Oklahoma State football: Sports Illustrated claims players were paid cash by boosters, coaches

Money for nothing? That's what part one of an investigative report involving Oklahoma State University's football program claims former athletes received.

Sports Illustrated released the first in a series of stories Tuesday that alleges football players were paid, their grades were altered and they received sexual favors. 

READ PART ONE (http://bit.ly/18RE8rZ)

Part one cites a number of former players who claim boosters and coaches handed them cash before and after games and overpaid them for odd jobs for which they did little to no work.

The article claims players received anywhere from $2,000 to $10,000 a year, and some star players received as much as $25,000 or more.

OPINION: Allegations against ex-OSU coach DeForest most troubling (http://bit.ly/17O1OQP)

OSU Vice President of Athletics Mike Holder took a hard stance against the possible violations Monday.

"We are shocked by the allegations raised about our football program ... We will not tolerate any violations that comprise our pursuit of excellence," he said.

RELATED: OSU reacts to Sports Illustrated article (http://bit.ly/17Q5Aay)

Sports Illustrated provided the following descriptions for the five-part series, which is the result of a 10-month investigation into the OSU football program.

-- Part 1: Money ( On SI.com Tuesday, 9/10 and in the 9/16/13 SI issue ): SI finds that OSU used a bonus system orchestrated by an assistant coach whereby players were paid for their performance on the field, with some stars collecting $500 or more per game. In addition, the report finds that OSU boosters and at least two assistant coaches funneled money to players via direct payments and a system of no-show and sham jobs. Some players say they collected more than $10,000 annually in under-the-table payouts.

-- Part 2: Academics (On SI.com Wednesday, 9/11): Widespread academic misconduct, which included tutors and other OSU personnel completing coursework for players, and professors giving passing grades for little or no work, all in the interest of keeping top players eligible.

-- Part 3: Drugs (On SI.com Thursday, 9/12): OSU tolerated and at times enabled recreational drug use, primarily through a specious counseling program that allowed some players to continue to use drugs while avoiding penalties. The school's drug policy was selectively enforced, with some stars going unpunished despite repeated positive tests.

-- Part 4: Sex (On SI.com Friday, 9/13): OSU's hostess program, Orange Pride, figured so prominently in the recruitment of prospects that the group more than tripled in size under Miles. Both Miles and Gundy took the unusual step of personally interviewing candidates. Multiple former players and Orange Pride members say that a small subset of the group had sex with recruits, a violation of NCAA rules.

-- Part 5: The Fallout (On SI.com Tuesday, 9/17, and in the 9/23/13 SI issue): SI finds that many players who were no longer useful to the football program were cast aside, returning to worlds they had hoped to escape. Some have been incarcerated, others live on the streets, many have battled drug abuse and a few have attempted suicide.

T. Boone Pickens, the university's biggest and most well-known donor, wasn't implicated in SI's first release, but that didn't stop him from calling out the media franchise.

"There's one word I have for the Sports Illustrated reporting on Oklahoma State University: Disappointing," he said in a statement Tuesday. "This series is not reflective of Oklahoma State University today. Many of their sensational allegations go back a decade ago."

PICKENS' FULL STATEMENT (http://bit.ly/13IX5yB)

The Fellowship of Christian Athletes also took offense to the allegations Tuesday. The story named FCA Area Director John Talley as a "hot name around campus" at that time, referring to his alleged improper payments to OSU players. 

FCA Director for Oklahoma John O'Dell released this statement following the story's publishing:

"John Talley has been a valued member of the FCA staff for 20 years. I believe in John as a man of integrity who has made a tremendous impact for Jesus Christ on the lives of countless coaches and athletes during his career. The outpouring of support from both current and former coaches and athletes for John during this time has not only a been a blessing for John, but a testament to his character."

RELATED: OSU allegations trouble football fans (http://bit.ly/17kTvek)

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