Oklahoma State junior wide receiver Dez Bryant, arguably the best draft-eligible prospect at his position in the country, has been ruled ineligible by the university, reportedly for accepting property from an ex-NFL player.
The university broke the news by releasing a statement announcing his suspension. The partial statement is as follows:
Dez Bryant has been ruled ineligible for a violation of NCAA bylaw 10.1(d). Oklahoma State University has already begun the process of applying to the NCAA on his behalf for reinstatement. This incident does not involve anyone associated with the OSU football or athletic department staffs, any employee of the university, alumni, donors, or any third-party affiliated with OSU. OSU is taking this step because Bryant failed to openly disclose to the NCAA the full details of his interaction with a former NFL player not affiliated with OSU.
As part of their statement, the university also released a comment from Bryant:
"I made a mistake by not being entirely truthful when meeting with the NCAA. I sincerely regret my mistake and apologize to my teammates, coaches, OSU fans and the NCAA."
Despite former Texas Tech (and new San Francisco 49er) wideout Michael Crabtree earning most of the national attention, Bryant led the conference with 1, 480 receiving yards. His 19 touchdown receptions and sparkling 17.0 yard per catch average also led the Big 12. Through three games this season, Bryant was on pace to better his numbers, having posted 17 catches for 323 yards (19.0 YPC!) and 4 scores.
NFL scouts contacted with news of the story reserved comment until the details had been sorted out. Bryant reportedly had accepted property, including autmobiles, from a former NFL player. The speculation was that Bryant was given the property as a potential retainer for signing with an agent after this, his junior season.
The NCAA has the option to review Bryant's case and reinstate him. The early buzz, however, is that this isn't likely to happen given the grievous nature of the infractions. If suspended indefinitely, Bryant could sign with an agent, as he'll likely elect to declare himself eligible for the 2010 NFL Draft.
NFL teams certainly would question Bryant about his improper dealings, but as we saw last year with former Alabama offensive tackle Andre Smith (who was suspended for the Sugar Bowl due to similar charges), teams are often willing to overlook these indiscretions.