McAlester News-Capital, McAlester, OK

State news

September 16, 2013

Pickens rips SI for digging up old dirt

(Continued)

STILLWATER, Okla. —

Bryant denied to SI that others did his course work, but he refused additional comment.

Former players interviewed by SI also claimed the football program’s academic counselor scheduled them in classes with lax professors and assigned them into easy majors without consulting them.

Artrell Woods, a wide receiver from 2006 to 2008, said he stopped attending classes in 2007 because of a back injury while weightlifting. A professor asked to meet him to ask what grade he thought he deserved.

“An F,” Woods told SI he replied. “I’m not going to lie.”

Woods said the professor responded, “I’m going to give you a B.”

Woods said the professor “felt bad (for me).”

In another anecdote, SI said Les Miles, head coach at OSU from 2001 to 2005, once told his assembled team that academics came first and football second, but when he said “academics” he held up two fingers and when he said “football” he held up one finger.

The magazine said the result of sham education standards was that Oklahoma State had one of the worst academic records in the country for graduating football players.

“The philosophy, the main focus (of the program), was to keep (the best players) eligible through any means necessary,” said former defensive safety Fath’ Carter. “The goal was not to education but to get them the passing grades they needed to keep playing. That’s the only thing it was about.”

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