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Report: Oklahoma State football players paid by assistant coaches, boosters 09.10.13 at 2:54 pm ET
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Current OK State head coach Mike Gundy is in hot water over the new Sports Illustrated report on the program. (AP)

Oklahoma State football coach Mike Gundy is in hot water over a Sports Illustrated report on the program. (AP)

Sports Illustrated dropped a bombshell on the college football world Tuesday morning with a story that claims at least eight former Oklahoma State football players received cash and other benefits from boosters and members of the coaching staff and implicates at least 29 other players in the scandal, including former quarterback Josh Fields and running back Tatum Bell.

The SI report, titled “The Dirty Game,” is the first of a five-part investigative series on the Cowboys program, which SI reports began paying players in 2001 with the arrival of coach Les Miles.

According to the report, the payment system, which lasted until at least 2011 under the watch of current coach Mike Gundy, paid some players an annual salary of $2,000 while others received $10,000 a year. Some star players received even more money than that, with totals around $25,000 a year.

The report states that players were paid in three different ways. The first method was a performance-based payment system in which the coaching staff, especially secondary and special teams coach Joe DeForest, would pay players for making big plays on the field.

Defensive back Calvin Mickens told Sports Illustrated that he was given $200 after forcing a fumble in his very first game with the Cowboys.

“I was like, ‘Wow, this is life!’ ” Mickens told SI. “I’m 18, playing football, and I just got $200.”

Another method of payment for the players was through boosters, who would go into the locker room and give players money regardless of on-field performances. Finally, players were paid for performing paid “jobs,” such as mowing the lawn of coaches and boosters. Despite the fact that they were usually paid around $400-$600 for these jobs, most of the players would either not work or not show up at all and still received money.

In anticipation of the damaging reports, OSU athletic director Mike Holder addressed the media on Monday to discuss the accusations.

“As the athletic director at Oklahoma State and an alumnus of Oklahoma State University, I don’t want to believe that it’s true,” Holder said. “We take this personally. We’re all committed to playing by the rules and doing things the right way around here, and for people to say that’s not what’s happening is very disturbing.”

It is shaping up to be a rough week for the school, to say the least, as teases for the upcoming stories in the SI series have promised reports of academic misconduct, widespread drug use and sex scandals within the Cowboys program.

Read More: boosters, Oklahoma State, Sports Illustrated,
LeBron James named SI’s Sportsman of the Year 12.03.12 at 10:06 am ET
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LeBron James capped a memorable year with a memorable honor. (AP)

NBA MVP LeBron James was named Sports Illustrated’s Sportsman of the Year, the magazine announced Monday.

James, 27, won his first NBA championship in 2012, leading the Heat past the Celtics in the Eastern Conference finals and then past the Thunder in the NBA finals. He also won a gold medal with Team USA at the London Olympics.

He became just the second player ever to win an NBA title, an NBA MVP award and an Olympic gold medal in the same year (Michael Jordan, 1992).

James acknowledged that he needed to change some things following his infamous ESPN special in 2010 in which he announced his decision to leave the Cavaliers for the Heat.

“Did I think an award like this was possible two years ago? No, I did not,” James said in the SI cover story. “I thought I would be helping a lot of kids and raise $3 million by going on TV and saying, ‘Hey, I want to play for the Miami Heat.’ But it affected far more people than I imagined. I know it wasn’t on the level of an injury or an addiction, but it was something I had to recover from. I had to become a better person, a better player, a better father, a better friend, a better mentor and a better leader. I’ve changed, and I think people have started to understand who I really am.”

James is the first NBA player to be named SI’s Sportsman of the Year since Heat guard Dwyane Wade in 2006.

Read More: LeBron James, Rumor Mill, Sports Illustrated, Sportsman of the Year
S.I. Swimsuit gets a touch of Green 02.12.09 at 9:38 am ET
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Let’s be honest, the delivery of the annual Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Edition was always a circled day on the calendar for many adolescence  – mainly for the fact that you wanted to grab it out of the mailbox before your parents knew it was even there.

Bar Refaeli

Bar Refaeli

The annual edition has come along way since the Kathy Ireland days. Not only is there more skin, but millions can now access the world’s most beautiful women with a few clicks of the mouse at SI.com. As a guy in the industry, I would love to see the amount of page views and advertising revenue that the online feature rakes in.

This year’s publication supposedly features the next budding star in the modeling industry, Bar Refaeli (pictured right), who has been romantically linked to Leonardo DiCaprio. Hard to imagine, but I think Leo actually traded up from another familiar face who he had previously dated. Some would say blaspheme, but I say everyone wins here.

A local beauty shares the pages of the mag with Refaeli – Alison Preston. Alison is a member of the Boston Celtics Dance Team. Congratulates to Allison for representing Boston and the Celtics organization, even though some would still say Red would be rolling in his grave (In February 2004, Auerbach told the Globe, “They’re just waiting for me to die so they can get cheerleaders.”).  Well Red, I think your franchise has done just fine with the girls in green.

You may have seen Alison at the Celtics games, but if you haven’t, check out her S.I. Swimsuit photos & video by clicking on the image below:

Alison Preston

Alison Preston

Read More: Alison Preston, Bar Refaeli, Sports Illustrated,