Oklahoma State NCAA violations reported by Sports Illustrated

Oklahoma State is the home of your next big NCAA investigation

9/10/13 in NCAAF   |   Pat   |   5234 respect

Jul 22, 2013; Dallas, TX, USA; Oklahoma State Cowboys head coach Mike Gundy speaks to the media during the Big 12 media days at the Omni Dallas Hotel. Mandatory Credit: Kevin Jairaj-USA TODAY SportsAccording to a Sports Illustrated report covering an investigation that spans 10 years, the Oklahoma State football program could face some serious NCAA sanctions.

The SI report details numerous violations, including pay-for-play programs, academic fraud, drug abuse, and stories of using sex with hostesses as a recruiting tool.

The first of a 5-part investigative series from SI came out today, and it details some pretty serious allegations involving players being paid for performance at Oklahoma State under both Les Miles, who is now at LSU, and current head coach Mike Gundy.

There's no definitive evidence that the head coaches knew about the illegal payments, and in an interview on the Dan Patrick show, writer George Dohrmann says that there's really no evidence that the head coaches were involved in any of the violations.

Jul 18, 2013; Hoover, AL, USA; LSU Tigers head coach Les Miles talks with the media during the 2013 SEC football media days at the Hyatt Regency. Mandatory Credit: Marvin Gentry-USA TODAY Sports.Still, there's a chance that both coaches could be in hot water if these stories are true, because it would show a definite lack of institutional control, and that's something that has no real statute of limitations in the NCAA, so Miles could theoretically be punished for something that happened under his watch 13 years ago at Oklahoma State, if it's egregious enough.

From the sounds of it, the violations were definitely quite egregious. SI hasn't yet posted the details of the academic fraud, sex-for-recruits programs, and the drug abuse, but it appears that there have been some serious problems at Oklahoma State in the past decade or more.

An excerpt from today's exposé:
Some players received $2,000 annually and others around $10,000, multiple players told SI; a few stars allegedly received $25,000 or more. Often lost in the discussion about whether college football players should receive more than room, board and a scholarship is that some already are compensated, in violation of NCAA rules. At a school like Oklahoma State the desire to create a national-title contender spawned a widespread bonus program, and it paid dividends: Since 2002 the Cowboys have had 10 winning seasons out of 11, and in 2011 finished No. 3 in the country, the highest final ranking in the program's 111-year history. "It was just like in life when you work," says Thomas Wright, a defensive back from 2002 to '04. "The better the job you do, the more money you make."

The story details various payments made to certain players for performance, and discusses how boosters made those payments in a way that could theoretically still plausible deniability for most of the coaching staff.

It's possible that Miles and Gundy never knew about these programs. It's also quite possible that they knew about it the entire time, and just turned their back to it to keep their nose clean. It's also possible that similar programs are in place now at LSU, where Miles is coaching now.

Read the full SI story for more details, and definitely keep an eye out on this story as it develops. This could be a big one.
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