Beckman denies knowledge of wrongdoings at Oklahoma State

On a day in the college football world that was rocked by scandal, Illinois head football coach Tim Beckman denied any knowledge of wrongdoings by the Oklahoma State football program in his time there as defensive coordinator.

Sports Illustrated released the first of a five-part report Tuesday detailing misconducts of the Oklahoma State football program between 2001 and as late as 2011.

The report by SI’s George Dohrmann and Thayer Evans describes coaches and boosters paying players bonuses after games for on-field performances and paying them for other jobs they either did not perform or were overpaid for.

Beckman was the defensive coordinator at Oklahoma State under head coach Mike Gundy during the 2007 and 2008 seasons.

“In my time at Oklahoma State, I never experienced or knew of anything that was going on,” Beckman said. “I was shocked (by the allegations).

“I was only there 22 months and really only one recruiting class. Mike Gundy gave me an opportunity to be a coordinator, and he is a great individual. I was shocked because I never saw anything that I thought was illegal.”

The report is being released in installments, which will come out over the course of the next week. Future installments will outline academic corruption, drug abuse among players and sexual relations with hostesses in the school’s Orange Pride program.

Gundy has been the head coach at Oklahoma State since 2005. Prior to that, current LSU coach Les Miles headed the Cowboys program from 2001-04.

The report primarily implicates former OSU assistant coach Joe DeForest — who was with the Cowboys from 2001-11 — as the ringleader of the bonus program. He is now an assistant at West Virginia.

Illini tight ends coach Alex Golesh was also at Oklahoma State as a graduate assistant in 2008. He also denies knowledge of any illegal activity within the Cowboy program. Golesh said he last heard from DeForest in the spring, when they talked about special teams strategies.

“I never saw any of that going on,” Golesh said. He said he got a call informing him of SI’s report over the weekend.

Beckman said he heard about the report on ESPN. He has not been contacted by anyone from Oklahoma State nor has he contacted anyone.

“The places I’ve been at, if you look at my background, we have rules and regulations here and that’s what we abide by,” Beckman said. “The places I’ve been at and the people I’ve been able to work for have done great jobs of leading programs.”

Sean can be reached at [email protected] and @sean_hammond.