Oklahoma State has gone from pretender to contender quicker than anyone would've expected. So, naturally someone was going to start asking questions. That someone happens to be Sports Illustrated and if reports are true the Oklahoma State program could be in some serious trouble.
According to a report from The Oklahoman, the venerable sports publication is set to release the findings of an investigative report it has done on the Cowboys program early this week. The report is expected to indicate everything from paying players to not do work in the offseason, paying players performance bases "bonuses" and much, much more.
What could be most damaging are the allegations that coaches and boosters were heavily involved in the payment structure to players.
However, the NCAA is likely to take those allegations not nearly as serious as the academic side of things. According to the report, Sports Illustrated's series is expected to allege serious academic improprieties, including grade changing and tutors doing players work for them.
Oklahoma State appears to be taking the reports very seriously, already issuing a statement to the press:
“Oklahoma State University is deeply troubled by these claims,” OSU president Burns Hargis said in a press release. “We will investigate the accuracy of the allegations and take all appropriate action. We do not condone or tolerate improper conduct in our athletic programs. OSU requires everyone affiliated with the university to follow the rules and adhere to the highest ethical standards."
If true, these allegations could perhaps be some of, if not the most serious sets of allegations against a football program since the SMU days (Yes, the Miami allegations aren't even close). However, according to the report most of the serious allegations are outside the NCAA's statuate of limitations (which is four years).
Regardless of the timefarme you can bet NCAA investigators are going to be sniffing around this program ASAP. This week is going to be very interesting to say the least.