Sports Illustrated is now on day two of its five-day rollout of its breathless investigation of the Oklahoma State University football program.
Dez Bryant, the Dallas Cowboys' wide receiver who played two seasons at OSU, was not mentioned in the first installment, which focuses on cash that boosters and coaches allegedly doled out to players. And we won't know until Thursday and Friday, respectively, whether he is accused of illegal drug use or partaking of the sex that was offered to entice recruits.
Bryant is, however, a starring member in today's segment, which reports widespread academic fraud.
SI's biggest Bryant-related revelation is that he was named one of the Big 12 conference's academic all-stars in 2008. Nothing he has said or done since becoming a Dallas Cowboy would lead anyone to peg him as a scholar. Even at the time, his teammates remarked at the absurdity of the honor.
"You didn't have no choice but to laugh at it," Victor Johnson, an OSU safety from 2008 to '10, told SI.
The rest of the story presented by the magazine is less than embarassing:
According to Johnson and one of the former assistant coaches, it was well known that Bryant would not go to class unless shepherded, often by a football staff member, and that tutors did a majority of his coursework. "He just wasn't supposed to be there. There's no way he could do the college work," said the former assistant coach. "Once he got there, he was connected with the people that would help him." Calvin Mickens, a cornerback from 2005 to '07, says he also saw tutors do coursework for Bryant.
Bryant, now with the Dallas Cowboys, denies that he had work done for him and declined further comment.
Had those revelations emerged at the time, back before Bryant was ruled ineligible in 2010 for an unrelated rules violation, he no doubt would have suffered severe consequences. Now that he's escaped from under the thumb of the NCAA and into the real world, where no one cares what Bryant may or may not have done in college, and where no one is particularly shocked that a high-profile athlete is allowed to skate through college on the backs of tutors and athletic staff, he's in the clear.
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