Oklahoma (OU) Sooners football faces Alabama in the Sugar Bowl on Thu. Jan 2, 2014 at 7:30 p.m. on ESPN (Cox 25 in Tulsa). This is OU's last game of the season and could be OU's last game for awhile because OU could very well receive the death penalty over the course of 2014.
Sports Illustrated's Thayer Evans discovered that Fellowship of Christian Athlete's John Talley was providing speaking fees to football players but he didn't realize that Sam Bradford, while he was OU's quarterback, was one of those football players going around giving speeches for John Talley. John Talley had a series of events to bring athletes together in which Oklahoma State quarterback Zac Robinson and Sam Bradford would speak. This is a much more serious matter for the University of Oklahoma because OU was on probation largely for then OU QB Rhett Bomar getting impermissible benefits. Having an almost exact violation while under probation could be punishable by the death penalty.
OU's saving grace could be the Supreme Court of the United States (SCOTUS). OU could fight any sanctions all the way to SCOTUS arguing that John Talley, Sam Bradford, and even Zac Robinson have a first amendment right to give and receive benefits from religious organizations. This will open the floodgates as alumni and boosters from schools around the country form their own “religious organizations” and pour money to college athletes. It would be to their conscience whether they use religion to buy athletes luxury cars and prostitutes but at least it would get the NCAA away from nitpicking desperate athletes. It could also head off the paying of players because most programs can't afford to pay their players. The other sports would also demand an equal amount of any set stipend to their players which could get some sports shut down because of inability to pay. Also if the stipend was small so it could be spread evenly, the boosters would just continue paying men's football and basketball players under the table.