Stillwater, OK, United States (4E Sports) – Eight former Oklahoma State football players revealed that they received impermissible benefits from 2001 to 2011, earning incentives from assistant coaches, boosters and fake jobs established by wealthy alumni.
“It was just like in life when you work,” former defensive back Thomas Wright told Sports Illustrated magazine. “The better the job you do, the more money you make.”
The magazine report mentioned the testimony of former OSU players, who implicated 29 former teammates.
According to the players, some teammates earned $2,000 annually while “a few stars” upwards of $25,000.
The magazine said the players would receive money from former OSU assistant coach Joe DeForest, who coached the Cowboys during the entire span from 2001-11 and former running backs coach Larry Porter.
Porter allegedly gave giving one student-athlete “a couple hundred bucks” to help cover room-and-board costs while DeForest handed former defensive tackle Brad Girtman a debit card with $5,000 on it when he arrived on campus in 2003.
DeForest, currently an assistant at West Virginia, and Porter, now at Texas, have said the SI allegations are untrue.
The players said they also received money from boosters, who would deliver the money in several different ways and via fake jobs set up by boosters, wealthy alumni and even an assistant coach like DeForest.
The time covered by the magazine report spans the entire tenure of then-OSU coach Les Miles, now at LSU, as well as current OSU coach Mike Gundy.
Oklahoma State athletic director Mike Holder said he was “very concerned” about the magazine’s allegations. Holder was named the university’s athletic director in September 2005, after Miles had left for LSU.
“As the athletic director at Oklahoma State and an alumnus of Oklahoma State University, I don’t want to believe that it’s true,” Holder said. “We take this personally. We’re all committed to playing by the rules and doing things the right way around here, and for people to say that’s not what’s happening is very disturbing.”