A Diligent Job of Damage Control
"It was a 10 month investigative report, to be doled out in five scathing parts, and if handled poorly, the fallout from the Sports Illustrated articles could be as crushing as a linebacker's tackle.
"I know enough to be very concerned," said OSU athletic director Mike Holder.
And yet, in just one five minute press conference, OSU athletic director Mike Holder has arguably taken the wind out of SI's sails.
"Unfortunately we've got something out there on the horizon that we're going to have to deal with," he said.
"It's only a crisis when you do not respond appropriately, and in my opinion right now the university as an outside observer is responding appropriately," said public relations expert Sheila Curley of Sixpr.
"Mike Holder came out of the gate and said look we are going to open up an official NCAA investigation into this, we will fully cooperate with it, and whatever the implications of this may be, we will deal with it and the university will take full responsibility," said public relations expert Amber Remke of Waller & Company.
Which, ironically, may end up being more shocking than the allegations in the article itself. Accountability? Who takes that route these days? Holder's message to alumni?
"You may not be proud of what's been said about you, but we hope to make you proud about the way we dealt with it," he said.
Which says Amber Remke, is exactly the right message to be sending.
"I think they way they handle this crisis will define the university in the long term and it won't be defined by the crisis itself," she said.
And how the message is delivered is important as well. Holder didn't read a prepared statement, there was nothing awkward in his demeanor while handling the awkward situation of the university.
"We're all committed to playing by the rules, doing things the right way here," he said.
"Right now the university is doing the right thing. They've assessed the situation, their tone is matching the serious allegations," said Curley.
And should those allegations eventually result in some sort of reckoning, Holder had a down to earth answer for that as well.
"We'll deal with those. Prop ourselves up, polish that OSU brand, and move on down the road," he said.