STILLWATER, Okla. — Part two of Sports Illustrated’s OSU series is all about academic misconduct. Allegations that during the Les Miles coaching era, athletics were always put before academics.
Terry Henley and Ronald Keys, two staff members profiled in the article for allegedly providing improper academic assistance, denied the claims in the article but declined to comment after the piece was released today.
Students on campus read the article scratching their heads. From their experiences with football players in the classroom, they say they’re just like any other student.
Student Leyla Simmons says, “I had a couple of football players in my class that you could tell actually really were studious and really cared about their grades and put the student before athlete.”
Leyla Simmons and Zach White, both former student athletes themselves, played different sports but stuck to the same rules. They say they know the Academic Enhancement Center best.
“Those guys work hard in that academic center. I know they do,” says White. “They are so on top of it over there. I mean you can try but it’s not going to happen with those tutors.”
“I’ve been there. I’ve seen it,” says Simmons. “I know that it’s not true.”
Non-athletes who sit behind football players in class admit the athletes might even be more committed to their studies than they are.
Student Andrew Pertl says, “I probably missed more class than they did!”
Leyla Simmons says from the coaches down to the tutors, there is one thing that everyone no matter the sport, wants student athletes to remember.
“You can’t be an athlete forever,” says Simmons. “Even if you do go professional there is going to be a time when you will need the education you are getting here.”
“I know firsthand that these guys work hard,” says White. “The coaches stay on top of them.”