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Oklahoma State football program placed on probation

Oklahoma State football program placed on probation
The Oklahoma State football team plays its spring football game on April 18. The program is on a year of probation for failing to follow its own drug-testing policies over a four-year span. (Sue Ogrocki / AP)

The NCAA put Oklahoma State's football program on a year of probation Friday for failing to follow its own drug-testing policies over a four-year span, largely sparing the Cowboys of serious penalties for violations uncovered following an expose by Sports Illustrated.

"I feel this vindicates us," Oklahoma State President V. Burns Hargis said.

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The Committee on Infractions also ordered Oklahoma State to suspend its Orange Pride student organization after determining the all-female group impermissibly helped in recruiting efforts after being organized by the football program.

The penalties come two years after a series of Sports Illustrated articles alleged widespread misconduct in the program. The magazine said it interviewed more than 60 former players and found evidence of potential NCAA violations under coach Les Miles and current Coach Mike Gundy dating to 2001.

The stories included numerous former Oklahoma State players making allegations of cash payments to players, academic misconduct, inconsistent enforcement of drug policies and some of the school's recruiting hostesses having sex with prospects from 2001 to 2010.

After a joint investigation, the NCAA and Oklahoma State said last October that the most egregious allegations were "fundamentally unfounded," though three potential violations were found. The magazine stood by its reporting.

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