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Texas assistant named in SI’s OSU report

SI OSU Cover

As expected, Sports Illustrated released the first of a five-part series Tuesday morning detailing allegations of improprieties in the Oklahoma State football program dating back to 2001, Les Miles‘ first year as Cowboys’ head coach.

While the details released thus far are from stunning at this level of college football — envelopes stuffed with cash handed to players by boosters, so-called $100 handshakes, jobs that involved little or no work in exchange for above-market wages — there was one piece of new information contained in the opening salvo that could leave a pair of programs outside of Stillwater taking at least a cursory look into one of its current/former assistants.

According to the report, Larry Porter, along with current WVU assistant Joe DeForest, took part in in the systematic payment of cash to players that would be considered NCAA violations.  Porter was the running backs coach at OSU during Les Miles’ three years at the school, then followed Miles to LSU for another five years.

He’s in his first year as running backs coach at Texas.  From the report:

DeForest and assistant Larry Porter, who was running backs coach from 2002 to ’04, also made straight payments to players. Girtman says that when he arrived in Stillwater in the summer of 2003, DeForest handed him a debit card with $5,000 on it, which was periodically refilled. Ricky Coxeff, a cornerback in 2003 and ’04, says he waited in the car on several occasions as Williams and Bell visited DeForest at his home and then returned with cash. Shaw says that Porter gave him $100 “four or five times,” telling him to use the money to get something to eat. Several weeks before the start of fall camp in ’03, Carter says that Porter gave him “a couple hundred bucks” in the locker room so that incoming freshmen Coxeff and defensive lineman Xavier Lawson-Kennedy could stay at Carter’s apartment — before they were allowed under NCAA rules to begin receiving room and board. Lawson–Kennedy confirms that he and Coxeff stayed at Carter’s apartment.

Porter has denied the allegations contained in the story, telling SI in a statement that “I’ve been made aware of the accusations, and I’m disappointed because they are all absolutely not true. None of that ever happened.”

While Porter’s name being attached to alleged impermissible benefits was a new angle to the story, it’s DeForest and his reputation, though, that continues to be battered.

Brad Girtman, who played for OSU from 2003-04, told SI that DeForest himself set the scale for alleged payments: quarterback hurries were worth $50, a tackle between $75 to $100 and a sack from $200 to $250.  Rodrick Johnson, a linebacker/defensive lineman from 2004-07, stated that DeForest, OSU’s special teams coordinator as well as cornerbacks coach, set the scale at between $100 and $500 for big plays on special teams.

Girtman also claims that DeForest gave him a list with the names and phone numbers of boosters on it, telling him “[i]f you need anything, call this guy” as he pointed to one name in particular.  It was also alleged by at least one former player that DeForest paid players to do odd jobs around his house; the players, it’s alleged, did nothing and were paid “$400, $500, $600″ by the coach.

DeForest has denied any and all wrongdoing.

“I have never paid a player for on-field performance,” DeForest’s statement began. “I have been coaching college football for almost 24 years, and I have built a reputation of being one of the best special teams coordinators and college recruiters in the country based on hard work and integrity.”

DeForest’s current employer, WVU, has already publicly stated that they are looking into the allegations to find what if any alleged misconduct may have been brought over to the Mountaineers.

The problem for Oklahoma State, though, is the fact that, after Miles left for LSU following the 2004 season, DeForest remained as part of Mike Gundy‘s new coaching staff and stayed at the school through 2011.  While most of the allegations occurred during Miles’ time in Stillwater, players have claimed that the payment program continued through at least 2011, DeForest’s last year at the school.

“They figure if a player shines and you pat him on the back in an obtainable way, he’s going to do whatever he can to keep getting that paper,”  Javius Townsend, a redshirt offensive lineman during the 2010 season, was quoted as saying.

The NCAA’s statute of limitations is four years; with the allegations levied against DeForest having come as recently as two years ago, the NCAA will certainly take an interest in that aspect of the report.  Along with WVU, both LSU and Texas and their respective compliance departments will also likely conduct their own investigations due to Porter’s alleged payments to players.

It should be noted that neither Miles nor OSU mega-booster T. Boone Pickens have been accused of any wrongdoing.  Well, at least not yet; the second part of the series, expected to focus on widespread academic misconduct, will be released at the same time tomorrow morning.

 

UPDATED 11:21 a.m. ET: Texas was notified of Porter’s alleged involvement in the payment of players last Wednesday.  In response, athletic director DeLoss Dodds released a statement.

“After questioning him on Thursday concerning those allegations, we do not have any issues with him at this time.”

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34 Responses to “Texas assistant named in SI’s OSU report”
  1. mcjon22 says: Sep 10, 2013 10:33 AM

    I have to commend Pete Carroll, Reggie Bush, and USC. At least when they cheated, they won championships.

  2. YouMadCauseImStylingOnYou says: Sep 10, 2013 10:43 AM

    After Charles Robinson and Yahoo straight up made things up about Miami and bought stories from a convicted felon I don’t believe a single thing the media puts out about scandals like this.

    ESPN went to print with a story about John Manziel without actually having anyone who would back up their claims.

    It’s become a game of tabloid journalism with the NCAA. Seeing who’s allegations can top each other.

  3. motobus says: Sep 10, 2013 10:45 AM

    The sources are named even in this write up of the article

  4. floridacock says: Sep 10, 2013 10:48 AM

    Clemson, under Danny Ford, also bought a national championship in 1981 and went on probation the next year for “payment of cars and cash” Only NC winner to do that. Ford was inducted into the Clemson ring of honor 2 weeks ago. Clemson defines honor differently than most.

  5. bucrightoff says: Sep 10, 2013 11:23 AM

    T Boone has a lot of money, no doubt he can buy OKState’s way out of this. The NCAA is just a corrupt whore anyways.

  6. Slim Charles says: Sep 10, 2013 11:28 AM

    Who cares. pay the players

  7. crazycane says: Sep 10, 2013 11:41 AM

    Don’t worry OkSU fans, a decision on this will be made before the Miami one

  8. gopokes0714 says: Sep 10, 2013 11:56 AM

    Let’s ignore that the source is a drug abuser desperate for cash and attention, and was paid $2,500 for his ‘story’. Let’s ignore that there are 2 dead people implicated that cannot defend themselves.

    If what they described is true, then HUNDREDS of people would have knowledge of it. And this is just one of the allegations. Let alone the dozens and dozens of people that would have to be involved with the upcoming allegations. But yet, NO ONE, not one person has collaborated any of this. In fact, several former players and personnel have spoken out against it.

    If the scandal is so rampant and wide spread, and hundreds of people with knowledge, how did it take 10 years to come out?

    Cash handed out freely in the locker room right after a game, with press and everyone else around?
    Starving players, when there are several meals provided by the athletic department?

    It just seems a little far-fetched. Were there impermissible benefits? Probably, but not to the scale that is being claimed.

    ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
    Thayer Evans played basketball at a school in Oklahoma. Evans was kicked out of school for stealing. Evan’s beat his wife, and there is currently a restraining order against him. Evans was fired from Fox Sports for making up sources. He is quite literally a lying, cheating, woman beating, thief. Excuse me if I don’t take him at his word.
    “Everyone is just waiting for Chokie State to once again live up to its nickname under Gundy.” -Thayer Evans

    http://www.pistolsfiringblog.com/former-players-react-to-the-si-article-on-osu

  9. drewtigeralum says: Sep 10, 2013 12:02 PM

    Floridiacock, if you would like to discuss 1980′s football, maybe we should talk about another Sports Illustrated article titled, “The Nightmare of Steroids”. If I remember correctly, it involved South Carolina coaches being arrested for distributing steroids to players. To make matters worse, your team was still marginal at best.

  10. gopokes0714 says: Sep 10, 2013 12:48 PM

    ‘Boosters became so pervasive after Miles took over that they began connecting with players even before they arrived on campus. (T. Boone Pickens, the school’s most prominent booster, was not implicated in any improprieties by SI’s sources.) Shaw says that after he decided to attend Oklahoma State in 2001 as a senior at Shawnee (Okla.) High, a booster gave him between $400 and $500.”
    Seymore Shaw originally signed with the University of Oklahoma as a partial qualifier his senior year of HS. He came to OSU in August after the season already started when OU did not give him a scholarship.

    If you can PROVE part of the article as false without even needing to interview sources, then how determine any of it to be true?

  11. classyjacklambert says: Sep 10, 2013 12:49 PM

    Floridacock is just still butt hurt that his school has never won anything in any major sport.

  12. noaxetogrind says: Sep 10, 2013 12:51 PM

    @ gopokes714, I don’t know what to believe and hope that the truth comes out over time. There are sources attributed to this such as Girtman and Johnson so it shouldn’t be that hard to determine their validity. I have always found it curious though when coaches simply defend themselves by saying “it’s not true”. I know if it was me and I was being accused of something I didn’t do you can bet I would say something to the effect…..Let’s both take a polygraph test on national TV and see what the results are. I relaize a polygraph has no standing in a court of law but is has a lot of standing with investigative agencies and public opinion.

  13. gopokes0714 says: Sep 10, 2013 1:01 PM

    “let me say this ti all of you, I was never paid or said anything negative about OSU, That Evens guy is trash for what he worte! He took what I said and flipped it to his own words! I never said anything about Bobby Reid, Defo, or John Talley! I am embarrassed and shamed of this articale! I was lied to about what this articale is about and for that I apologize to everyone for! This is something that will get resolved and I will see to that myself!” – Rodrick Johnson

  14. gopokes0714 says: Sep 10, 2013 1:04 PM

  15. gopokes0714 says: Sep 10, 2013 1:07 PM

  16. noaxetogrind says: Sep 10, 2013 1:13 PM

    @ gopokes, Thanks for sharing that Johnson quote. On the one hand, if accurate, it sure gives some perspective as to the credibility of the story. On the other hand it is an indictment of the English department and faculty at OSU.

  17. gopokes0714 says: Sep 10, 2013 1:22 PM

    @noaxetogrind lol agreed

    I will add, that it is odd that both Tatum Bell and Josh Fields were both mentioned, but neither was contacted by SI

  18. helladonks says: Sep 10, 2013 1:34 PM

    let’s all be honest with ourselves: have we ever doubted that this stuff goes on at a majority of major universities? our favorite teams included?
    i know i do and have for a while.

  19. helladonks says: Sep 10, 2013 1:36 PM

    @classyjacklambert
    so baseball isnt a major sport eh? i suppose cricket and badminton are whats big in your area of residence.

  20. southernpatriots says: Sep 10, 2013 1:57 PM

    gopolks714:

    Whew…what a post you made….I am not sure I hope it all is correct, but if it is, what an indictment of the author….

    ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
    Thayer Evans played basketball at a school in Oklahoma. Evans was kicked out of school for stealing. Evan’s beat his wife, and there is currently a restraining order against him. Evans was fired from Fox Sports for making up sources. He is quite literally a lying, cheating, woman beating, thief. Excuse me if I don’t take him at his word.
    “Everyone is just waiting for Chokie State to once again live up to its nickname under Gundy.” -Thayer Evans

    http://www.pistolsfiringblog.com/former-players-react-to-the-si-article-on-osu

    If correct, what a piece of work Thayer Evans is. No just a plagiarist but an outright liar? abuser, thief. And SI hired him or paid him and is printing what he writes?

  21. shea801 says: Sep 10, 2013 2:02 PM

    After reading Jones’ comments, I’ll bet the academic part is more accurate ;)

    Also, Fields and Bell already denied the allegations, and gopokes0714 pointed out, were never contacted by SI. That’s shady. And the fact they ‘name’ dead people who have no shot at defending the allegations is classless. There was no corroboration with other sources (reputable ones). I think the whole thing is suspect, although I don’t doubt there are improprieties. But that’s going to be the case at EVERY major D-I program. If you think otherwise, you’re delusional.

  22. dietrich43 says: Sep 10, 2013 2:19 PM

    I’m sure that a half game suspension against a weak opponent will be sufficient penalty for all involved.

  23. classyjacklambert says: Sep 10, 2013 2:35 PM

    No college baseball is not a major sport. If 90% of the population of this country have not watched a single full game and cannot name a single player, it’s not a major sport.

  24. helladonks says: Sep 10, 2013 2:46 PM

    id love for you to post a journal containing the hypothesis, research, surveys, results, and conclusion of this theory.

  25. gopokes0714 says: Sep 10, 2013 3:35 PM

    To expand on my earlier comment.

    “Williams was shot to death in 2007 while a member of the Denver Broncos; Grant died in a car accident in ’05. Bell, DeGrate and Fields all denied getting illicit payments. Bowman did not respond to repeated requests for comment.”

    The Problem?
    Tatum Bell And Josh Fields have both independently and publicly stated they were never contacted by SI.

    Aso Pogi is also about to go on the radio to reportedly claim that his comment were manipulated, and taken out of context as well.

    Before everything is even out, two sources have publicly recanted, and spoken out against SI

  26. gopokes0714 says: Sep 10, 2013 3:39 PM

    This is also a must listen to.

    http://www.pistolsfiringblog.com/jason-whitlock-absolutely-destroys-thayer-evans

    Jason Whitlock isn’t the most notable journalist himself, so this is really saying something

  27. gopokes0714 says: Sep 10, 2013 3:47 PM

    Just so there are no illusions about Thayer Evans and his thoughts about Oklahoma State:

    “…a meltdown by seventh-year Oklahoma State coach Mike Gundy is coming just like usual, as evidenced by his sixth-ranked team’s sloppy 38-26 victory Saturday against incompetent No. 22 Texas.”

    “Even the rest of the college football world knows Gundy is bound for a debacle. It’s the unspoken reason no one is worried about the Cowboys winning the Big 12 championship, let alone the national title, this season.”

    “Everyone is just waiting for Chokie State to once again live up to its nickname under Gundy.”

    “Of course, Gundy’s biggest meltdown wasn’t even on a football field. It was four years ago, when he infamously yelled, “I’m a man! I’m 40!” while berating a female newspaper columnist for what she had written.Yet despite his knack for meltdowns, a solemn Gundy managed to avoid one Saturday when asked whether he was haunted by his past failures. “No,” Gundy said. “It’s a new season.” But it’s still the same Gundy, always on the verge of a disaster.”

    “And if this season is going to be any different for Gundy, even one of his best players can’t tell you why. When asked why people should believe that Oklahoma State won’t disappoint, Weeden was at a loss for words. “I don’t know,” Weeden said. “We’re not worried about it.” Weeden actually makes a good point. You can’t worry about what’s inevitable.”

  28. mudgolfer says: Sep 10, 2013 4:31 PM

    Let’s not forget that this tale is coming from the same hard-hitting journalists who brought us the deification of Manti Te’o last football season.
    Remember, no one bothered to check and see if his “girlfriend” that “died” was even real, much less his girlfriend. Instead, we were treated to the tale of a Mormon football player at Notre Dame (amazing!) who walked on campus and said “Hi” to everyone he met.
    Sports Illustrated, just report on the stuff that you can actually prove, like scores and games.
    Leave the real journalism to those outlets that understand Media Law and Media Ethics.

  29. auburntigers34 says: Sep 10, 2013 4:46 PM

    i totally agree with everyone else in the comments section in regards to Thayer Evans. he doesn’t care about facts and accuracy in his articles. he just wants attention. the same can be said about Pete Thamel. they’re both a joke. i can’t believe that anyone would want them on their staff.

  30. auburntigers34 says: Sep 10, 2013 4:48 PM

    and i’m guessing that T. Boone Pickens wasn’t mentioned for a reason. Thayer Evans doesn’t want to take on someone with Pickens’ resources/attorneys at his disposal. he’s a coward. most men that beat up on women are.

  31. southernpatriots says: Sep 10, 2013 5:17 PM

    Great point, auburntigers34! T. Boone and his in-house lawyers would leave the coward Evans gasping for air.

  32. southernpatriots says: Sep 10, 2013 5:22 PM

    Obviously, SI is not that choosey. Apparently, they once again are going after yellow journalism, but perhaps that comparison is degrading to yellow journalism.

  33. gopokes0714 says: Sep 10, 2013 5:29 PM

    This would also be pretty damning to the SI’s credibility. It would seem like this would be pretty easy to fact check with the county assessors office.

    From Barry Tramel:

    2001: Seymore Shaw says head coach Les Miles introduced him to OSU booster Kay Norris, who paid Shaw $400 to take a Christmas tree out of the attic and paid him $700 “numerous” times to clean the floorboards of rental houses, which took about an hour to complete.
    This is unlike all the other allegations in that I knew Kay Norris, who died in 2006. Her son, Chris, has told The Oklahoman that the Norrises have no rental houses, at least not this side of Broken Bow.

  34. grfg8r says: Sep 16, 2013 11:48 AM

    The conferences & NCAA are nothing but PIMPs, whoring out their players. Who cares! Pay the players upfront & outright!

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