The OSU Cowboys are reeling after Sports Illustrated (SI) released a five part series alleging rules violations by the football program.
The series, written by George Dohrmann and Thayer Evens, is based on a 10 month investigation into misconduct concerning money, academics, drugs and sex being offered to recruits. The investigation quoted former players and anonymous sources on all four of the alleged issues.
Here’s what we know…
In the first installment, SI claimed that OSU football players were being paid by coaches for performance, by boosters independent of play, and for jobs that required little or no work.
The article said that usually 15 to 20 players would receive payments in a year, ranging from $2,000 to $25,000.
The article quotes a former OSU player as saying that associate head coach Joe DeForest set rewards for special teams plays. DeForest said in the article that he “never paid a player for on-field performance.”
In the second installment, SI claims that 13 players admitted to academic misconduct and another 16 were said to have homework done for them between 2000 to 2011.
The article quotes former player Fath’ Carter as saying “The philosophy, the main focus [of the program], was to keep [the best players] eligible through any means necessary.”
In 2008, Dez Bryant received a second team academic All-Big 12 recognition. The article said former teammates and coaches “scoffed” at the idea that Bryant would be recognized for academics.
“You didn’t have no choice but to laugh at it,” Victor Johnson, a safety for OSU from 2008 to 2010, said in the article.
SI claims that Bryant had most of his work done for him. Bryant denies the allegations.
In the third installment, SI claims that OSU players were both using and dealing drugs saying that the team had on the roster, “an alleged or admitted drug dealer in 10 of the last 12 seasons.”
The article goes on to claim that coaches either encouraged or completely ignored the drug use.
Rob Glass, an assistant athletic director for speed, strength and conditioning, reportedly told a player multiple times “Hey, why don’t you come work out and then go hit your bong?” Glass claims he doesn’t remember saying that.
According to SI, OSU had a counseling program, referred to by players as the “weed circle.” Reserved for the top players, those who attended could continue to use marijuana without consequence.
OSU, like most programs, uses a hostess program to greet recruits when they come to visit the school. Orange Pride, as it is referred to in Stillwater, is made up of female undergrad students whose job is to help with recruiting while a potential student-athlete visits campus.
Orange Pride, according to SI’s fourth installment of the series, did more than that. The article claims more than 12 players said members of the Orange Pride program engaged in sexual relations with them and other prospects during recruiting visits.
None of the former players interviewed by SI knew if coaches directed members of Orange Pride to have relations with recruits, but they did sometimes determine which Orange Pride members were assigned to certain recruits. It was also alleged that former head coach Les Miles would interview potential candidates for the Orange Pride program before they were accepted.
The fifth and final installment of the series talks about the impact the OSU football program has on its players. The investigation claims that the program only cares about players if they make an impact on the field, and tells the story of multiple players who have had difficult lives after leaving OSU.
What comes from the allegation remains to be seen. The NCAA will conduct an investigation into the allegations. The question is whether or not the accusations can be proven. OSU will conduct their own investigation as well.
The repercussions OSU could face will likely make USC’s woes pale in comparison. As with all things legal, the Cowboys are innocent until proven guilty. Only time will tell what the final result will be.