OSU allegations: Did Oklahoma State pay football players?

OSU allegations by Sports Illustrated potentially point to a lack of institutional control at Oklahoma State University. The sports magazine is publishing excerpts from their reporting of OSU allegations online this week.

Tim Sharp/AP
OSU allegations: Oklahoma State University football coach Mike Gundy addresses the media at the beginning of the Big 12 Conference Football Media Days Monday, July 22, 2013 in Dallas.

The football program at Oklahoma State University appears to be in some very hot water, according to investigative reporting by Sports Illustrated.

The weekly sports magazine cites allegations against the Cowboys football team that include payments to players by both coaches and boosters, academic fraud, lax enforcement of athletic department drug policy, and football recruits having sex with women representing the OSU football program as campus 'hostesses.'

Sports Illustrated reports that the alleged infractions occurred between 2001 and 2010. Current Louisiana State head coach Les Miles was head coach at OSU from 2001 to 2004. Former Cowboys quarterback Mike Gundy became Oklahoma State head coach in 2005.

Oklahoma State athletic director Mike Holder apologized to his fellow athletic directors around the Big 12 Conference on Monday in advance of the SI story being published in daily online excerpts that began Tuesday.

"I apologize to all the athletic directors in the conference for what's about to happen, for what's about to be said about a member institution," Mr. Holder said at a news conference without taking questions. "That reflects on everyone, all our brothers and peers, we're very remorseful about that."

The school announced over the weekend that SI had notified it of the upcoming series, which details transgressions by the football program starting in 2001. Oklahoma State said it has notified the NCAA and launched its own investigation.

Gundy, trying to focus on preparing the No. 13 Cowboys for their home opener on Saturday against Lamar, said he was confident the proper steps would be taken by the university.

"I'm going to guess that once we get all the information and we see what's out there, then our administration, our people inside, will look at it and we'll see where we made mistakes," Mr. Gundy said Monday.

The Oklahoman reported, citing an unidentified source, on Saturday that former Oklahoma State assistant coach Joe DeForest is accused in the story of running a bonus program, paying players for big plays as recently as 2011. DeForest now works as an assistant coach at West Virginia for head coach Dana Holgorsen, who is a former offensive coordinator at Oklahoma State.

West Virginia released a statement Saturday that did not mention DeForest and said it had "launched an internal review to ensure the coach's full compliance to NCAA rules while at West Virginia," while also contacting the NCAA.

"While our assistant football coach has denied the allegations, it is the right thing to do to look into the matter and review practices here," athletic director Oliver Luck said.

Mr. Miles has said he didn't know of any improprieties while he was the Oklahoma State coach.

"I can tell you this: We have always done things right," he said after LSU's game Saturday night in Baton Rouge, La.

Material from the Associated Press was used in this article.

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