Former Orange Pride members criticize latest SI article

Former Orange Pride members say latest Sports Illustrated accusations are lies

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STILLWATER -

Former members of the hostess program for football recruits at Oklahoma State University say they were anxious to read the article scheduled for publication Friday morning.  They were nervous about what Sports Illustrated would say about the Orange Pride program and their friends who served in it, but their nerves were calmed once they got to see the article for themselves.

 

Part 4 of a series on Sports Illustrated's "The Dirty Game," claims OSU used the Orange Pride to offer sex to recruits and get them to sign on to the team.

 

A former student member and former advisor for the program, said that was never the case.  They said there wasn't much substance to the claims Sports Illustrated made.

 

"They're telling me that college students don't have sex, that's awesome.  I already knew that," Betsey Weaver, a former advisor said.

 

Weaver was in charge of the program for three season, from 2005 to 2008.

 

"I read it twice. The first time I just skimmed through it looking for names, because I was worried, I didn't want them to drag anybody's good name through the mud, and then the second time I actually read it and read it with more attention and realized it was just like the other articles that we've seen- it was just full of garbage basically," she said.

 

Julie Longan and other former hostesses said they never saw anything Sports Illustrated described.

 

"If there would have been something going on somewhere, something would have accidentally been seen or a girl or boy would have said something and it just didn't happen," Longan said.

 

While she says sex was never part of the job description for women in the program, she says the sexual activity described in the article wasn't even shocking.

 

 "My dad called it very vanilla. They had to really fight for something there. I think its because it wasn't  story.   I think they wanted there to be a story, but there just wasn't because Orange Pride girls are not having sex with recruits, end of story," Longan said,

 

"I didn't go into recruiting  weekends or football weekends and think 'Oh gosh, who's going to do that this weekend,'" Weaver said. "It was a free will organization. They're volunteers and I didn't ever force them to do anything that they didn't want to do and neither did anybody on staff.  But just like anything else, if they made a choice, it may not have been the best choice, we didn't have a lot of control over that."

 

Weaver says there were disciplinary actions for women who acted inappropriately.

 

Sports Illustrated reports in its article that Orange Pride members had to sign a statement  stating  they would act professionally and uphold school and NCAA rules.

 

Dr. Melanie Page, a psychology professor at OSU, was quoted in the article.  She said the writers were fair to her, but that they left out any positives she had abut the school.

 

Page said she could see why there is a negative perception of the Orange Pride.

 

"When you have a program that is just staffed by young women that people can assume they were there for one reason.  and I think that's what some people have done," Dr. Page told FOX 25.

 

Page says the organization should admit men.

 

"I think when its a program that uses young women and uses the term "hostess," that suggests to men and women that the role of women in society is to serve in a serving role," she said.

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