Stillwater, OK, United States (4E Sports) – Aside from payments for players and academic misconduct, former Oklahoma State football players revealed that drug use was also rampant during their time, with the school even helping stars be eligible despite positive tests.
“Drugs were everywhere,” Donnell Williams, an OSU linebacker in 2006 but denied using drugs, told SI.com.
SI.com also reported that 30 players said they used marijuana while playing for the team, with some even taking drugs before games.
“Against teams we knew we were going to roll, a couple of guys would get high,” said Calvin Mickens, a cornerback at Oklahoma State from 2005 to 2007. “Some of the guys, [it] didn’t matter what game it was, they were going to get high.”
Three former players also admitted to SI that they dealt drugs in the 2001, 2004 and 2006 seasons, while others said former teammates dealt drugs during seven other seasons.
In 2009, wide receiver Bo Bowling was arrested and charged with felony possession of marijuana with intent to distribute, misdemeanor charges of possession of a controlled substance and unlawful possession of drug paraphernalia.
However, he pleaded guilty to two misdemeanors and was sentenced to 30 days in jail, community service and was ordered to undergo counseling. He rejoined the team in 2010.
Also, former players said that stars’ positive tests for drugs were ignored, while lesser players were suspended or kicked off the team.
“I was kind of in disbelief that people could do the things that they were doing,” said Jonathan Cruz, an OSU offensive lineman in 2002. “It was tied to how well you could produce. If you could produce on Saturday, things could be overlooked.”
Coaches, including head coach Mike Gundy, were well aware of the marijuana issues on the team, but they have tolerated and joked about the issue.
According to SI, star players were kept eligible by employing an NCAA rule that prevents penalties for positive tests if players are in counseling and their drug usage is decreasing.
According to the article, the players called the program the Weed Circle. Mickens said he spent much of the 2005 season in the program. In the summer he tested positive again and should have been forced to miss 10 percent of the following season, but he said he was sent back to the Weed Circle.
The program was run by a licensed drug and alcohol counselor from 2003 to 2006. However, Joel Tudman, an assistant strength and conditioning coach and team chaplain, took over around 2007.