Even as it’s been well over a year since Dez Bryant last played a down for Oklahoma State, his myriad off-field issues could still come back and bite the college Cowboys square in their saddle.
Bryant, who will apparently dress up as a lawsuit this Halloween — think Denzel in Philadelphia — has been sued approximately 127 times in the past several hours*. As it turns out, one of those lawsuits may point to NCAA violations committed by Bryant while he still had eligibility and could lead to sanctions against his former school.
As noted by our redheaded maternal third cousin once removed on Tuesday, it was claimed in a lawsuit recently filed against Bryant that the current Dallas Cowboys wide receiver had received on credit over $300,000 in jewelry and tickets to sporting events beginning in December of 2008 or January of 2009. Tulsa World pegs the date he began receiving the “loans” as June of 2009. Regardless of whether it’s the former or the latter date, Bryant was an eligible member of OSU’s football program when he received what would be considered impermissible benefits.
If Bryant received goods with the intention of paying back the jeweler after he turned pro, it could be a violation of NCAA amateur rules against paying players.
Bylaw 22.214.171.124.6 states that prohibited pay includes: “Preferential treatment, benefits or services because of the individual’s athletics reputation or skill or pay-back potential as a professional athlete….”
If Cowboys officials had knowledge of Bryant’s deal soon after it happened, the school could face sanctions. If not, it’s unlikely that OSU would be penalized.
A member of OSU’s compliance department told Tulsa World that this development is “new information to us” and that “it’s something we’re certainly going to look at.”
Bryant was ruled permanently ineligible by the NCAA in October of 2009 for lying to the NCAA regarding certain aspects of his relationship with Deion Sanders. An appeal led to the NCAA ruling in late October of 2009 that his eligibility would be restored in September of 2010, although Bryant opted to leave school early and make himself available for the 2010 NFL draft.
(*it’s actually three suits in a couple of months, but we felt the hyperbole was fitting. Sorry for any inconvenience and/or angst this may have caused.)