SI Investigation: Oklahoma State Has Been Paying Players

Submitted by ChopBlock on September 8th, 2013 at 7:14 PM

[Not seeing anything on site search about this, nor on the mod thread canning the subject, so here goes...]


Sports Illustrated is set to break a major, major story on alleged naughtiness by the  Oklahoma State football program this week. The lowlights:

  • Paying players 
  • Phony/nonexistant jobs for players (maybe it's an OSU thing?)
  • Academic fraud: systematic outsourcing of player's classwork to others, and adjusting their grades upward
  • Campus hostesses providing sex to recruits

There's a few things to note about this that suggest this might be, like, an actual thing and not just a media spectacle

  • The timeframe stretches across more than a decade, since the Les Miles days. 
  • The University (and WVU, who currently employs Joe DeForest, an assistant coach at the center of the allegations) have already started damage control. They're shocked, shocked, that improprieties are going on in here.
  • If you're going to flat-out state that the University is paying players (about the most damning allegation possible), you better have dang good evidence.

Now, it's much too early to say which of these allegations will or won't be substantiated, and the NCAA hasn't said a word on the subject. But SI is planning to run a multi-part exposé on the subject, so this might get ugly, at least publicity-wise.


Edit: Many of these violations are alleged to have occured between 2001 and 2007, outside of the NCAA statute of limitations. Howeva, SI insists that DeForest paid players as recently as 2011, which is fair game.






September 8th, 2013 at 8:12 PM ^

Exactly.  NCAA is just college sports.  There is nothing "major" about it.  Except the money.  And the popularity.  And the significance in the lives of the athletes.  And the pride it brings to some of the students, alumni, and fans.  Other than those (and maybe a few other things), nothing "major" at all, so let's knock off the use of "major."


September 8th, 2013 at 7:20 PM ^

This will ultimately go nowhere, for two reasons.

- It looks like almost everything occurred from 2001 to 2007, outside of the NCAA's statute of limitations.

 - According to the CBS Sports article, this investigation does not affect any current players and coaches.

This might sell some magazines, but I don't think it will lead to any major sanctions.


September 8th, 2013 at 7:20 PM ^

how the Oklahoma st., Kansas, any school can lure kids from big cities to come without any of this going on honestly. what kid wants to live in those tornado rural states. doesn't surprise me.


September 8th, 2013 at 7:55 PM ^

In unique parts of the country. Folks in California and Texas wonder why anyone would want to go to the Midwest, and have no idea what Ann Arbor (or the Great Lakes) are really like. So...Let's not be like them, because they annoy me


September 8th, 2013 at 7:35 PM ^

Well since all of this took place from 2001-2007 I think the finger should get pointed squarely in the direction of LES MILES along with current coach Mike Gundy. Miles was the coach from 2001-2004 (Gundy his OC, prior to becoming HC in 2005).  

Would it be such a surprise to hear a coach connected to pay for play scandal left a Big12 school for "safer" pastures in the SEC?


September 8th, 2013 at 7:40 PM ^

I understand the statute of limitations, but if the NCAA is all about punishing the institution and not the individuals, then they should be able to enforce sanctions based on the "new facts" just coming to light. If this is true, this is a prime example of why an institution should be punished for cheating. Okie St would not have the program it does today without the past ten years of success. They were beyond horrible after the Barry Sanders era until their recent upswing.
On a separate note, I have heard numerous interviews with T. Boone Pickens (who is the equivalent of Phil Knight for Okie St) when he has said Okie St would not get another penny of his money if he ever found out any of the sports programs were found to be cheating. Based on first hand accounts and stories of direct interaction with Pickens, I have reason to believe he is sincere about this. He believes in funding a school to become good but he wants it done the right way.


September 8th, 2013 at 7:51 PM ^

Find something fishy going on at an SEC school and I'll care. They better make sure they have solid evidence or else they'll hear it from Oklahoma State Head Coach Mike Gundy. He's a man, he's 46!


September 8th, 2013 at 9:19 PM ^

Your stated assumption is that any school that gets recruits that is not a national power for the past 30 years must be cheating.  Yet, we have many examples of schools rising and falling based on their coaching staffs from Michigan hiring RR to Alabama hiring Mike Shula and then Nick Saban.  Coaches, their staffs, and their ability to recruit and develop talent  matter a lot even if you are a Michigan or an Alabama or Texas or Nebraska or XXXXXX! 

Monocle Smile

September 8th, 2013 at 9:29 PM ^

In the case of Ole Miss, this is most certainly not an assumption. There are several pieces of evidence, such as Instagram photos of recruits with piles of cash, super-sketchy details of the recruiting paths of bluechip players, and Hugh Freeze's rather reckless challenge to send emails with details of alleged violations, which ended up backfiring.

Magnum P.I.

September 8th, 2013 at 8:11 PM ^

Wake me up when something happens to an SEC school. Big Ten, Big 12, Pac 12, ACC teams keep getting investigated/penalized. A little too convenient for the mega-media SEC hype machine. 


September 8th, 2013 at 8:17 PM ^

  • To the story coming out
  • To the NCAA investigating
  • And to the NCAA ultimately getting nowhere before giving Okie St a loss of 2 scholarships for 1 year in hopes everyone will just forget


September 8th, 2013 at 8:18 PM ^

The story in The Oklahoman had a specific and - if it turns out to be the case - troubling subset of the "paying players" accusation:

"Former OSU assistant coach Joe DeForest is accused of running a bonus program – paying players for specific plays – as recently as 2011."

Like others, I am not exactly confident that the NCAA does anything terribly severe - if it even notices this piece in SI - about the things which it can punish (i.e., indiscretions inside the statute of limitations), but I do wonder how exactly how they would go about detailing any evidence of this in particular. 


Magnum P.I.

September 8th, 2013 at 8:24 PM ^

Hasn't it been well established that the NCAA is so beleagured that there are only like five people left working there and they're all like .25 FTE? I had the impression that the NCAA is in total survival mode and doesn't have to capacity--much less the will--to carry out a real investigation.