A former University of Oklahoma walk-on football player accused of being paid for work he didn't perform at a Norman auto dealership regularly brought home dealership cars for his personal use, a former roommate said.
Logan Brosky roomed with Jermaine Hardison, the walk-on, for about a year. Brosky said he knew several players who worked at Big Red Sports/Imports. Some of them would talk about how easy the job was.
"They'd just sit there and not do anything and let the Mexicans do all the detailing," Brosky recently said the players told him. "They'd clock in and go eat."
Former Big Red manager Brad McRae often threw parties at his house for players and other guests, Brosky said.
"He'd buy pizzas, Chinese, Quiznos – anything they wanted," Brosky said. "I know it happened for sure three times, and it probably happened more than that."
Brosky, who didn't play football at OU, roomed with Hardison off-campus during most of the 2004-05 school year.
A third roommate, former OU player Remi Ayodele, said Hardison didn't bring home cars from the dealership.
"He had the same car he has now," said Ayodele, who didn't work at Big Red.
Contacted Wednesday, McRae said he never threw parties for players and wasn't aware of Hardison or any other player taking home cars for personal use.
"If he did, he stole 'em," McRae said of Hardison and the cars. McRae added that it would be relatively easy for people at the dealership to bring home cars because "everybody had the keys for them."
Asked if he was saying other players could have taken home cars, McRae said: "That wouldn't surprise me, but I never heard of that."
Under self-imposed penalties, OU has banned McRae from contact with the university until August 2011.
OU declined comment for this story.
Hardison has not responded to multiple messages and interview requests from The Dallas Morning News left for him since September.
Oklahoma is scheduled to appear before the NCAA infractions committee next week in Indianapolis because of the excessive pay scheme at Big Red.
In its notice of allegations to OU, the NCAA made no claims related to the use of dealership autos by players.
Last April, OU said it investigated star running back Adrian Peterson's use of a Lexus from Big Red and found that no violations occurred. Peterson, expected to be a high pick in this month's NFL draft, had wanted to buy the car but changed his mind. He also worked at Big Red, records show.
While questioning Hardison last year, OU officials never asked him directly about using dealership cars but did ask if he was ever offered "extra money, extra benefits" from Big Red. Hardison answered "no," according to a transcript of the interview.
After quarterback Rhett Bomar from Grand Prairie and offensive lineman J.D. Quinn from Garland were dismissed from the team last August, OU told the NCAA that they were the only two players guilty of taking money they didn't earn from Big Red.
In February, however, the NCAA alleged a third player also took money for work not performed. At the time, OU still said only Quinn and Bomar were guilty, but in its official response to the NCAA allegations last month, OU accepted the NCAA's claim that three players took money they didn't earn.
In an interview with The News on March 1, Quinn was asked about the NCAA's allegation of a third player.
"I'm surprised they only found one other," he said from the University of Montana, where he transferred.
Asked what he meant by that, Quinn declined to elaborate. "No comment," he said.
The News reported in February that Hardison's pay stubs from Big Red show he was paid for an average of 43 hours a week from late February through mid-May 2005. That was while school was in session and spring practice was held. Through mid-July, Hardison was paid more than $9,900, nearly twice as much as Bomar was paid in roughly the same span. Walk-ons are subject to the same minimum course load requirements as scholarship players – 12 credit hours per semester.
"He worked a little bit, but he didn't work 40 hours a week. I know that," Brosky said of Hardison. They were roommates for most of spring term 2005.
Brosky said he particularly remembers a black Lincoln Navigator that Hardison drove for about a month. Big Red had taken the car in a trade, Brosky said, and Hardison was upset when he had to return it to the dealership.
"Every two to three weeks he had a different car," Brosky said of Hardison.
Hardison was dismissed from the OU squad about a week after Bomar and Quinn, for violating undisclosed team rules. Oklahoma media reports linked his dismissal to a visit to a casino. Hardison withdrew from school Sept. 1.
Hardison, Brosky and Ayodele had previously attended Northeastern Oklahoma A&M, a junior college. Brosky played football at NEO but not at OU.
Brosky said no investigators from OU or the NCAA have talked to him about Hardison or other OU players who worked at Big Red.
Because of an incident when Hardison threatened him, Brosky said, and because his roommates didn't regularly pay their share of the rent, Brosky moved out of the house even though the lease was in his name.
The landlord evicted the tenants in late June, Oklahoma court records show.
Ayodele, a standout at South Grand Prairie High School, is the brother of Cowboys linebacker Akin Ayodele. Remi Ayodele was on the Cowboys' practice roster briefly last season, and the team sent him to NFL Europe.
Staff researcher Darby Tober contributed to this report.
Brad McRae, the booster at the center of the excessive-pay scheme that landed Oklahoma a date with the NCAA infractions committee, has rarely spoken publicly since news of the scheme broke last year. But he spoke to The Dallas Morning News on Wednesday.