WVU assistant football coach cleared of wrongdoing
MORGANTOWN, W.Va. — An internal investigation has cleared West Virginia assistant football coach Joe DeForest of any misconduct or violation of NCAA rules while employed by the school.
A series of articles in Sports Illustrated last month cited DeForest for making cash payments of up to $500 for performance during a decade of coaching at Oklahoma State.
DeForest joined coach Dana Holgorsen's staff at WVU in 2012.
The school's announcement of the findings of the investigation did not identify DeForest, Oklahoma State or Sports Illustrated by name.
“WVU has not found any infractions of NCAA rules or other misconduct at our institution,” the release read.
“WVU is unable to comment on the veracity of the media allegations levied against the assistant coach while employed at another institution, and defers to that institution, as well as appropriate NCAA infractions personnel, to complete a review and assessment of those allegations.”
Oklahoma State is in the process of investigating the alleged violations. Former NCAA enforcement officer Charles E. Smart is leading the independent investigation.
The NCAA has declined comment. NCAA rules bar boosters from providing cash or other benefits based on athletic performance.
SI reported that eight former Cowboys told the magazine they had received cash payments, and 29 others were named by teammates as having taken money.
Former defensive tackle Brad Girtman said he saw some star players get “monster payments,” while he once received $500 from a member of the football staff.
DeForest is special teams coordinator and associate head coach. He earns $500,000 a year.
The Associated Press contributed. Bob Hertzel is a freelance writer.
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