Tahlequah Daily Press

September 12, 2013

Deaton addresses SI

NSU's Johnny Deaton - an OSU transfer - shoots down allegations in magazine.

By BEN JOHNSON
Sports Editor

bjohnson@tahlequahdailypress.com



It was a parade of former Oklahoma State football players taking to social media on Tuesday to voice their displeasure. The angst was over recently unveiled reports by Sports Illustrated that address everything from players being paid to grades being altered to recruits being persuaded to go to the school by having sex with a female group called "Orange Pride."

Only two stories of the five-part series had been released through Wednesday. On Tuesday, Sports Illustrated published a story featuring comments from former OSU athletes that said they witnessed players being paid for their performances.

The second story, which was released on Wednesday, documented academic fraud within the OSU football program.

The national sports magazine is set to provide the final three parts of the series later this week.

On Tuesday, several former OSU football players — quarterback Josh Fields, running back Tatum Bell, center Ben Buie and many others — voiced their displeasure with the controversial piece.

While avoiding a lengthy diatribe on social media, Northeastern State quarterback Johnny Deaton — who transferred from OSU — did acknowledge that he had read the Sports Illustrated stories.

"Yeah I've seen and read some of it," Deaton told the Tahlequah Daily Press on Wednesday. "Nothing that I have seen as an allegation took place while I was there."

Deaton played in two games for the Cowboys in 2010 before joining the RiverHawks in the summer of 2011.

The Sports Illustrated series features quotes and comments from former OSU players who played during the timeframe of 2000 to 2011. Former offensive lineman Doug Bond — who also transferred to NSU to end his collegiate career — addressed the academic improprieties at Oklahoma State telling SI, "the thought process was that you're going to school just so you can play football."

Alleging academic misconduct, Sports Illustrated outlined that certain players had grades altered, or that someone else would do their class work for them.

"I was friends with everyone from walk-ons to the starting offensive and defensive players," Deaton said. "I'm 100 percent positive grades weren't changed."

Another former OSU transfer to NSU was defiant against the allegations. On his Twitter page, Michael Bowie — who played left tackle for the RiverHawks before being drafted by the Seattle Seahawks — said, "Dont believe the lies.."

Deaton is one of three former OSU players on the RiverHawks' current roster. Safety Victor Johnson and tight end Spencer Haff also transferred from Stillwater to Tahlequah.

For its investigative report, Sports Illustrated citied interviews with 64 former OSU players. However, one of those is not Deaton.

"Nobody has contacted me over this," Deaton said.