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Sports Illustrated's Second OSU Report: The Academics

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In Part 2 of its five part series, Sports Illustrated reports widespread academic misconduct, which included tutors and other OSU personnel completing coursework for players, and professors giving passing grades for little or no work, all in the interest of keeping top players eligible.

Sports Illustrated 

A dozen Cowboys who played between 2000 and '11 say that they participated in some form of academic misconduct; another 16 were named by teammates as having schoolwork done for them. Players were also clustered into online classes. "The goal was not to educate but to get [the best players] the passing grades they needed to keep playing," said Fath' Carter, who played at OSU from 2000 to '03.

9/10/13 RELATED STORY: Sports Illustrated Releases First OSU Football Article

Here are some highlights from the second feature on OSU football.

  • Doug Bond, OL (2002-04), says Les Miles stressed football should take precedence over academics.
  • Thirteen former Cowboys told SI they participated in some form of academic misconduct.
  • "If you wanted to do the work, then you could do it on your own. But if you were one of those people that they know is not going to do the work, [the school] will find a way" receiver William Cole (2007-08) said.
  • Claims Dez Bryant had his coursework completed for him and that he had to be "ushered" to class. Bryant denies he had any work done for him.
  • Fath Carter, William Cole, Calvin Mickens, defensive tackle Larry Brown (2005 and '06), offensive lineman Jonathan Cruz (2002), linebacker LeRon Furr (2009 to '10), defensive tackle Brad Girtman (2003 and '04), safety Chris Massey (1999 to 2002) defensive end T.J. Minor (2005 and '06), linebacker Marcus Richardson (2007), running back Herschel Sims (2011), wide receiver Artrell Woods (2006 to '08) and defensive back Thomas Wright (2002 to '04) told SI that they had work done for them and/or that they received other improper academic assistance.
  • Players implied to have received improper academic benefits include: running back Tatum Bell (2000 to '03), wide receiver Prentiss Elliott (2004), quarterback Josh Fields (2001 to '03), safety Vernon Grant (2002 to '04), cornerback Darrent Williams (2001 to '04) and defensive end Kevin Williams (1998 to 2002).

9/10/13 RELATED STORY: Former OSU Football Players Sound Off About SI's Article

Part 3: Drugs (On Thursday, 9/12): OSU tolerated and at times enabled recreational drug use, primarily through a specious counseling program that allowed some players to continue to use drugs while avoiding penalties. The school's drug policy was selectively enforced, with some stars going unpunished despite repeated positive tests.

Part 4: Sex (On Friday, 9/13): OSU's hostess program, Orange Pride, figured so prominently in the recruitment of prospects that the group more than tripled in size under Miles. Both Miles and Gundy took the unusual step of personally interviewing candidates. Multiple former players and Orange Pride members say that a small subset of the group had sex with recruits, a violation of NCAA rules.

Part 5: The Fallout (On Tuesday, 9/17, and in the 9/23/13 SI issue): SI finds that many players who were no longer useful to the football program were cast aside, returning to worlds they had hoped to escape. Some have been incarcerated, others live on the streets, many have battled drug abuse and a few have attempted suicide.

Full Sports Illustrated article here

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