Oklahoma Officials Deny Charges

Oklahoma officials denied reports that the university faces the "death penalty" because of allegations by a convicted burglar that the school was still breaking NCAA rules after going on probation last year.

The Dallas Morning News reported that NCAA investigators are studying allegations by Otha Armstrong III. The NCAA declined comment on the report.

Armstrong, 24, claims he served as a middleman to pick up cash payments that a Tulsa booster sent by Western Union to former Sooner quarterbacks Charles Thompson and Jamelle Holieway. He also said freshman running back Dewell Brewer received illegal benefits and made at least one unofficial paid visit to Norman, Okla., before he signed a letter of intent with the university in February.

Armstrong, a longtime friend of Thompson, is serving a five-year prison sentence in Oklahoma for breaking into former Oklahoma coach Barry Switzer's home and stealing 25 championship rings and other items. Thompson is serving two years in a federal penitentiary in Big Spring, Tex., after pleading guilty to a charge of conspiracy to distribute cocaine.

Armstrong told The Daily Oklahoman for a story in Wednesday's editions that he was misquoted by the Dallas newspaper.

The News said Armstrong said he picked up the last money transfer in early 1989, after the football program had been placed on probation.

"I picked up none in 1989," he told The Oklahoman.

Armstrong said he relayed money from June 1988 to late in the football season.

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