Sports Illustrated has put together a 5-part piece on Oklahoma State Football. This is the first of a five part/piece report.
In separate interviews seven other former Cowboys told SI they received cash payments; 29 other OSU players were named by teammates as having also taken money. Those payments, which stretched from 2001 to at least '11, were primarily delivered three ways: a de facto bonus system based on performances on the field, managed by an assistant coach; direct payments to players from boosters and coaches independent of performance; and no-show and sham jobs-- including work related to the renovation of Boone Pickens Stadium -- that involved at least one assistant coach and several boosters. "They figure if a player shines and you pat him on the back in an obtainable way, he's going to do whatever he can to keep getting that paper," says Javius Townsend, a redshirt offensive lineman during the 2010 season, who says he did not take payments but knew of others who did.
A 10-month investigation that included independent interviews with 64 Oklahoma State football players from 1999 to 2011, as well as current and former football staffers, reveals the measures that a program will take to become elite -- and the collateral damage that follows. FULL STORY
Payments, bonuses and sham jobs. Between postgame handouts from football staff and the largesse of boosters, Cowboys players had amble opportunties to receive under-the-table income. In separate interviews, eight former Cowboys told SI they received cash payments and 29 other OSU players were named by teammates as having also taken money. FULL STORY
A dozen Cowboys who played between 2000 and '11 say that they participated in some form of academic misconduct; another 16 were named by teammates as having schoolwork done for them. Players were also clustered into online classes. "The goal was not to educate but to get [the best players] the passing grades they needed to keep playing," said Fath' Carter, who played at OSU from 2000 to '03. COMING WEDNESDAY
As the Cowboys became one of the nation's elite teams, players were not only using drugs, but also dealing them. It was common for some players to smoke marijuana before games. Says Donnell Williams, a linebacker on the 2006 team, "Drugs were everywhere." School officials largely ignored use and abuse by elite players but cast aside those players deemed expendable. COMING THURSDAY
Under Les Miles, membership in Orange Pride, the football program's hostess group, tripled at the organization became a key recruiting tool. Players say that a small number of women in the group had sex with recruits. Says Artrell Woods, a Cowboys wide receiver from 2006 to '08, "The idea was to get [recruits] to think if they came [to OSU] it was going to be like that all the time, with all these girls wanting to have sex with you." COMING FRIDAY
One of the selling points of college football is that it changes lives, that young men have their character and fortunes enhanced by taking part in the sport, even if they remain on campus for only a short time. But in the past decade, player after player has been driven out of Stillwater, returning to worlds they had hoped to escape. Some have been incarcerated, others live on the streets, many have battled drug abuse, and a few have attempted suicide. COMING IN NEXT WEEK'S SI/ONLINE SEPT. 17
Here is Jim Mora Jr. just trying to eulogize Nick Pasquale. The Bruins player was killed in a car accident. A member of the media was talking on his phone at the same time. Not a good idea at all.
Up 41-38 with one second left to play. Squib it and go to the house right?