Glenn Guilbeau / Gannett Louisiana
BATON ROUGE – The much-criticized expose by Sports Illustrated last fall on NCAA violations within the Oklahoma State football program, which included LSU coach Les Miles’ time there from 2001-04, is apparently accurate enough for one governing body to take a closer look.
The NCAA is investigating Oklahoma State for possible rules violations in its football program, an Oklahoma State spokesman has said, according to an ESPN story published on Monday.
Miles, who was 28-21 with the Cowboys with three bowl appearances after inheriting a program that had losing seasons in 11 of 12 previous seasons, was portrayed by SI as helping start a stampede of sex, drugs and cash at the Stillwater, Okla., campus.
The story details cash exchanging hands between Oklahoma State boosters and players after the 3-7 Cowboys upset No. 4 Oklahoma, 16-13, in Norman, Okla., in Miles’ first year in 2001. Miles denied that and other allegations in the story.
The NCAA will attempt to find out what actually happened regarding that scenario and others detailed in SI’s five-part series, which included several potential NCAA violations.
“The inquiry continues, and it is hoped that it will conclude within the next few months,” an Oklahoma State spokesman told ESPN.
Soon after the series, Oklahoma State hired Charles Smrt, a former NCAA official, to conduct an internal investigation of the football program that is nearing an end, according to ESPN.
Miles, who will speak at the Southeastern Conference Media Days in Hoover, Ala., on Wednesday, was angered by the report last September.
“We did things correctly,” he said at the time. “But I wasn’t there at every place all the time. That being said, the things we did, we did right. At some point in time, I’m going to watershed the issues and have my say.”
That could be on Wednesday.
ESPN reported several inaccuracies in the SI series by obtaining documents and records from the school that proved parts of the story wrong. In addition, John Talley, who was portrayed in the story as an “overzealous booster” who paid football players, has filed a lawsuit against SI, saying parts of the series were “false, lacked factual basis and were published with actual malice.”
ANOTHER QUARTERBACK SCRAMBLES: LSU has lost yet another reserve quarterback. Senior Rob Bolden has decided to leave LSU and is expected to transfer to Eastern Michigan, according to several media outlets.
Bolden, a former starter at Penn State, transferred to LSU before the 2012 season after the Jerry Sandusky scandal and red-shirted that season. He did not play last season and was moved to wide receiver for spring football. Bolden was listed as a quarterback in LSU depth charts at the SEC Media Days. He will have one year of eligibility left.
Prior to Bolden leaving, LSU lost reserve quarterbacks Stephen Rivers and Hayden Rettig in recent months. Rivers, a junior, has transferred to Vanderbilt and will compete for the starting job. Rettig, a sophomore, has transferred to Rutgers.
Both left after it became clear following the 2013 season that there was a two-man race at quarterback between sophomore Anthony Jennings and freshman Brandon Harris.
A possible candidate to be the Tigers’ No. 3 quarterback is Jared Foster, a junior outfielder on the baseball team. Foster was a walk-on quarterback for the football team in 2011 before deciding to focus on baseball in 2012. Foster played quarterback at Barbe High in Lake Charles.