Dez Bryant, the Oklahoma State receiver and probable top ten draft pick was ruled ineligible for the season yesterday, after violating an NCAA bylaw, by lying about his relationship with former Cowboys cornerback Deion Sanders. According to an ESPN.com report by Joe Schad, the two met at a Dallas restaurant last year and exchanged phone numbers.
They have reportedly remained close ever since, with Sanders sending Bryant "inspirational texts" before games, and so forth.
In his appeal to the NCAA, Bryant will reportedly admit to having lunch with Sanders, visiting his Dallas home, and working out with the ex-NFLer, who has no affiliation to the university.
In interviews held in months previous, Bryant reportedly denied any such contact, a violation of NCAA Bylaw 10.1, which forbids "unethical conduct," including "knowingly furnishing the NCAA or the individual's institution false or misleading information concerning the individual's involvement in or knowledge of matters relevant to a possible violation of an NCAA regulation."
"I made a mistake by not being entirely truthful when meeting with the NCAA," said Bryant, in a prepared statement. "I sincerely regret my mistake and apologize to my teammates, coaches, OSU fans and the NCAA."
According to the report, OSU officials will file a formal appeal as soon as today.