as lead independent investigator," Hargis said.

Mike Holder, OSU's vice president of athletics, and football coach Mike Gundy each expressed support for the rapid-forming look into the program following the announcement.

"I support a quick and complete review. I am proud of our football program. And I can assure everyone we are committed as coaches and staff to winning the right way," Gundy said.

Said Holder: "We welcome the scrutiny."

Smrt, too, was optimistic about the search. "I appreciate the unfettered access and cooperation that President Hargis has offered to help me carry out my review. He has asked me to pursue the facts wherever they may lead. I assured him that I will do so, and that I will conduct the review with care and urgency," he said.

Smrt's appointment came only hours after the final installment of SI's five-part series on OSU's football team, titled "The Dirty Game", was released. Part five, called "The Fallout", focused on several former Cowboys, and asserted that the program often disregarded the well-being of its players from 2001 to 2011.

SPECIAL SECTION: Analysis, reaction from former players and the university, photos and links to the SI reports can be found at  www.kjrh.com/osureport

RELATED: SI part 1 -- The money  (http://bit.ly/16hyj9N)

RELATED: SI part 2 -- The academics  (http://bit.ly/17q4oMa)

RELATED: SI part 3 -- The drugs  (http://bit.ly/18T4UB)

RELATED: SI part 4 – The sex  (http://bit.ly/15qaZXr)

RELATED: SI part 5 -- The fallout  (http://bit.ly/1diUWwl)

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