You know, in some regards, this story seems like a bombshell. In others, I think many of you watch college sports, see a program make a quick rise in the polls from one season to the next and you always wonder if there’s something going on behind the scenes. I know I do anymore. You want to think it’s a new coach, a new scheme, or a better training facility, but then you read a report like this and you realize it’s usually the obvious: money being given to high school athletes to get them to play for you, rather than the other guys.
Today’s case in point is the Oklahoma State football program. This also raises the question again about paying players, which some are calling for. They say it would end this kind of cheating because kids need some money to survive in college. Maybe, but what’s to keep schools from paying them under the new rules and STILL giving out extra cash like OSU is accused of doing?
Here’s more from the Dallas Morning News:
The article, which quoted several former players by name, said some players received $2,000 to $10,000 annually, with a few stars receiving $25,000 or more. Eight players told SI they received cash, while 29 others were named by teammates as taking money. The transgressions cited stretched from 2001 until at least 2011, the magazine said.
Oklahoma State said it has notified the NCAA about the report and launched its own investigation.
Sports Illustrated said its five-part series included interviews with more than 60 former players who played for Oklahoma State from 2001-10. Among the allegations of misconduct and potential NCAA violations are:
— An Oklahoma State assistant coach, Joe DeForest, paid cash bonuses to players of up to $500 for performance.
— Boosters and assistant coaches funneled money to players and provided sham jobs for which players were paid.
— Tutors and school personnel completed school work for players and professors gave passing grades for little or no work.
— The program’s drug policy was selectively enforced, allowing some players to go unpunished for repeated positive tests.
— Some members of a hostess program used by the football coaching staff had sex with recruits.
SI reported that eight former Cowboys told the magazine they had received cash payments tied and 29 others were named by teammates as having also taken money.