The scandalous recruitment of stud defensive tackle Jamarkus McFarland took yet another odd twist today, as the Oklahoma commit said parts of a school paper quoted in a New York Times article detailing his experience had been "spiced up."
According to the eye-popping NYT article by Thayer Evans, McFarland had written that he attended an orgy of drugs, booze and "women romancing each other" for Texas fans following the Longhorns win over OU in October. In an interview with Rivals.com today, the standout from Lufkin, Tex., claimed Evans had obtained the paper without McFarland's knowledge and that parts of the essay had been exaggerated.
Recruiting scandal aside, this makes for a very odd case of journalism whodunit. It seems mind-boggling that NYT would publish such controversial excerpts from a high school student's paper without his permission, let alone without first verifying the information in some way. McFarland's comments to Rivals also indicate that the "majority" of the paper was accurate, but declines to say what was embellished. Does that mean the hosts charged for the drugs? Was same-sex action actually not going down? The whole thing is just so perplexing.
Could it be that McFarland is having a little buyer's remorse after seeing the reaction that the story has generated? After all, if true, the events detailed in his essay could put him in hot water with the NCAA. Note that McFarland and his mother are not disputing any other part of the article.
Or, did Evans get a little over-stimulated by the debauchery laid out in McFarland's paper, causing him to forgo the very basics of Journalism 101? It seems so obvious that this story would stir up a Texas-sized hornets nest. How could any reporter blunder that badly? Likewise, where were the NYT editors in all of this?
I wish I could tell you who to believe in this whole sordid affair. As is the case with most salacious recruiting gossip, Homerism advises his readers that they're best off trusting no one.