(Sports Network) - Allegations that Oklahoma State football players were paid
for performance is part of a Sports Illustrated investigation that details
numerous issues within the Cowboys' program over the past 13 years.
The magazine said it conducted a 10-month probe that included interviews with
64 Oklahoma State football players from 1999 to 2011, as well as current and
former staff members.
A five-part series, starting with money, was published Tuesday on SI's
website. In addition to illegal payments of players, the series consists of
academic misconduct, drug use and sexual favors.
According to the story, the payments to players ranged from money for big
plays during a game to cash from sham jobs performed. The money, anywhere from
$2,000 to $10,000 annually, came from boosters and assistant coaches. Some
star players even received upwards of $25,000.
Brad Girtman, a defensive tackle from 2003-04, told SI that he was paid on the
low end, receiving at most $500 from a football staff member. He also said he
saw some stars get "monster payments."
Girtman said his pay rates -- $50 for a quarterback hurry and up to $250 for a
sack -- were told to him by assistant Joe DeForest, who worked under head
coach Les Miles from 2001-04 and current Cowboys coach Mike Gundy until 2011.
DeForest is now an assistant at West Virginia and denied the allegations.
"I have never paid a player for on-field performance," DeForest told SI in the
story. "I have been coaching college football for almost 24 years, and I have
built a reputation of being one of the best special teams coordinators and
college recruiters in the country based on hard work and integrity."
The SI story said boosters were not permitted access to players when Bob
Simmons was head coach from 1995 to 2000, but Miles loosened the reins when he
took over in 2001. Miles, though, apparently told the magazine that players
were not paid and boosters were not given much access.
As far as academic issues, the brief overview said teammates indicated that
school work was done for them. The drug use included players smoking marijuana
before games, and a small number of members in the football program's hostess
group had sex with recruits.
On Monday, in anticipation of the release of the story, Oklahoma State
athletic director Mike Holder apologized for what was coming and said he had
already notified the NCAA.
"We're all committed to playing by the rules and doing things the right way,
and for people to say that is not what's happening is very disturbing," said
Holder in a statement Monday. "Our goal is to separate fact from fiction, and
then we can start dealing with it. We've already notified the NCAA, and
they're going to assign an investigator to this. We'll reach out and get
someone to stand with that investigator and go through the facts. And at the
end of the day, we'll come to some conclusions, and we'll deal with those.
We'll prop ourselves back up, polish up that OSU brand and move on down the
This year's Oklahoma State squad is ranked 12th in the nation and off a 2-0