The NCAA’s Committee on Infractions placed the Oklahoma State Men’s Basketball team on probation for three years and banned the Cowboys from the next NCAA Tournament.
The penalty comes from one Level I violation that involved former assistant Lamont Evans, who eventually got three months in prison for accepting around $20,000 in bribes to get players from South Carolina and Oklahoma State to sign with certain agents and financial advisers.
Evans spent 4 seasons as an assistant and grad assistant at K-State from 2008-2012, and then spent four seasons at South Carolina with Frank Martin and Brad Underwood, before rejoining Underwood at Oklahoma State where Evans remained before his termination.
Evans was tagged with a 10 year show cause penalty by the NCAA.
In addition to probation and the postseason ban, Oklahoma State will see reduced scholarships for the next three seasons, as well as other recruiting restrictions.
Oklahoma State may appeal and will do so immediately. In a statement by Oklahoma State, the school says:
The University is stunned by the severity of the penalties and strongly disagrees with them,
The penalties do not align with the facts and are unfair and unjust. The NCAA agreed with OSU that Lamont Evans acted alone and for his own personal gain. The NCAA also agreed that OSU did not benefit in recruiting, commit a recruiting violation, did not play an ineligible player, and did not display a lack of institutional control. As the report documents, OSU cooperated throughout the process, which lasted two years.
South Carolina also received a Notice of Allegations related to bribes accepted by Evans. Oklahoma State argued that Evans was the sole benefactor of his actions and that Oklahoma State benefited in no way.
The Cowboys are the first school to receive sanctions from the NCAA for rules violations related to federal bribery and corruption criminal cases. KU, Louisville, NC State, South Carolina, USC and TCU all have announced that they also have received NOAs.
KU received 5 Level I violation allegations, compared to Oklahoma State’s 1.
Oklahoma State possesses a top 5 recruiting class for the upcoming season, which was headlined by incoming guard Cade Cunningham. Cunningham is expected to be the #1 overall pick in the 2021 NBA Draft. Cunningham’s older brother was hired as an assistant last summer by Head Coach Mike Boynton.
Boynton said he will support Cunningham on whatever decision he makes about his basketball plans for 2020-2021.