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Are Sports Illustrated Allegations Against OSU Still Punishable Today?

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Many of the athletes interviewed in the Sports Illustrated investigation into OSU football are long gone from campus. Many of the athletes interviewed in the Sports Illustrated investigation into OSU football are long gone from campus.
Boone Pickens Stadium on the OSU campus. Boone Pickens Stadium on the OSU campus.
Sam Diacon, OSU student, doesn't think current athletes should be punished if the violations are old. Sam Diacon, OSU student, doesn't think current athletes should be punished if the violations are old.
STILLWATER, Oklahoma -

The second installment of a Sports Illustrated investigation came out Wednesday, and includes dozens of interviews with former players - some of whom played for OSU close to a decade ago, or longer.

In Stillwater, people are asking, if they are true, should the university have to pay for it now?

Sports Illustrated

In a recent sit-down interview with Oklahoma State officials, SI told them that 85 percent of the allegations in this investigation are from 2007 and before. That brings up the point - could these older allegations come back to hurt OSU?

9/10/2013 Related Story: Sports Illustrated's Second OSU Report: The Academics

The answer is "potentially yes."

If and when the NCAA officially launches an investigation into the allegations against OSU, four years is the standard cutoff for potential violations.

But the NCAA manual underlines three scenarios where they could look back beyond the statute of limitations:

  • If it affects eligibility of a current student athlete
  • If it happened more than four years ago but then continued
  • If there was blatant disregard for NCAA fundamental bylaws, including academics

OSU has already launched its own investigation and says its taking the allegations seriously.

"You may not be proud of what's been said about you, but we hope to make you proud about the way we dealt with it," OSU Athletic Director Mike Holder said.

Some of the claims in the SI article go back more than a decade and involve players who are long gone and even dead. To many OSU students, that doesn't sit well.

9/10/2013 Related Story: OSU Responds To Allegations With Special Web Page

"I think because they're so old they don't really apply to the athletes we have now," said student Alisha Burkman. "I think the school has great morals. Everyone here I know, I think, is just trying to do their best."

"The guys on the team shouldn't be paying for that," Sam Diacon, OSU student. "I know they're trying to link it to 'still happening,' but we'll see what else comes out of the woodwork. If it's all just old stuff, we shouldn't be punished for it."

And a lot can happen, some say, between now and back then, that could affect the claims made in the article.

"It's hard to know how much of it's true, how much of it is made up because someone's angry and how much of it is exaggerated whether it's intentional or not," student Josiah Meints said.

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