The latest article provides updates on several Oklahoma State players who left the university after being kicked off the team, shining light on "the disregard the program showed for players once their services were no longer deemed necessary."
SI alleges many former Cowboys were at-risk and "in need of extraordinary academic and psychological support," prior to their admittance into Oklahoma State. However, once they have finished their careers at OSU, they returned to the same at-risk situations they were in before their career at the university.
The article says between 2002 and 2011, 43.5 percent of the players admitted to Oklahoma State left prior to reaching their five years of eligibility.
Artrell Woods, a wide receiver for OSU from 2006 to 2008, told SI he now waits tables part-time in his hometown. In 2007, Woods was injured when he rolled his ankle and dropped a 185-pound bar on his back. He wasn't sure he would ever play again.
After a season-long recovery, Woods returned to the field in the November of 2008. In the spring 2009, Woods told SI that OSU Coach Mike Gundy said he did not like Woods' attitude and "he didn't see a future for him in Stillwater." Woods would later transfer to a Central Oklahoma University, a Division II school.
SI poses the question, "How much did the program really care?"
Former Cowboys Kevin White, a Desoto, Texas native, was kicked off the team after being in a vehicle that was pulled over and searched. Police uncovered marijuana in the car. White told SI although he was not charged, he was asked to leave and sent back home on a bus.
"I lost value for my life," White said in the article.
Jonathan Cruz and Thomas Wright told SI they attempted to kill themselves.
In light of the allegations SI uncovered over the course of its 10-month investigation, the article alleges that OSU would "overlook serious transgressions if the player involved were someone the Cowboys wanted on the field."
Former OSU Linebacker Marcus Richardson told SI "I've seen that college football is a business. ... The only type of relationship [coaches] really have with the players is, O.K., if y'all don't produce then I get fired."
SPECIAL SECTION: Analysis, reaction from former players and the university, photos and links to the SI reports can be found at www.kjrh.com/osureport
The series thus far has seen backlash directed at the investigation and publication as several players interviewed for the series have refuted their quotes and others implicated have denied involvement in "$500 handshakes" and other allegations made against the program.
The five-piece series is the result of a 10-month investigation. SI provided the following descriptions on each of the stories:
-- 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.