OSU allegations of sexual favors, money exchanged as pay for game performance and even grade changes by professors sounds like it's about to rock OSU to its very core. Sports Illustrated has just released their first part of a five-part series on the behind the scenes alleged dirty dealings going on in the big business of OSU football, according to NBC Channel 2 Local on Sept. 10.
This alleged misconduct has many OSU fans shocked over what Sports Illustrated claims they’ve uncovered in their 10-months of “digging” for their investigation. Sports Illustrated executive editor John Wertheim explained the reason behind the OSU investigation and why it was OSU that was picked among the many other universities and colleges. Wertheim said:
“We wanted to take a comprehensive look at a big-time program, particularly one that made a rapid ascent,” he said with the first installment of this series ready to be released. “There's obviously a steady drumbeat of scandal in college sports – improper benefits here; a recruiting violation there – and plenty of rumor and hearsay about the unseemly underbelly. For this piece, we were more about venturing inside the factory and seeing how the sausage is made."
The series kicked off Tuesday morning at 8 a.m. EST. with Part 1, which you can read here. This installment looks at money and the improper payment of players, including a payment incentive in the form of bonuses for what they do on the field.
Below is the information on each installment of the Sports Illustrated series.
Part 1: Money (Offered on SI.com Tuesday, 9/10 and in the 9/16/13 SI issue ): SI finds that the OSU assistant coach organized and facilitates a bonus system for payment. Some of the players collect $500 or more for each game, which all hinges on their game performance. Another allegation in the SI series is that at least two assistant coaches and OSU boosters have "funneled" money to the players. They have set up a system of "no-show and sham jobs" for the players to receive pay for these fake jobs, but the pay is really for their performance in the game. These under-the-table payments have netted some of the individual players up to $10,000 annually.
Part 2: Academics (Offered on SI.com Wednesday, 9/11): Academics misconduct claims include players not doing all their own work all of the time. Coursework for the players is often completed by tutors and other OSU personal. This also entails professors giving passing grades when the players have done little or no work at all. This is done to keep the top-players eligible to play.
Part 3: Drugs (Offered on SI.com Thursday, 9/12): OSU drug tests turning up positive were unpunished for some players, claims this investigative series. At times players were enabled recreational drug use, using a counseling service that allowed drug use while avoiding penalties. The drug policy at OSU was allegedly "selectively enforced."
Part 4: Sex (Offered on SI.com Friday, 9/13): OSU’s recruitment tripled in size under Miles and Gundy. Former players and members of the hostess program, Orange Pride, say that sex with a small sub-set of recruits occurred, which violates the NCAA rules. Both Miles and Pride personally interviewed recruits, which is an unusual step in the process.
Part 5: The Fallout (Offered on SI.com Tuesday, 9/17, and in the 9/23/13 SI issue): The investigation found that once OSU players were no longer useful to the team, they were literally cast aside. The bottom falls out and they are thrown back into a world they were hopping to escape through sports. The fallout of this throw-away mindset has led to incarceration, drugs abuse, homelessness and suicide.
OSU Vice President of Athletics Mike Holder emphatically denied the findings in this SI investigation saying:
"We are shocked by the allegations raised about our football program ... We will not tolerate any violations that comprise our pursuit of excellence."