The Times West Virginian

Sports

September 9, 2013

Sports Illustrated probe targets Oklahoma State football

Media IDs WVU assistant coach in claims of payment for plays

STILLWATER, Okla. — A year-long Sports Illustrated investigation into Oklahoma State University’s football program has reportedly uncovered evidence of payments to players, academic fraud, sex for recruits and other improprieties.

Sports Illustrated told university officials 10 days ago that the report will be published soon, and deals mainly with inappropriate activities from 2001 to 2007.

The university, in turn, said it notified the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) and the Big 12 Conference about the impending magazine article and what it is expected to say.

“We take the allegations seriously,” said Mike Holder, OSU’s vice president of athletics. “Whether they have merit or not, we don’t know. But we will find out.”

OSU President Burns Hargis said the university would “investigate the accuracy of the allegations and take all appropriate action.” He added that the school requires all student athletes “to follow the rules and adhere to the highest ethical standards.”

Because most of the reported improper activities date back several years, there’s a question over whether they would result in punishment to the current football program. The NCAA, governing body of college sports, generally does not pursue rules violations that are more than four years old.

The Daily Oklahoman, the state’s largest news organization, reported the Sports Illustrated investigation turned up:

•  Payments to football players from boosters for no-show job and cash bonuses from coaches for performance on the field.

•  Players getting their grades changed to stay academically eligible and tutors doing class assignments for players.

•  Female hostesses in the “Orange Pride” football booster program providing sex to recruits.

•  Widespread drug abuse as well as an uneven drug policy.

Les Miles, now at Louisiana State University (LSU), was head coach of the Oklahoma State football team from 2001 through 2004. Mike Gundy has been the OSU head coach since then.

Gundy had no immediate comment, but Miles told reporters Saturday after his LSU team defeated the University of Alabama-Birmingham that he had been contacted by Sports Illustrated.

“I don’t know of any improprieties while I was coaching there,” said Miles. “I can tell you this: We have always done things right. We worked hard. It has never been a place where you needed to cheat to have success.”

The Oklahoman identified former OSU assistant coach Joe DeForest, as someone who provided cash bonuses to players who made big plays or performed exceptionally in a game.

DeForest, now an assistant coach at West Virginia University, did not comment on the report, but West Virginia Athletic Director Oliver Luck issued a statement saying the university has begun “an internal review to ensure the coach’s full compliance to NCAA rules while at West Virginia.”

Luck said DeForest has denied he made bonus payments to Oklahoma State players while coaching there from 2001 to 2011.

Oklahoma State's football program has prospered since 2001, with 75 wins and 50 losses. It has played in eight post-season bowl games during that time. The school is a member of the Big 12 conference.

1
Text Only
Sports
  • Wheeling holds off Post 17 rally in state tourney opener

    Wheeling Post 1 pitcher Mo Felt nearly went the distance in a 7-6 victory over Fairmont Post 17 on Tuesday afternoon at the West Virginia American Legion Baseball State Tournament at Hawley Field.

    July 30, 2014

  • Big ‘I’ golf coming to Pete Dye

    The Trusted Choice Big “I” National Championship will make its first trip to West Virginia when Pete Dye Golf Club hosts the 46th annual installment of the event Aug. 5-8.
    The Pete Dye course, ranked No. 45 on Golf Digest’s ranking of America’s 100 Greatest Courses and No. 9 on Golfweek’s ranking of Best Modern Courses, will host 160 of the best junior golfers from 40 states during the 72-hole stroke play event.

    July 30, 2014

  • Scott sees swift title contention for Lakers

    Byron Scott was a key component of the Los Angeles Lakers’ Showtime teams, a smooth shooting guard with sizzling competitive fire. He believes his purple-and-gold championship pedigree makes him the ideal coach to return the struggling 16-time champions to NBA contention.
    “This organization is all about championships, period,” Scott said Tuesday at his introductory news conference. “We don’t look at Western Conference finals, Western Conference championships. We look at (NBA) championships. And we know we have some work ahead of us, but I’m excited. ... I love challenges anyway, so this is going to be fun.”

    July 30, 2014

  • Opinion: People running NCAA may not be bumbling idiots

    Two down, one big one to go.
    And with it a growing realization that maybe the people running the NCAA aren’t the bumbling idiots everyone has been making them out to be.
    The NCAA’s agreement Tuesday to create a $70 million fund to diagnose concussions and brain injuries does more than just give some former and current athletes a bit of peace of mind — if no real money. It also extricates the organization from another serious threat to its existence, one that could have potentially bankrupted it if everyone who ever suffered a concussion playing college sports were somehow able to cash in.

    July 30, 2014

  • Steelers Camp Footbal_time2.jpg Bell looking for more decisive, productive season

    Le’Veon Bell kept watching the tape over and over, equal parts pleased and puzzled by what he saw.
    There were times during his rookie season when the Pittsburgh Steelers running back would place his hand on an offensive lineman’s back and wait patiently for the hole to open.
    Sometimes, one would appear. Sometimes it wouldn’t, mainly because whatever sliver of daylight existed had already been swallowed by darkness while Bell was still trying to read the blocks in front of him.

    July 30, 2014 1 Photo

  • smallwood-wendell(1)-2.jpg Charges against Smallwood dropped

     West Virginia University running back Wendell Smallwood took to Twitter mid-afternoon Tuesday to express his feelings after charges of witness intimidation against him were dropped by the state of Delaware.
    It took him only three words to say what was on his mind: “God is Good.” Smallwood is now free to return to West Virginia and rejoin his Mountaineer teammates when they open camp for the 2014 season Thursday.

    July 30, 2014 1 Photo

  • dungy0725 (1).jpg Rice, Dungy sideshows stain NFL

    The National Football League guards its reputation as aggressively as lineman are paid to protect a quarterback.
    So, as training camp opens around the country, how odd is it to see Commissioner Roger Goodell’s 32-team NFL empire battling bad headlines and stinging criticism from all quarters?
    Anyone want to talk to the new quarterback for his early assessment of playing with the best and biggest players in the land? That would be business as usual. Nothing has been routine about the early days of camp this season.

    July 30, 2014 2 Photos

  • Post 17 #7 Post 2 #12 mw.JPG DeVaul wraps up final season as Post 17’s leader

    If you were to ask players on Fairmont American Legion Post 17’s roster who they looked up to, you’d find a familiar pattern.
    Sure, you may get some Andrew McCutchens or some Derek Jeters as replies. But if you want to find out the real answer, just look into the dugout.

    July 30, 2014 1 Photo

  • Big ‘I’ golf coming to Pete Dye

    The Trusted Choice Big “I” National Championship will make its first trip to West Virginia when Pete Dye Golf Club hosts the 46th annual installment of the event Aug. 5-8.

    July 29, 2014

  • Charges against Smallwood dropped

    West Virginia University running back Wendell Smallwood took to Twitter mid-afternoon Tuesday to express his feelings after charges of witness intimidation against him were dropped by the state of Delaware.

    July 29, 2014

Featured Ads
NDN Sports
House Ads
Auto Racing Photos
Auto Racing Breaking News
Auto Racing Standings