With Sports Illustrated’s five-part investigative series on its football program coming to a close, Oklahoma State has decided to appoint an ex-NCAA official to conduct an independent review of the allegations.
The school announced on Monday that Charles Smrt will lead the effort. Smrt is an 18-year veteran of the NCAA’s enforcement staff and currently runs a consulting firm specializing in compliance audits.
OSU president Burns Hargis made it clear he is taking the charges very seriously:
“While the articles do not implicate any current coaches or players to have direct involvement in any alleged misconduct, we have a responsibility to confront these disturbing reports head on and with complete transparency,” Hargis said.
It is also clear that Smrt has the full backing of Hargis.
“He has asked me to pursue the facts wherever they may lead. I assured him that I will do so, and that I will conduct the review with care and urgency,” Smrt said.
The alleged transgressions occurred between 2001 and 2011 and involve cash from boosters, grade changing and other lurid actions. If the investigation by Smrt truly does have teeth, it will get to the bottom of this and give OSU a chance to clean up its act.
The more transparency, the better.
For the second time in less than a month, two members of the Purdue football program have found themselves on the wrong side of the law.
This time around it’s a pair of freshmen, linebacker Wyatt Cook and defensive end Chazmyn Turner, who are in a bit of a predicament, with the Indianapolis Star reporting that both players were arrested over the weekend. Cook was charged with minor consumption of alcohol while Turner was charged with possession of marijuana.
No details of what led to the arrests and charges were made public. The program is aware of the incident, but have not stated what if any punishment either could be facing.
Cook was a three-star member of this year’s recruiting class, Turner a two-star. Neither has played in a game this season.
In the middle of last month, two freshmen cornerbacks, Evyn Cooper and David Rose, were arrested and charged in connection to stolen bicycles. Those two were members of this year’s recruiting class as well.
It is no secret that Under Armour is making a nice serious push in acquiring university apparel deals, but the Texas Longhorns is not one it will be likely to whisk away from The Swoosh. According to one report from the Austin American-Statesman, University of Texas officials broke off a meeting with Under Armour and are now expected to stay with Nike moving forward.
The University of Texas has been a partner with Nike since 2000. The contract between the two gives Nike an exclusive window in which it can match or improve on any offers made to the school from rival companies such as Under Armour or Adidas. It is unknown if Under Armour made a formal offer to Texas or how much such an offer could have been valued. What is pretty much commonly known is the Texas brand is still a nice asset in the athletics apparel business, even if the Longhorns are struggling on the football field. Having Texas wear your gear is still a quality investment, which makes Texas a highly sought-after commodity.
Per the American-Statesman report, Texas is expected to sign what would be the biggest deal currently going in collegiate athletics. Considering the handsome deal recently signed between Nike and Michigan, that would mean Texas would be looking forward to more than $169 million from Nike. Michigan signed a 15-year contract valued at $169 million, which will bring an end to its current relationship with Adidas in 2016. As part of the deal, Michigan will become the first football program to wear the Jordan brand logo on its football uniforms. Could Texas be the next? For now that is just something to ponder.
Nike recently lost partners at Arizona State and Miami. Last year Notre Dame began a new partnership with Under Armour, signing a $90 million contract.