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SI Gets Defensive With Explanation For "The Dirty Game"

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Sports Illustrated published a sixth part to its Special Report on Oklahoma State Football called "What it all means."

Sports Illustrated

Essentially, it's a revised thesis for "The Dirty Game," written by two other SI employees, Christian Stone and L. Jon Wertheim. Here are the finer points of SI's explanation for "The Dirty Game."

• We (SI) chose the Cowboys for a reason: In barely a decade they had transformed themselves from a Big 12 laughingstock into one of the country's most successful and profitable programs. Senior writer Thayer Evans, a native Oklahoman, had begun hearing from sources that the turnaround in Stillwater had been aided by illicit practices, and his early reporting supported those claims. Former OSU players and assistant coaches spoke candidly about what they had experienced and witnessed. Their accounts were remarkably consistent. Senior writer George Dohrmann, one of our veteran investigative reporters, was brought in and reinterviewed several sources and independently interviewed others.

• College sports may be exempt from taxes, but they are not exempt from economic forces, and that's at the heart of the problem.

• Even using the most charitable math, star athletes are grossly undercompensated relative to the value they create.

• The reality is that despite single-handedly subsidizing the athletic department, football players often have the lowest graduation rates of any team on campus. (The rate is disturbingly low among African-Americans.) The perception is that college athletes are awarded four-year scholarships, but very few schools extend this offer; the rest continue to give four one-year scholarships, renewable at the school's discretion. At OSU, for instance, during the program's ascent only slightly more than half of its players graduated. Suddenly discarded and without the support system and the marketable skills, many returned to their hometowns feeling exploited and emotionally dented.

• BCS football programs do many wonderful things for athletes, but we call them factories for a reason. Maybe, in the wake of the findings detailed in this series, what can be said about coaches Les Miles and Mike Gundy is that they understand the realpolitik of their professions, that they, in fact, are highly compensated CEOs of a multimillion-dollar business who are paid seven figures to seek every competitive advantage.

Full Sports Illustrated article here

9/16/13 RELATED STORY: Sports Illustrated Wraps Up OSU Series With "The Fallout"

9/13/13 RELATED STORY: Sports Illustrated Says OSU Used Sex To Sell Recruits On Stillwater

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

9/11/13 RELATED STORY: Sports Illustrated's Second Report: The Academics

9/12/13 RELATED STORY: Part 3: SI Calls Out Drug Use By OSU Football Players

9/11/13 RELATED STORY: OSU Players, Affiliates Sound Off About SI's Article

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