OSU Football Players Handed Envelopes of Cash
Club bent rules, gave players bonuses up to 25K: Sports Illustrated
By Arden Dier, Newser Staff
Posted Sep 10, 2013 3:07 PM CDT
Updated Sep 10, 2013 3:21 PM CDT
Oklahoma State coach Mike Gundy gestures during the NCAA college football team's spring game in Stillwater, Okla., Saturday, April 20, 2013.   (AP Photo/Sue Ogrocki)

(Newser) – Oklahoma State University is in hot water, and the temperature may only rise. Sports Illustrated today ran part one of a five-part series on the Cowboys and "the measures that a program will take to become elite." The magazine's 10-month investigation saw it talk to 64 former players, and today's story is all about cash. Specifically, the payments that some players (about 15 to 20 each year) are said to have received from 2001 through 2011, sometimes for on-field successes, sometimes independent of performance. The bonus money came in different forms—cash was inserted into a fresh pair of socks or slipped into their $15 per diem envelopes, for instance—by way of assistant coaches, boosters, and "no-show and sham jobs." Some players took in $2,000 a year; "a few stars" were said to have been given $25,000.

Eight players went on the record about receiving payments; 29 other players were named by their teammates as recipients. "It was just like in life when you work," says Thomas Wright, who played from 2002-2004 and says he took no money. "The better the job you do, the more money you make." In advance of the report, OSU athletic director Mike Holder yesterday said he had apologized to all the Big 12 athletic directors, that the NCAA has been notified and an investigator has been assigned, the Tulsa World reports. "We're not going to try to cover anything up. ... Our goal is to separate fact from fiction and then we can start dealing with it." Click to read SI's allegations in full. Still to come: tales of academic misconduct, drug use, and sex used as a recruitment tool.

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Showing 3 of 10 comments
Crotalus
Sep 11, 2013 10:39 AM CDT
Ahh sports, the games that adult men play because they still haven't grown up yet. Whatever happened to attending a college to actually learn, and not just so you can play sports and make money for the school while they guarantee you will pass and graduate. Ahh, higher education, what a payoff.
Scaramouche
Sep 10, 2013 8:20 PM CDT
Ahh, sports.
HMD-SMD-ITY
Sep 10, 2013 7:37 PM CDT
Not a whole lot has changed in college sports except now there are legal forms of compensation. Schools hire substitute students to attend class and take notes. It pays $12 per hour plus free tuition for the substitute. They can do everything except take quizes or tests for the player as they are only taking it for their own credit. But that same "sub" can proctor the exam later at the athletic academic lab. Athletes privileges exceed that of national merit scholars who already enjoy considerable benefits. A national merit scholar has a two month return on items checked out from a campus library. An athlete has no limit on time or amount of items. A typical run of the mill student gets two weeks and a limit of five items. It has detrimental effects on other students because if you are a friend of an athlete, you can have them check out a textbook in a class that they are not even taking and you can then use it for free during the semester and then just turn it back in. This works at universities that have a policy of placing one copy of every textbook adopted, into circulation at the main campus library. Athletes get gourmet cooking services. There is a menu established by a certified nutritionist. It models that of an aircraft carrier but is gourmet. Each athlete gets nutritional counseling and a diet geared to the trainer's desired outcome. A 320 lb lineman will have a breakfast of a dozen eggs, a pound of bacon, six slices of whole wheat bread, and a half gallon of high pulp orange juice. But its not uncommon for a lineman to ask the cook for a 36oz steak for breakfast and that will be done in short order. Even the lesser sports have a place and a runner can go in on a race day and ask for a plate of spaghetti with meat sauce for breakfast. The wrestler may want fresh ruby red grapefruit juice, a non flax seed muffin, and sizzlean. The new dorm is also nice. A movie theatre, jacuzzi pool, lap pool, tutor lab, computer lab, testing lab, and luxury apartment style dorm rooms. Prior jobs have included operating the automatic lawn sprinkler systems, mowing the deans lawn, washing the coach's cars, and being a lot porter at the local mega car dealership. Many of these jobs have dried up but every few years they pop back up.