Joe DeForest Allegations: Money & Academics (Part 2)


Coach Joe DeForest watches a defensive drill during the Mountaineers’ first practice of the spring at Milan Puskar Stadium Sunday. All-Pro Photography/Dale Sparks photo

In the second part of this article series, money and academic violations allegedly by Joe DeForest will be discussed. Many of us have read the Sports Illustrated story from their 10 month investigation when DeForest was assistant coach at Oklahoma State. By now, certainly everyone knows about these allegations.

Payments were delivered to players at Oklahoma State in the locker room after games in three different ways: a performance bonus system, direct payments from boosters and no-show jobs. Players mentioned in the SI report include Javius Townsend, Calvin Mickens, Darrent Williams, Brad Girtman, Rodrick Johnson, Chris Wright, Tatum Bell, Adarius Bowman, Victor DeGrate and Artrell Woods among many others. Some admit to receiving money while others vehemently deny receiving any payments. It was common for players to find a new pair of socks in their lockers which contained money on a regular basis. Some players were paid simply because they witnessed the exchange of money and could have spoken openly about it. Some players received up to $2,000 annually while a handful of star players made up to $25,000.

"“They were getting money like out of control. It was as clear as day.” – Chris Wright"

Up to 30 players were named for committing academic misconduct after the coaching staff hinted to the team that they were only going to school so they could play football and that football came first.

"“The goal was not to educate but to get them the passing grades they needed to keep playing. That’s the only thing it was about.” – Fath Carter"

Four players and two assistants in the SI report stated that they believed some of their teammates were actually illiterate. Dexter Manly, in 1989, stated that he was illiterate after attending Oklahoma State and playing football for the university. This incident was downplayed because Manly obtained a professional contract. Dallas Cowboys star Dez Bryant also played for the Oklahoma State Cowboys and allegedly had to be made to go to class by escorts as well as having tutors do his work for him. He denies these allegations.

Players who admit to academic misconduct by having their work done for them include Calvin Mickens, Larry Brown, Jonathan Cruz, LeRon Furr, Brad Girtman, Chris Massey, T.J. Minor, Marcus Richardson, Artrell Woods, Thomas Wright and Herschel Sims.

Joe DeForest is now an assistant coach for the West Virginia Mountaineers and the university has begun an internal investigation as well as made contact with the NCAA. So I ask you this, how much longer do you think DeForest has left with the West Virginia Mountaineers? Is this whole story just a scam or fluke? Are the allegations even true? If they are true, how will the Mountaineers perform in the future knowing one of their leaders committed these violations over a period of nearly 10 years at another university? It seems there are certainly more questions than answers at this point.