The first portion of a five part Sports Illustrated investigative series into Oklahoma State footbal portrays a culture where boosters had easy access to players to provide cash payments during a period that overlaps the tenure of Les Miles, which lasted from 2001 until 2004, and current coach Mike Gundy.
The excerpt, which published on the magazine’s website Tuesday morning, claims boosters provided cash to players, while former Cowboys special teams coordinator Joe DeForest oversaw a pay-for-performance program.
The report does not specifically cite whether Miles had knowledge of the payout system of “cash handshakes” provided by boosters. Yet the report does imply the head coach fostered an environment where “were boosters permitted in the locker room; they were often on team flights and bus trips; they turned up at the training table” after his arrival from the Dallas Cowboys.
The magazine spoke with 64 former OSU players, with eight admitting they received sums of money and another 29 saying they witnessed such payouts taking place.
“We are talking about $500 handshakes,” former OSU safety Faith Carter told the magazine.
Players also told the magazine it was common for boosters to patrol the aisles of the OSU team bus and dispense cash-filled envelopes, or handed cash as they walked from the student union to the stadium on game days.