OSU star WR likely for draft after losing appeal

November 6, 2009

The NCAA rejected a final appeal to reinstate Dez Bryant and Oklahoma State has probably seen the last of its All-American receiver.

An attorney for Bryant said Thursday that the one-year penalty handed down by the NCAA amounted to a "death penalty" for his client's college career, considering that he's likely to enter next year's NFL draft.

"I don't know that there's much about this type of decision that would help improve a person," Willie Baker, Bryant's attorney, told The Associated Press in a phone interview. "I think there are other ways that the NCAA might try to develop — a different way of administering, if you want to call it punishment or whatever, but in the end it ought to be something that would be helpful to the student."

Baker said he didn't know for certain whether Bryant would enter the draft, but said the NCAA gave him no incentive to stay in school by declaring him ineligible through September 2010.

"He has not told me what he will do, but if I had to guess, I would say that he would decide to not continue with school and just continue to prepare himself for the draft," Baker said.

His former high school coach John Outlaw said Bryant told him recently that he was ready to start training in Tampa to get ready for the NFL Combine.

Said Outlaw, "He's going to Tampa to get himself ready for the (NFL) combine. He's the type of kid ... I just don't think a college degree was going to be a big benefit to him. Had I wished he would have finished it? Yeah."

ESPN.com also reported Thursday night that Bryant had made his decision.

"I feel this is the best decision for me. It's what God wants me to do," Bryant is quoted as

The NCAA rejected Oklahoma State's appeal to reinstate Bryant on Thursday, bringing an end to the process that began in late September when Bryant sat out the first of five games while the NCAA investigated his offseason meeting with former NFL player Deion Sanders at a Texas athletic center. Since initially lying to an NCAA investigator about the meeting, Bryant has admitted he jogged with Sanders and went to his home. He also issued apologies both publicly and in a letter to the NCAA.