The story all of college football has been waiting for finally broke this morning on SI.com. The five part exposé details findings from a 10-month investigation of the Oklahoma State football program.
According to the first part of the Sports Illustrated report, 37 Oklahoma State players were paid large sums of cash by boosters and coaches for big plays and great stats, even in losing efforts. Star players would earn as much as $25,000 a year in some cases for their performance on the field.
The story is based on interviews with 64 players from 1999 to 2011, including former Texas Tech offensive line commit Javius Townsend.
“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,” says Javius Townsend, a redshirt offensive lineman during the 2010 season, who says he did not take payments but knew of others who did.
Townsend, a former three-star guard out of James Madison H.S. in Dallas, switched his commitment from Tech to Oklahoma State shortly before signing day in 2010.
From ESPN.com regarding Javius Townsend:
Three-star Javius Townsend of Madison (Dallas, Texas) has accepted a Class of 2010 offer from Oklahoma State after decommitting from Texas Tech. The 6-foot-2, 300-pound guard prospect also considered Kansas.
Townsend told the Lubbock Avalanche-Journal the Red Raiders’ recent coaching change impacted his decision.
“I had a special relationship with every one of those coaches – Coach (Matt) Moore, Coach (Brian) Mitchell and (former Texas Tech) Coach (Mike) Leach,” Townsend said. “It wouldn’t be the same as it would if they were all still there.”
Among his other offers were Minnesota, Buffalo, Colorado State, Idaho, Louisiana Tech, New Mexico, New Mexico State, North Texas, San Diego State, SMU, Tulsa, UTEP and Western Kentucky.
Towsend claims he decommitted from Tech because of Mike Leach’s firing and the subsequent hiring of Tommy Tuberville. Leach was fired on December 28, 2009; the Red Raiders played a bowl game on January 2, 2010; and Tuberville was hired on January 9, 2010. Townsend’s commitment to Oklahoma State didn’t happen until late in January, shortly before national signing day.