Oklahoma State's 2009 football campaign just suffered a huge blow.
In a release put out by the school's sports information department, it was announced today that wide receiver Dez Bryant has been ruled ineligible by the school. According to the release, Bryant violated NCAA bylaw 10.1 (d). A provision dealing with false or misleading information, bylaw 10.1 (d) states the following:
(d) Knowingly furnishing or influencing others to furnish the NCAA or the individual's institution false or misleading information concerning the an individual's involvement in or knowledge of matters relevant to a possible violation of an NCAA regulation;
In short, Bryant lied to the NCAA about his interactions with a former NFL player not associated with the Oklahoma State program. Sources close to OStateIllustrated.com say that the former NFL player Bryant had contact with was Deion Sanders. Apparently, Bryant met with Sanders and also worked out with him over the course of the last few months. That contact led to initial questioning from the NCAA. At that time, Bryant apparently gave false details about the contact.
"I made a mistake by not being entirely truthful when meeting with the NCAA," Bryant said. "I sincerely regret my mistake and apologize to my teammates, coaches, OSU fans and the NCAA."
OSU has begun the process of applying to the NCAA for reinstatement on the matter.
"We are certainly disappointed, but we are moving forward as we would with any challenge during the season," said Cowboy head coach Mike Gundy.
While it sounds like Bryant is done for the season, that's not necessarily true. Punishment for the violation of NCAA bylaw 10.1 (d) can range from anywhere to a suspension of a few games to banishment from the field of NCAA competition.
But the issue at hand isn't the alleged contact between Bryant and Sanders. Rather, it is that Bryant lied to the NCAA about his actions and did not fully disclose the details of the contact with Sanders that led to this ruling.
More details to follow as information about this matter comes to light.