- Brett McMurphy, College football reporter
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Some aspects of the story of former Oklahoma State safety Fath' Carter, who was quoted extensively in Sports Illustrated's series about improprieties within the Cowboys' football program, are inconsistent with information obtained by ESPN from a number of university documents.
Carter was one of the main sources quoted in SI's five-part series that alleges players were paid by coaches and boosters and had an academic coordinator complete school work for them while at Oklahoma State.
Among the claims by Carter that are not supported by university documents were that he graduated from the school and attended classes in 2004 with running back Tatum Bell in which the professor gave them failing grades because their eligibility had expired.
Another discrepancy was from running back Dexter Pratt, who told SI that in his first semester, in 2009, every course he took was online. According to university records, Pratt took three online courses and two actual classes.
In Tuesday's SI report, Carter said he graduated from OSU with a degree in education. George Dorhmann, one of two SI reporters who wrote the stories, also said Tuesday on CBS Sports Radio's "The Doug Gottlieb Show" that Carter "has two degrees from Oklahoma State, spoke on the record, recorded. I have no reason to believe he lied. And he's certainly not disgruntled."
Carter didn't have two degrees. Carter attended OSU from 2000 to 2005 but did not graduate, according to the university's office of the registrar.
Carter also told SI that he and Bell were in the same class and got A's and then had the same instructor again for a class in 2004 but got F's.
"I'd guess that there was pressure [on the instructor] to give us those A's when we were playing, but not when we weren't," Carter told SI.
However, Bell wasn't at Oklahoma State in 2004. He withdrew from school after the 2003 fall semester, according to the OSU transcript he provided to ESPN.
"I withdrew from school after the [Jan. 2, 2004] Cotton Bowl," Bell said. "I was never enrolled in 2004 and never attended classes in 2004."
Carter spoke with Tulsa's News on 6 on Tuesday and said he "gave the truth -- no matter who likes it, it is the truth."
Carter made some of the biggest allegations against Oklahoma State, claiming players received "$500 handshakes" from boosters and that an academic coordinator completed papers for players.
Bell, who played in the NFL for the Denver Broncos and Detroit Lions, vehemently disputed Carter's accusations.
"Not only did he lie about me attending those classes, he's trying to degrade everybody," Bell told ESPN. "I never received a dime from anybody.
"All these cats say they got stuff. How were they getting stuff? I wasn't getting stuff. I worked for everything I got. Nobody handed me nothing -- none of that $500 handshake stuff. Nothing like that was going on."
On Tuesday, Josh Fields, OSU's starting quarterback from 2001 to 2003, told ESPN he and others from the school and the Stillwater area questioned the credibility of the players quoted.
Of the 12 former players who made allegations or admitted guilt to SI, nine either were kicked out of school for failed drug tests, dismissed from the program, transferred for playing time issues or quit. Of those, several had criminal records, the Daily O'Collegian and Tulsa World reported. SI did not mention those dismissals or arrests.
"I'm in disbelief," Fields told ESPN. "I never had anyone attempt to give me any type of payments or do my schoolwork and never saw my teammates accept money. I never accepted anything. Seeing my name in there was a shock."
Former OSU coach Les Miles and several other former Cowboys players have denied several of the allegations. SI's five-part series concludes Saturday.
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