OSU announced Wednesday that its All-American junior wide receiver had been ruled ineligible after providing false statements about his relationship with former NFL star Deion Sanders to NCAA investigators. NCAA rules prohibit student athletes from entering into any type agreement with an agent until their eligibility has been exhausted. Sanders, who resides in Dallas, is associated with sports agent Eugene Parker, who was Sanders' agent when he played.
It's unclear at this point whether Bryant will actually travel to Indianapolis to meet with representatives from the NCAA or if a someone from OSU will go and represent Bryant.
The NCAA's investigation of Bryant dates back to at least late July and was hanging over Oklahoma State in the days before the Cowboys' Sept. 5 opener against Georgia, according to correspondence between the university and NCAA. The e-mail correspondence was obtained by The Oklahoman through an open records request.
Bryant was interviewed by the NCAA on Aug. 28 -- eight days before his two touchdowns lifted the Cowboys to a 24-10 victory and put him on the cover of Sports Illustrated. In an Aug. 31 email to OSU associate athletic director for compliance Scott Williams, an NCAA official asked "why does (Bryant's) story keep changing?"
On Sept. 2, responding to an inquiry about Bryant's status, an NCAA official reminded Williams "it is the institution's responsibility to certify the eligibility of its student-athletes," adding that OSU "must feel comfortable that Mr. Bryant is eligible to compete."
The e-mail correspondence shows that the NCAA requested Bryant's phone records from January through July. But in an email dated Sept. 2, NCAA investigator Marcus Wilson noted that NCAA staff had twice requested "certain phone records" -- on July 24 and Aug. 27 -- and had yet to receive them.
In the same e-mail, Wilson requests "that the institution confirm that Mr. Bryant has paid for cell phone usage since January 2009." In an email the following Monday, OSU's Williams says that Bryant's cell phone is under the family plan of one of his teammate and after consulting the Big 12 and NCAA Director of Student-Athlete Reinstatement Jennifer Henderson - the Friday before the Georgia game - it was determined that Bryant's cell phone arrangement did not constitute a violation.