Report: NCAA investigating Oklahoma State football program

If it felt like the NCAA enforcement staff members were enjoying some time off this summer, think again.

Oklahoma State became the second high-profile school in less than a month to be placed under a formal NCAA investigation, according to an ESPN report on Monday.

"The inquiry continues and it is hoped that it will conclude within the next few months," a university spokesman told ESPN. "The university anticipates releasing a report after the NCAA concludes its process. Since it is an ongoing inquiry conducted in cooperation with the NCAA, the university is unable to comment further at this time."

The Cowboys football program was rocked last September by a five-part expose by Sports Illustrated into alleged improprieties that included numerous charges of potential NCAA violations. While no current players or coaches were named in any of the reports at the time, several prominent ex-players, including current Dallas Cowboys receiver Dez Bryant, were among the names that surfaced and vigorously denied any wrongdoing during their time in Stillwater.

Universities typically conduct internal investigations into potential NCAA violations in conjunction with enforcement staff from the national office. ESPN reported that highly respected compliance lawyer Charles E. Smrt is handling the case for Oklahoma State.

Shortly after the SI series was made public, a number of organizations called into question the accuracy of some of the reporting. The university disputed some of the information in the articles, but promised to launch a full investigation into the matter at the time.

The Oklahoman reported on Friday that one of the individuals involved in the case, Fellowship of Christian Athletes representative John Talley, had also filed a lawsuit recently against SI and the authors for calling him an "overzealous" booster who provided money to various Oklahoma State players.

The Cowboys had been enjoying a relatively quiet few months since the release of the SI report but things appear to have changed with news of the NCAA investigation.

Follow Bryan Fischer on Twitter at @BryanDFischer.

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