Sports Illustrated's five part investigative series on the Oklahoma State football program, which has been rumored to be coming for the past few days, will drop at 8 a.m. Tuesday (Oklahoma time) on the magazine's website.
“The Dirty Game”, as it has been titled, delves into “the transformation of a struggling college football program into a national powerhouse”, according to a release by SI.
And in the first part of the series, labeled “Money”, SI will allege “OSU used a bonus system orchestrated by an assistant coach whereby players were paid for their performance on the field.”
In the release, the report will allege that some players received $500 per game and, in other instances, were given more than $10,000 annually for “no-show” and “sham” jobs.
It will be the magazine's cover story for the week of Sept. 16.
“We wanted to take a comprehensive look at a big-time program, particularly one that made a rapid ascent,” SI executive editor Jon Wertheim said in a statement. “There's obviously a steady drumbeat of scandal in college sports — improper benefits here; a recruiting violation there — and plenty of rumor and hearsay about the unseemly underbelly. For this piece, we were more about venturing inside the factory and seeing how the sausage is made.”
Along with Wertheim, SI assistant managing editor Hank Hersch and executive editor B.J. Schecter coordinated the investigative report, which is written and reported by George Dohrmann and Thayer Evans.
The other four parts of the report will be released over the next week, starting with 2-4 on SI.com Wednesday, Thursday and Friday morning. Part 5 will hit the website next Tuesday and the magazine issue on Sept. 23.
Here's a synopsis, directly from Sports Illustrated, on the five parts:
*Part 1: Money (Tuesday morning): SI finds that OSU used a bonus system orchestrated by an assistant coach whereby players were paid for their performance on the field, with some stars collecting $500 or more per game. In addition, the report finds that OSU boosters and at least two assistant coaches funneled money to players via direct payments and a system of no-show and sham jobs. Some players say they collected more than $10,000 annually in under-the-table payouts.
*Part 2: Academics (Wednesday morning): Widespread academic misconduct, which included tutors and other OSU personnel completing coursework for players, and professors giving passing grades for little or no work, all in the interest of keeping top players eligible.
*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.