Part 2 of a partially released Sports Illustrated report on the culture of Oklahoma State football claims widespread academic fraud in both the Les Miles and Mike Gundy era.
The magazine reports that 13 players between 2001 and 2011 told them that “they participated in some form of academic misconduct” and 16 others were named as having schoolwork done for them by tutors or others.
The report claims that once Les Miles took over in 2001, academics played a clear second-fiddle to football.
Sometimes, Doug Bond, an OSU offensive lineman from 2002 to 2004, alleged that Miles, when talking to the team, would say “Academics first,” while putting up two fingers, and “Football second,” while putting up one.
“You heard his words but you saw what he was doing," Bond told the magazine. "So the thought process was that you're going to school just so you can play football."
In the report, it is alleged that Dez Bryant, the All-American receiver who now plays for the Dallas Cowboys, was one of many who had tutors do a majority of his schoolwork. Bryant denied the allegations to Sports Illustrated.
Among those who told the magazine they participated in academic misconduct include Thomas Wright (defensive back, 2002-04) Larry Brown (defensive tackle, 2005-06), safety Chris Massey (1999-2002), Artrell Woods (wide receiver, 2006-08) and Herschel Sims (running back, 2011).
These players also told SI they saw other players participating in this misconduct, including Tatum Bell (running back, 2000-03), Josh Fields (quarterback, 2001-03) and Kevin Williams (defensive tackle, 1998-2002).
Other allegations in the report include players alleging that professors at the school would give them passing grades in classes they either did not attend or did little to no work in for the entire semester.
Six sources, including two assistant coaches, reportedly told the magazine that they had teammates that seemed to be functionally illiterate, even after attending OSU for multiple years.
This report comes one day after SI released a lengthy investigative piece into the OSU program's alleged trend of paying players. Labeled “Money,” Part 1 alleged that players received cash payments for performance on the field and no-show jobs off of it.
Many former players, even some quoted in the story as sources, have since denied all the allegations levied by the report.
Thursday morning, in Part 3 — labeled “Drugs” — the magazine will delve into the alleged drug culture surrounding the program. Parts 4 (“Sex”) and 5 (“Fallout”) will be released on Friday and Tuesday morning, respectively.
Here's a synopsis, from SI, on the remaining three parts:
*Part 3: Drugs (Thursday morning): OSU tolerated and at times enabled recreational drug use, primarily through a specious counseling program that allowed some players to continue to use drugs while avoiding penalties. The school's drug policy was selectively enforced, with some stars going unpunished despite repeated positive tests.
*Part 4: Sex (Friday morning): OSU's hostess program, Orange Pride, figured so prominently in the recruitment of prospects that the group more than tripled in size under previous head coach Les Miles. Both Miles and Mike Gundy, then an assistant coach, took the unusual step of personally interviewing candidates. Multiple former players and Orange Pride members say that a small subset of the group had sex with recruits, a violation of NCAA rules.
*Part 5: The Fallout (next Tuesday morning): SI finds that many players who were no longer useful to the football program were cast aside, 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.