STILLWATER — Dez Bryant believes the NCAA was “unfair” in its handling of his rules violation case at Oklahoma State and judged him based on the belief that Deion Sanders had been serving as a runner for an agent instead of lying to an investigator.
Bryant said in an interview Wednesday that Sanders did not introduce him to agent Eugene Parker during an offseason meeting in Texas that eventually led to be suspended for the final nine games of the season and the Cotton Bowl. Bryant, a top-rated wide receiver, left school early and entered his name in this year's NFL Draft.
Through the course of the NCAA's inquiry, Bryant said he learned to be more upfront and he'd tell players who find themselves in his situation to act the same way.
“I would tell the college player to be honest at all times, but at the same time I just feel like — I don't know — the NCAA, they're going to do whatever they want to do,” Bryant said.
Bryant said that he felt his punishment was more severe than those handed down by the NCAA to other players who broke rules.
“I'm just going to leave it at that. I just feel like it was really unfair,” he said.
The NCAA suspended Bryant not for meeting with Sanders, but for lying to an investigator who questioned him about it. But Bryant doesn't sound like he believes that.
“I lied, which everybody knows that I lied, but I also did tell the truth and tell them that I did go out to (Sanders') house. But I just feel like there was more to the situation,” Bryant said. “I feel like they thought that Deion was a runner for (agent) Eugene (Parker). I didn't even know Eugene at the time. I didn't know him at all.
“Deion never brought him up around me. He never talked football around me. He never talked about what I was going to do after football, who I was thinking about signing with. He never talked about that. He only talked about family to me, and that was it.”