Bryant violated NCAA bylaw

Updated: October 8, 2009, 12:21 PM ET
By Joe Schad | ESPN

Oklahoma State wide receiver Dez Bryant has been ruled ineligible for violating an NCAA bylaw, the school announced Wednesday.

Bryant, an All-American who is ranked ninth overall on Mel Kiper Jr.'s most recent Big Board, was ruled ineligible after lying to the NCAA when he was asked if he had visited Deion Sanders' home and had worked out with him.

Oklahoma State is expected to file a formal appeal as soon as Thursday.

"We are certainly disappointed, but we are moving forward as we would with any challenge during the season," coach Mike Gundy said, according to the university.

A person close to the situation said Bryant will tell the NCAA in seeking an appeal of his ineligibility that he did in fact visit Sanders' home in Texas in May, that he jogged with him at a training facility and that they had lunch, for which he paid.

Bryant is planning to fly or drive to Indianapolis to tell the NCAA his story as soon as Monday, the source said. Sanders, with whom Bryant will say he had a personal relationship, told the NCAA that he had visited with Bryant.

The NCAA interviewed Bryant before the season and also on Sept. 11, the day before a game against Houston, asking if he had visited Sanders' home, if he had worked out with Sanders and also if he had had any interaction with agents.

[+] EnlargeDez Bryant
Paul Jasienski/US PresswireDez Bryant is one of the country's top receivers, but may not play again this season.

Bryant was asked specifically by NCAA investigators if he had ever met agents who have represented Sanders and he told them he hadn't.

Bryant told them no to all questions. Bryant is expected to say that he wasn't sure if it was a violation to visit with Sanders. Bryant has been told he has been suspended because he lied about the answers to the first two questions.

In a prepared statement, the school released the following 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."

Bryant, a junior, has 17 receptions for 323 yards and four touchdowns this season. He caught 87 passes for 1,480 yards and 19 touchdowns last season.

Bryant first met Sanders at a restaurant in Dallas and they exchanged phone numbers. Sanders sends Bryant inspirational text messages nearly every day, according to a person close to the situation.

The ex-NFL player was not affiliated with Oklahoma State and the incident does not involve anyone associated with the university, the athletic program or the school's alumni, donors or boosters, the school said. The school did not provide additional details of the incident, citing an ongoing investigation into the matter.

According to the school, Bryant violated NCAA Bylaw 10.1, which addresses "unethical conduct" and includes "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."

Joe Schad is a college football reporter for ESPN. Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.

Joe Schad

College Football