Dez Bryant messed up and he messed up really bad. It wasn't the fact that he actually did have a workout with Deon Sanders or even that he had dinner with the former NFL superstar. Dez Bryant made his mistake when he was asked about the encounter with Sanders he denied that it ever happened, ever! No one accused Bryant of being the sharpest knife in the drawer but come on. He really didn't think that the NCAA was going to ask Sanders about it? Now Bryant is admitting that he did meet with Sanders but that nothing improper took place and no violations were made. So if Bryant did nothing wrong then why lie? That's what the NCAA wants to know and they clearly aren't buying the, "because I was scared" defense.
The Cowboys have done fine without Bryant so far with convincing wins over Grambling, Texas A&M, Missouri and Baylor which has left Stillwater buzzing about a possible Big 12 Championship and a BCS bowl game. However, a real defense is coming to town Saturday night and in the way of the Texas Longhorns and for the first time since Bryant's dismissal OSU will miss his ability to stretch the field. Essentially the NCAA took Oklahoma State's big dreams in turned them into a nightmare on Tuesday when they announced that Bryant won't be reinstated for an entire calendar year.
Despite sitting out the last four games Dez Bryant still leads the Cowboys in receiving yards and receiving touchdowns. If you wanted to know how important he was to OSU's offense those stats tell the story right there. The NCAA is sending a clear message with this case. If you take money from a booster and play for Ohio State then you'll set a few games. The same is true if you play for Alabama and take some free stuff like computers and such. If you go to USC and have you family live in a furnished house paid for by an agent...well...they'll get back to you on that one. But if you lie to them about working out and having lunch then they are going to bring the hammer.