Academic dishonesty common at Oklahoma State football for a decade: SI report

Oklahoma State University's Travis Cross celebrates a victory over University of Oklahoma for the...

Oklahoma State University's Travis Cross celebrates a victory over University of Oklahoma for the Big 12 Championship in December 2011. (REUTERS/Mike Stone)

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The latest revelations from Sports Illustrated's investigative series on the Oklahoma State University football program detail academic misconduct that included tutors completing assignments for players and inferior work receiving passing grades.

SI began its series this week with reports that NCAA rules were violated from 2001 to 2011 with Cowboys players receiving payment from the school and boosters for their performances on the field and for jobs in which the work was not performed.

Thirteen players indicated to SI that academic fraud was prevalent in the football program in order to keep players eligible.

"Are you kidding me? I didn't go there to go to school. I went there to play football," former defensive tackle Brad Girtman told SI.

Former wide receiver Artrell Woods said he never wrote a paper during his time at OSU while tutors did the work. Former running back Kevin White said players were guided to majors that would be easier to maintain academic eligibility. Others claimed that some of their teammates were illiterate.

"You just show up, you'll get a C," former offensive line Jonathan Cruz told SI. "You don't have to pass the test. You don't have to do a homework assignment. You don't have to do anything. If you go to class, they'll give you a C because they care about Oklahoma State football."

One former assistant coach told the magazine that former receiver Dez Bryant, now with the Dallas Cowboys, had no business being in college. But Bryant received second-team All-Big 12 academic honors despite never going to class unless he was supervised by a football staff member, according to SI.

"There's no way he could do the college work," the assistant said. "Once he got there, he was connected with the people that would help him."

Former Cowboys safety Fath' Carter, who played under former coach Les Miles, said "The philosophy, the main focus, was to keep (top players) eligible through any means necessary. The goal was not to educate but to get them the passing grades they needed to keep playing. That's the only thing it was about."

Oklahoma State created response.okstate.edu on Tuesday to respond to the allegations.

University booster T. Boone Pickens, Oklahoma State athletic director Mike Holder and other former players have criticized the report.


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