SI Report on Oklahoma State Drops

Tim Heitman-USA TODAY Sports

Les Miles is all throughout it.

The first part of Sports Illustrated's big report on Oklahoma State is now out. It's big news around here because it alleges improprieties in Stillwater during Les Miles's tenure.

In fact, the article begins cataloging its allegations in 2001, Miles's first year there. The main thing that it accuses Miles of personally is letting boosters invade his program, something it contrasts with the previous coach who reportedly wouldn't let them hang around much. The boosters, so it says, distributed money to their favorite players:

Miles took a more hospitable approach after he arrived in 2001 from the Dallas Cowboys. According to several players, boosters were permitted in the locker room; they were often on team flights and bus trips; they turned up at the training table. The boosters were at their most visible after a big victory, and no win was bigger during Miles's tenure than a 16-13 upset at No. 4 Oklahoma in the teams' regular-season finale of 2001. The Cowboys' victory kept the archrival Sooners from a shot at the BCS title game and sparked OSU's surge under Miles. In the locker room after the game, boosters approached key players and slipped cash into their hands. "We are talking about $500 handshakes," says safety Fath' Carter (2000 to '03), who observed others accepting such payments. (Miles denies that players were paid and says he gave boosters less access to the program, not more.)

It goes on to tell of boosters handing out money on the team bus and team plane, giving money to recruits, and hiring players for sham jobs. At no point does it accuse Miles of directing boosters to hand out this money, so despite its heavy-handed implications, it really accuses him more of negligence than complicity in this regard. It does mention him telling players to go to boosters who then gave them sham jobs, but if push came to shove, he could claim that he thought those individuals were giving players real jobs and had no idea that they were paying guys for nothing (because he wasn't on the work site, you see).

Secondarily, it tells of assistant coaches paying players. The supposed ringleader was Joe DeForest, who stayed at Oklahoma State through 2011, though it also implicates Larry Porter, who followed Miles to LSU. I won't recap it all because it's too much, so read the article if you want to see what it alleges. Again, the article doesn't at any point accuse Miles of handing out cash or directing his assistants to do so.

Everyone not quoted in the article denies everything, from coaches accused of paying players to players accused of asking for and taking it.

This article is just Part 1. Further accusations will include tutors doing work for players and professors changing grades to keep players eligible, selective enforcement of the school's drug policy, and hostesses having sex with recruits. Get ready for one of these per day through the end of the week.

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