Tulsa World - ESPN writer Jason Whitlock had some unkind things to say about his former co-worker Thayer Evans, who is one of the Sports Illustrated writers behind the publication’s five-part exposé on Oklahoma State football. Here’s what Whitlock said on the Oklahoma City Sports Animal earlier today:
“I have the obvious take (on the series) that I’m tired of these stories. We’ve been reading these stories for 30 years and I’m tired of people pointing out how corrupt participants are in a system that has been proven to be corrupt. The NCAA amateur system is corrupt, so we should not be surprised that there is corruption among the participants. I would like to see more of the focus on the NCAA and the system and fixing that, and then I’ll get upset about the corruption. I think the story is a cliché and bogus and suspect and just the wrong angle.
“But then in addition to that, having worked with Thayer Evans at Fox Sports, having followed his work for some time, I am completely and utterly flabbergasted that a legitimate news outlet would allow Thayer Evans to be involved in some type of investigative piece on college football that tears down a program, and particularly one that tears down Oklahoma State when it is no secret what a huge, enormous, gigantic Oklahoma homer Thayer Evans is. This is just incredible. Knowing the lack of competence that’s there with Thayer Evans, knowing the level of simplemindedness that’s there with Thayer Evans, to base any part of the story on his reporting is mind-boggling.
“ … When I learned Thayer Evans was involved, I just said, there’s no way I’ll read this because there’s no reason to trust this reporter on anything of any substance. If you go back and look at his track record of reporting and the consistent controversy that surrounds his reporting – he made a name for himself at the New York Times by writing these annual stories about some top high school football recruit that he would buddy up to, follow around with a tape recorder and then report what some immature 17-year-old kid said about the recruiting process. These kids tended to come from single-parent families with the mother working and busy, so there wasn’t the normal oversight and anybody with a brain could see the exploitation that was taking place. … It doesn’t surprise me there are sources in this story saying the reporting was heavy-handed and leading. I don’t want to make the whole thing about Thayer Evans, but there’s just no way to avoid it. I’ve worked with him. He’s simpleminded. He’s a hack that can’t write. This isn’t personal, I promise. I have no reason to dislike Thayer Evans personally, and I don’t. But I’ve read enough of his work this guy isn’t qualified for this job and by now Sports Illustrated and anybody else should be well aware of this. Type his name into Google, read his previous work, read how his previous work has been rebunked and there’s just no surprise. This story will be shrouded in controversy.
“ … I can’t disparage (other writer George Dohrmann) because I have never worked with him. I have never seen any of his raw copy or anything like that. There are a brand of sports writers who love doing these investigative pieces. They are not hard to do these days in terms of so-and-so got this money under the table. We’re into this area where unnamed sources can say anything, any of these he-said, she-said stories. I don’t respect the entire brand of investigative journalism that is being done here. It’s not our job to go out and do NCAA policing.
“ … There’s some cute girl on campus who is a hostess who may have slept with one of these players. This has been going on for years and it goes on in the frathouses and the academic corruption they are going to talk about goes on in the frathouses and all across campus. We are singling out these athletes. It’s a good story. It will get you a promotion. It will get you on SportsCenter. It will get you talked about on this radio show and all over Twitter. But it’s bogus. It’s a trick for clicks.
“ … The story to me, from everything I have heard … it just seems so suspect. If that’s the standard, it’s he-said, she-said. If you can say this booster walked up to me and gave me $500 in the locker room and you don’t have to name that booster, this story could be done at Ball State. It could be done at Rutgers. It could be done at UCLA. It could be done anywhere.
“ … I hope (the named parties) get off scot-free because I don’t think they have done anything wrong. They are probably sweating bullets because America is so stupid and the sports media is so stupid that we will call for something to happen or we will want something to happen or the NCAA is so stupid. Yes, they should be sweating because we are in that kind of stupid society of no one wants to correct this corrupt system. But, for me, I hope Oklahoma State wins every game and wins the national championship. Have they lost this year? I hope they go Cam Newton. Remember when Cam Newton and his father were the worst thing on the planet. Oh my God. Thayer Evans was the leader of that. You would have thought Cam Newton was O.J. Simpson or Walter White. Cam Newton and his dad, who knows? Maybe they did want a couple of hundred thousand. More power to them. It’s America.
“ … Let me end by saying this and I honestly mean this without malice. It wouldn’t shock me if Thayer Evans couldn’t spell cat and I say in all seriousness.”
If there’s a journalist equivalent of getting posterized, Jason Whitlock just did it to Thayer Evans. Just elevated and shoved his balls in his mouth and hung on the rim and shattered the backboard. Absolute face job. Hey Thayer can you even spell cat bro?