After detailing allegations by the Oklahoma State football program in the form of improper cash benefits, academic fraud, widespread drug abuse and sexual misconduct last week, Sports Illustrated finished its series on the Cowboys’ football program Tuesday morning, describing the issues former players faced after leaving the football team.
Titled “The Fallout,” Tuesday’s series wrap-up detailed what life after football looks like for those deemed no longer useful to the Oklahoma State football program, with players being dismissed from the program and told to leave immediately, regardless of academic standing or physical condition.
The report centers around former player Artrell Woods, who after a promising start to his career, fractured two vertebrae in his back while lifting in the weight room. After time in the hospital, he got back to the point of being able to play, but was designated as a medical non-counter toward the scholarship limit, effectively removing him from the team, but still keeping his scholarship intact.
Woods would later transfer to a Division II college and continue playing. He did not receive a degree, however, and now waits tables in Bryan, Texas.
The story details other players’ accounts of mistreatment, with most ending up out of school without a degree and either physically impaired or emotionally distraught. Some became suicidal, while others returned to a life of poverty or crime they left behind when they agreed to come to Stillwater, tossing them aside whenever they lost their usefulness on the playing field.