Oklahoma State head coach Les Miles and his coaching staff during the fourth quarter of the Alamo Bowl, December 29, 2004. Joe DeForest is seen kneeling first from the left. Ohio State won 33-7 in Miles last game as Cowboys head coach.
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The article has 13 players on the record, claiming they participated in academic misconduct of some kind.
My first reaction? Let me paraphrase from the movie, Casablanca.
I am shocked! Shocked to find academic misconduct in this establishment!
When SI promised this investigation into academics, I suspected that while 'money, sex and drugs' would be far more titillating for readers, I presumed that the academics piece might actually do the most damage.
A paper trail seemed far more likely when it comes to allegations of doctoring grades or tutors doing the work for an athlete than it would be for boosters paying players, or a 'hostess' being paid to have sex with a recruit.
But I see no 'smoking gun' in this piece. The disgruntled former players on the record have their story. The academic advisors and tutors have theirs.
Did the alleged academic misconduct go on at OSU? Seems quite likely.
Does it go on at big-time college football programs all over the country? Also seems quite likely.
Can the NCAA prove any of this, or will it even be all that interested in doing so? Much less likely.
Probably the most damning piece of evidence offered by SI? Dez Bryant was a 2nd Team Academic All American. Really!? How did I miss that back then? Dez's disinterest in school was legendary.
Again, much of this is probably true. I have very little doubt that academics played second-fiddle to football for Les Miles, Mike Gundy and many of the players that played for OK State. I also have very little doubt the same can be said for almost every school in the FBS. Doesn't make it right. But it also doesn't make part two of SI's series all that interesting, or the likelihood of NCAA action all that likely.
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