BATON ROUGE, La. -- Louisiana State athletic director Bob Brodhead said students quoted in a copyright story claiming an intense NCAA investigation into the university's athletic practices were disgruntled, former or transfered football players 'who didn't stay around.'
The Baton Rouge Morning Advocate published a story Friday saying the investigation included reports of payoffs to players for superior performances, free cars and clothes and other illegal gifts.
Brodhead and former football coach Jerry Stovall denied all the allegations.
'I see more allegations than evidence and I have to look at them as allegations from people who have left or were not happy,' Brodhead said. 'I see either athletes who were recruited by LSU who didn't come, who transferred or who stayed around and were disgruntled.'
Brodhead said he had been notified by a letter from the NCAA last spring that a preliminary inquiry into the policies and practices of the athletic department was planned.
Brodhead said earlier in the week he asked the NCAA if the investigation had intensified.
'He (NCAA Enforcement Director David Berst) said no. I asked him what's going on in this area. He said, 'Operation Intercept,'' Brodhead said.
Intercept is an annual NCAA program where the top 100 high school recruits are interviewed to make sure colleges are not violating NCAA amateur rules in attracting athletes to sign.
The newspaper story said the investigation had gone further at LSU.
Based on questions being asked players and assistant coaches, the newspaper said the investigation covered the sale of players' tickets, summer jobs for athletes and incentive payoffs for performances.
'We are unable to confirm or deny any investigation of any institution, said Dale Smith, assistant director of the NCAA Enforcement Division.
Former LSU player Clyde Bishop, quoted in the newspaper story, said he told the investigators players received cars and clothes, 'if they accomplished certain things.'
'It could be seen through the way things were going on,' said Bishop, a track runner who quit football after his freshman season in 1981. 'Everybody probably didn't expect it. It wasn't for everybody, only a select few. We just accepted that fact.
Stovall, who was fired Dec. 2, denied Bishop's accusation.
'That's not true,' Stovall said. 'From the very first day to the very last day, not one member of the staff came to me and suggested anything illegal or unethical. They knew from me to work hard, do the best they could and do it within the rules -- 'make sure you don't do things to jeopardize our success.''
The newspaper story, again quoting Bishop, said LSU alumni provided players with free accommodations in hotels and in private homes in New Orleans for Mardi Gras, 'whenever they (the players) had free time.'
Former LSU quarterback Donald 'Lucky' Polk, who transferred to Southern after the 1981 season, said he talked to an NCAA investigator a year ago. He told the newspaper this week LSU players were given cars and an opportunity to sell their complimentary game tickets for $150 or more.