SI story details potential Oklahoma State scandal

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Updated: 9/10/2013 3:53 pm

(Sports Network) - Allegations that Oklahoma State football players were paid for performance is part of a Sports Illustrated investigation that details numerous issues within the Cowboys' program over the past 13 years.

The magazine said it conducted a 10-month probe that included interviews with 64 Oklahoma State football players from 1999 to 2011, as well as current and former staff members.

A five-part series, starting with money, was published Tuesday on SI's website. In addition to illegal payments of players, the series consists of academic misconduct, drug use and sexual favors.

According to the story, the payments to players ranged from money for big plays during a game to cash from sham jobs performed. The money, anywhere from $2,000 to $10,000 annually, came from boosters and assistant coaches. Some star players even received upwards of $25,000.

Brad Girtman, a defensive tackle from 2003-04, told SI that he was paid on the low end, receiving at most $500 from a football staff member. He also said he saw some stars get "monster payments."

Girtman said his pay rates -- $50 for a quarterback hurry and up to $250 for a sack -- were told to him by assistant Joe DeForest, who worked under head coach Les Miles from 2001-04 and current Cowboys coach Mike Gundy until 2011.

DeForest is now an assistant at West Virginia and denied the allegations.

"I have never paid a player for on-field performance," DeForest told SI in the story. "I have been coaching college football for almost 24 years, and I have built a reputation of being one of the best special teams coordinators and college recruiters in the country based on hard work and integrity."

The SI story said boosters were not permitted access to players when Bob Simmons was head coach from 1995 to 2000, but Miles loosened the reins when he took over in 2001. Miles, though, apparently told the magazine that players were not paid and boosters were not given much access.

As far as academic issues, the brief overview said teammates indicated that school work was done for them. The drug use included players smoking marijuana before games, and a small number of members in the football program's hostess group had sex with recruits.

On Monday, in anticipation of the release of the story, Oklahoma State athletic director Mike Holder apologized for what was coming and said he had already notified the NCAA.

"We're all committed to playing by the rules and doing things the right way, and for people to say that is not what's happening is very disturbing," said Holder in a statement Monday. "Our goal is to separate fact from fiction, and then we can start dealing with it. We've already notified the NCAA, and they're going to assign an investigator to this. We'll reach out and get someone to stand with that investigator and go through the facts. And at the end of the day, we'll come to some conclusions, and we'll deal with those. We'll prop ourselves back up, polish up that OSU brand and move on down the road."

This year's Oklahoma State squad is ranked 12th in the nation and off a 2-0 start.

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