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Orange Pride advisor responds to Sports Illustrated

Pretty cool account of the inner workings of Orange Pride



I was sent this email by Shannon Alberg, a recruiting assistant and Orange Pride advisor from 2000-2003. Her sister, Shayla Simpson, was quoted in the article.

I thought it was a pretty interesting look into how Orange Pride works (they do a lot of work!)….

I can honestly say that I am deeply saddened by the allegations that have been made against Oklahoma State and the Football program. I was the Recruiting Assistant and Orange Pride Advisor from 2000-2003. When I was hired by Coach Les Miles to begin a new hostess program it was certain that he held very high expectations of me as an Advisor to oversee these girls and make sure that they represented the school and the program with the upmost respect.

It was made very clear to the girls in weekly meetings that I held their responsibility as a member of Orange Pride very seriously. Their role was to be an ambassador of the school, the football program and to make the potential recruit and his family feel welcome during their visit on campus.

I had an awesome group of approximately 50 girls. I was extremely proud of their behavior. I felt that the girls had respect for themselves as well as the rules of the program. When I began as the Orange Pride Advisor I know that we worked really hard to change the reputation and the program from what it was before Orange Pride began.

Coach Les Miles made sure that I understood as an Advisor that he wanted this group of girls to be part of an organization that they could be proud of. I was a tough Advisor and I held high expectations for these girls. They were to be in attendance at weekly meetings, they were to dress in uniform and I even joke with them now as they are adults that I even made each of them tuck in their shirts at the game because I wanted them to look “crisp! and not sloppy!”

We went over what was expected of them as an Orange Pride member. During the season when recruits came for a game they checked in the main office, they went upstairs to a large room “Varsity Room” where they ate a catered lunch with their families and the Orange Pride girls were throughout the room to sit with the families and answer any questions about the university or football program that the families may have had.

The girls then directed the families and the recruits down on the field and sat in a reserved section with them for the game. This was the extent of what an Orange Pride member did on game day. During Official Visits of a prospective recruit an orange pride member was asked to attend an evening dinner with the entire group of recruits that were in for that weekend, coaching staff, myself and other football staff.

This evening was more casual and often showed a highlight video of the previous season.The following morning those same girls were to eat breakfast with the recruit, their families, the coaching staff, myself and other football staff. This was often in the Student Union and then they led the recruit and their families on a tour of the campus and football facilities. After the tour they returned for lunch up in the Varsity room again with the entire coaching staff, myself and other football staff.

The girls were then released to go home for the afternoon and return for dinner that evening. Dinner was usually held in the “O-Club” Room and it was more of a formal dinner where Coach Miles and Coach Henson spoke to the potential recruits and a highlight video was shown. Then it was the expection from myself for these girls to go home.They were asked to return for breakfast again the next morning in the Varsity Room where they ate breakfast with the recruit, their families, the entire coaching staff and myself. These girls put a lot of time and energy into a recruiting visit but it was never anything other than what was listed above.

These girls worked very hard, were very proud of Oklahoma State and represented our football program with the upmost integrity. I never once in the 3 years I was the Recruiting Assistant or Orange Pride Advisor had any issues with the girls under me defying the rules or expectations that were set before them.

I made sure that these girls knew that I held an open door policy and that if they came to me about anything that it would remain strictly confidential. I firmly believe that these girls knew that I loved them as if they were my own children and that should anything like the accusations that are being said would have ever happened that Coach Miles and myself would have addressed the issues. I never had any of the girls make such claims.

Coach Miles and Coach Henson supported the rules and the expectations I set for the girls. I have kept in touch over the years with the girls who I advised in Orange Pride during the 3 years I was at Oklahoma State. These girls are devastated by the claims.

They are hurt and feel that they worked super hard to maintain a professional and responsible status as an Orange Pride member. It is sad that these are the girls that Sports Illustrated chose not to interview. I have shared with the girls that have contacted me that all they can do is be honest and share the positive stories and memories that they had as an Orange Pride member and that hopefully the public will see that the way Oklahoma State ran the football program and Orange Pride organization during this time was nothing but top notch and professional.

My experience with the Oklahoma State football program as a Recruiting Assistant under Coach Les Miles was nothing but an awesome experience and I never saw anything less than professional from the coaching staff.”

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