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OSU star Bell denies SI illegal payment story


STILLWATER, Okla. — Sports Illustrated has released the first of a five-part series that details former Oklahoma State University football players allegedly receiving illegal cash payments from 2001 to 2011.

The magazine quoted several former players who said they were given cash, based on their performance on the field.

Boosters and coaches allegedly gave players cash when they needed money, and some were allegedly paid for doing no-show jobs or bogus jobs.

The article accuses former OSU star running back Tatum Bell as being one of the players who took illegal payments. He adamantly denied the accusation.
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“I hate having my name dragged around in the mud about something that’s totally false,” Bell said Tuesday. “Boosters weren’t allowed in the locker room, so I don’t know how they were sliding players money. I never took any money.  We never even talked about taking money. We always talked about making it to the pros. That was always our conversation.”

A Fellowship of Christian Athletes area director, John Talley, is accused in the article of paying some players $2,000 every two weeks during one summer to work on his horse ranch.

His wife told us those accusations aren’t true, adding they don’t even have that kind of money.

“John wouldn’t take that chance for OSU,” Caryl Talley said, “And not only OSU, but he wouldn’t take that chance for FCA and he loves his family too much to do something that would be dishonorable.”

“It’s just not who he is,” Caryl Talley said.