MuskogeePhoenix.com, Muskogee, OK

OSU

October 23, 2013

Running back question marks for OSU

(Continued)

W. Virginia: DeForest clean here

MORGANTOWN, W.Va.  — West Virginia said Wednesday it found no misconduct or violations of NCAA rules with the Mountaineers football program involving an assistant football coach who was identified by Sports Illustrated as having provided improper payments to players while he worked at Oklahoma State.

Last month Sports Illustrated reported Joe DeForest paid cash bonuses to Oklahoma State players of up to $500 for performance. DeForest spent a decade with the Cowboys before being hired at West Virginia in 2012.

While not identifying DeForest by name Wednesday, West Virginia said its investigation found no violations or misconduct at WVU.

“WVU is unable to comment on the veracity of the media allegations levied against the assistant coach while employed at another institution, and defers to that institution, as well as appropriate NCAA infractions personnel, to complete a review and assessment of those allegations,” the statement said.

Sports Illustrated’s five-part series included interviews with more than 60 former players who played for Oklahoma State from 2001-10.

Oklahoma State has appointed former NCAA enforcement officer Charles E. Smrt to handle an independent review of the alleged violations.

The NCAA has declined comment. NCAA rules bar providing cash or other benefits based on athletic performance.

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