The University of Oklahoma has reportedly issued varsity football players complimentary tickets that the players sold to boosters at inflated prices, netting some players as much as $4,000 per season, according to the Dallas Morning News.
In a copyright story, the News said selected members of the Oklahoma squad received preferential consideration from a bank that was headed at the time by former Oklahoma president George Lynn Cross and prominent booster Jack E. Black.
Eight of 22 varsity Oklahoma football players who have left school since 1980 told the News that they directly benefited from the ticket sales or were aware they existed, the newspaper said.
Four of the former players interviewed by the newspaper confirmed that American Exchange Bank of Norman, Okla., financed new cars without customary credit checks or co-signers, a standard requirement for minors who borrow money.
The former players said loan payments were scheduled as once-per-year "balloon notes," to coincide with the sales of the players' complimentary tickets.
Both university and bank officials denied they showed special treatment to student athletes, the News said.
Wide receiver Buster Rhymes, who now is with the Minnesota Vikings, and another pro player who asked not to be identified said Sooner Coach Barry Switzer personally vouched for their ability to make yearly balloon payments of about $2,000.
The Daily Oklahoman on Monday carried a denial by Switzer of allegations he understood would be reported by the News.