Thu September 28, 2006
Bedford doesn't backtrack on recent comments
OSU fans divided on defensive coordinator's Ďroaches' reference
By Mike Baldwin
STILLWATER ó Oklahoma State defensive coordinator Vance Bedford said Wednesday he stands behind his original statement that fans who jump ship after one loss are like roaches jumping ship.
The comment has created a stir on talk radio and the Internet.
"I'm not a fence-straddler," Bedford said. "You're either with us or you're not. I won't change my stance. That's who I am. I want to thank the people who are with us. If you got offended by the comment, you must be a fence-straddler."
Monday, after OSU's defense surrendered 509 yards in a loss at Houston, Bedford said: "People are saying, ĎWell, same 'ol Oklahoma State.' Go tell those people that told that same 'ol lie to go ahead and jump off the ship like a bunch of roaches. That's OK because that's what they are, a bunch of roaches.
"Either you are an Oklahoma State Cowboy through and through or you're not. You're with us win, lose or draw. That's how I was raised."
Coach Mike Gundy said Wednesday he wouldn't comment on one of his coaches' statements.
Nearly every fan contacted in a telephone survey on Wednesday said they understood Bedford's intent.
"He maybe could have chosen his words more carefully, but it didn't bother me whatsoever," said Mike Gray, a 15-year season ticket holder from Perkins. "If you're a loyal, dedicated fan, he wasn't talking to you. I'll be there for every game no matter what the outcome."
But there have been negative comments, both on the Web and radio.
On GoPokes.com, "shortbus" of Enid wrote: "His comments were out of line. OSU has the most loyal fans in college football. We've been here long before him and will be here long after he's gone. We've never had great defense and rarely have seen good defense as long as I can remember. And I'll be 30 soon."
"Orange 1989" wrote: "If his plan was to rally his defense while protecting his players from criticism, then at the end of the season he may be a genius. I still believe he went about it wrong. You can stand up for your team while tactfully not calling out your fan base."
On Wednesday, Bedford reiterated coaches and players are working hard to improve.
"You can't base things on just one game," Bedford said. "Players and coaches aren't satisfied with how we played. We've worked hard all year, and we'll continue to work hard to get better. That's how I coach. I like this defense. They listen and they play hard. As long as they do that, that's all I can ask of them."
Stan Reichert, from Edmond, has been attending OSU games the past 20 years.
"If you took it negatively, those are the ones who will be the loudest," Reichert said. "It didn't bother me."