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SI's takedown of Oklahoma State results in minor NCAA wrist slaps

The NCAA's investigation into Oklahoma State amounted to ... not much.

Richard Rowe-USA TODAY Sports

The NCAA has concluded its investigation into Oklahoma State football, and after some early bluster, the Cowboys will only have a slight punishment to deal with. OSU will go on probation for one year, pay a fine of $8,500, and will have some recruiting restrictions for not following its drug testing policy and allowing its hostess group to host recruits during visits to Stillwater.

The biggest issue for Oklahoma State are the recruiting restrictions. They are limited to 30 official visits for 2015-16, and are limited to one fewer coach out on the road for evaluation (From 10 to nine in the fall and nine to eight in the spring). The total number of evaluation days available to the staff has been reduced by 10. All of those restrictions were self-imposed by the school.

As for the fine, to put things in perspective, it's less than what head coach Mike Gundy makes in a day.

The investigation into Oklahoma State goes back to 2013, when Sports Illustrated released a five-part series about the various violations allegations, from academic violations to improper benefits to drug abuse, the whole gamut, really. A number of the former players interviewed for the story came out and said they were either misquoted or outright denied the allegations made in the report. Later, ESPN would say the report contained numerous inaccuracies, and Oklahoma State and the NCAA would say that the report was largely unfounded. The Cowboys were not 100 percent clean, but it would not turn into the earth-shattering expose that SI's report was purported to be.

SI described the hostess group, Orange Pride, as such:

OSU's hostess program, Orange Pride, figured so prominently in the recruitment of prospects that the group more than tripled in size under Miles. Both Miles and Gundy took the unusual step of personally interviewing candidates. Multiple former players and Orange Pride members say that a small subset of the group had sex with recruits, a violation of NCAA rules.

As part of the punishment from the NCAA, student host groups cannot be allowed at OSU for four years.

So, how does this affect Oklahoma State moving forward? Only a month after the report was released, Mike Gundy said it had "absolutely zero" impact on the program, and it's not like there has been much in the news about it since. The Cowboys have taken a step back on the field, going 7-6 in 2014, but that's mostly due to difficulty replacing players who moved on to the NFL, not from any stigma left by the report.