Oklahoma State University is feeling the heat from Sports Illustrated, which makes some serious allegations in its investigation titled "The Dirty Game."
News surfaced on Saturday that Sports Illustrated has been working on a series of investigative articles detailing alleged improprieties within the Oklahoma State football program. Part 1 is titled "Money" and was published online on Tuesday and will also appear in this week's SI Magazine.
News 9 Sports Director Dean Blevins has been looking into all the allegations against the Oklahoma State football program. Dean has spoken with three coaches with a history with the program.
Former Defensive Coordinator Bill Young told News 9 the allegations are not true. Young said coaches would've known and put a stop to it, but that he can't imagine any of it being true.
He also supported embattled former OSU Coach Joe Deforest, now at West Va and a key person alleged to have paid players for big plays. He calls him a friend with integrity, and he doesn't believe he did anything wrong.
We've also been looking into the NCAA rules and what possible penalties OSU could face if these are proven true, and where the 4-year statute of limitations would apply.
In 1989, the program was put on a significant NCAA probation. Many are wondering how that, and these allegations, relate to the Statute of Limitations.
The NCAA can go back further than four years under either of these two conditions.
First, that the case indicates a pattern of willful violations on the part of the institution or individual involved, which began before but continued into the four-year period. That would likely include any involvement by Joe DeForest.
Second, that the allegations indicate a blatant disregard for the NCAA's recruiting, extra benefit, academic, or ethical conduct regulations. Almost anything that's been discussed could fall into that category.
This seems to be either the biggest conspiracy and horrific journalism, or a very big story.
We're hearing former players say none of this is true, and one who was quoted in the story indicting the program now say he was misquoted.
Boone Pickens and Mike Holder the AD are speaking out. One comment he made on Monday disturbed a lot of OSU people. And several coaches and players we spoke with on Tuesday were surprised at one thing AD Mike Holder said after saying he'd called each Big 12 AD.
On Tuesday, Holder released a statement saying "To clarify, my apology was in regards to the negative publicity that was coming our way. My apology was in no way an admission of wrong doing by OSU Athletics."
It was a clear sign that OSU is not planning to admit guilt to the NCAA. But the $64,000 question is whether they say any of it is true.
Regardless, the NCAA has a job to do, to find the facts.
A star player, student and coach at OSU, Bill Young is one of the most respected coaches anywhere in college football. The likeable and veteran defensive coordinator was let go by Mike Gundy after last season. So if anybody might have reason to turn against the Cowboys, Young would likely be on the short list.
When Dean spoke to Young at length, Young was not reluctant and had strong opinions including feelings about Joe DeForest, now at West Virginia, a man who could become the central figure to any verdict coming the Cowboys way.
Because as recently as two years ago, DeForest, who denies wrondoing, is accused of numerous transgressions, including personally paying, or arranging boosters to pay for outstanding performance.
Young said he didn't know what happened in the Les Miles era, but remains loyal to Gundy and believes President Hargis and Athletic Director Holder will get to the bottom of it.