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SI report: Academc improprieties at Oklahoma State

The SportsXchange

The latest revelations from Sports Illustrated's investigative series on the Oklahoma State 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."

Miles, who left Oklahoma State in 2004 for LSU, defended his record with the Cowboys.

"I revered my time in Stillwater," Miles said, according to the New Orleans Times-Picayune. "The idea that someone would characterize the program that was run there as anything but right and correct. ... Did we work hard? You betcha. Did we make tough decisions about starting lineups? You betcha. But every guy was encouraged to get his degree, stay the course and fight.

"I can tell you that people that were commenting on the state of the program weren't there long enough to figure it out. They heard me tell them attend class, do the right things and heard me routinely. I'm going to withhold further comment. I can tell you that staff, family and friends, anybody that sat in our meeting rooms, knew that this thing was done right. I want to withhold further comment to get my team ready to play against a quality Kent State. That's my push."

Oklahoma State created response.okstate.edu on Tuesday to answer 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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