By Anthony Caruso III | The Capital Sports Report
On April 24th, 2015, 10:32 AM
In September 2013, Sports Illustrated wrote a series of stories about allegations against the Cowboys team. The school continues to state that the rumors were unfounded.
A month later after the original reports by SI, the school released their own findings.
“After serious claims were made in September of last year against our football program by Sports Illustrated, we announced that we would engage a recognized consultant to do a thorough investigation of the allegations,” V. Burns Hargis, Oklahoma State President on October 21st, 2014. “It ultimately was determined that the NCAA Enforcement Staff and the University’s consultant would jointly conduct the inquiry. If we had done something wrong or were doing something wrong, we wanted to know. We also pledged to act upon what we learned and take appropriate corrective steps.
“Over the next 13 months, the NCAA Enforcement Staff and our consultant, former NCAA Enforcement official, Chuck Smart, undertook a very thorough review of the University’s football program. The inquiry focused on former and current recruiting activities and other aspects of our football program. The inquiry reviewed approximately 50,000 emails and documents, and included nearly 100 interviews of current and former administrators, coaches, staff, student-athletes, students and prospects as well as alumni and donors, a number of whom were mentioned in the SI articles. Based on that review, we learned that the Sports Illustrated claims of monetary payments for athletic achievements, improper academic assistance provided by our academic services staff, rampant drug use and inappropriate interaction with football players during recruiting trips were fundamentally unfounded.”
While Oklahoma State has released what they’ve found, the NCAA may have more information when they have their news conference later on today. Depending on what happens, it could hurt head coach Mike Gundy in terms of a suspension or potentially worse, getting fired.
The NCAA has been known to throw their weight around. In one of their recent findings, they suspended Syracause men’s basketball head coach Jim Boeheim, who was suspended nine ACC games, lost 108 wins, while the team lost 12 scholarships in the next few years.
“In the aftermath of the Sports Illustrated series, the right thing to do was examine the program,” Gundy said on October 21st, 2014. “I have attempted to operate our program with integrity and have reinforced to our coaching staff the importance of compliance with NCAA rules. If we had any shortfalls, I wanted to know. While I am pleased, but not surprised, that the claims in Sports Illustrated were fundamentally unfounded, we continue to work with the athletics administration to ensure a clear understanding and application of our policies. From the moment I was chosen to coach my alma mater, I have made decisions to create a NCAA compliant environment, while ensuring student-athlete welfare. I love my players and want them to succeed in life by making good decisions and respecting the rules.”
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