Written by Ben the Pen
The NCAA has decided on Friday to place Oklahoma State's men's basketball on probation for three years and banned them from postseason play in 2020-21.
The punishment, which will be appealed by the school, goes back to a violation involving former associate head coach Lamont Evans. In June 2019, Evans was sentenced to three months in prison for accepting between $18,150 and $22,000 in bribes to steer players from South Carolina to Oklahoma State to certain financial advisers and agents.
The Cowboys will also have their scholarships decreased by three during the 2020-21 through 2022-23 academic years.
Oklahoma State tried to address the situation by self-imposing penalties with a $10,000 fine plus 1% of its men's basketball operating budget and reducing the number of official visits for three years.
"The University is stunned by the severity of the penalties and strongly disagrees with them," the school said in a statement. "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. Evans was terminated by OSU on Sept. 28, 2017, within 72 hours of learning of allegations against him.
"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."
Oklahoma State is one of many schools that is in danger of being placed on probation related to the federal bribery and corruption criminal cases. Kansas, Louisville, NC State, South Carolina, TCU and USC have announced that they have received NCAA notices of allegations.
This couldn't come at a worse time for coach Mike Boynton, who signed five-star guard Cade Cunningham for the 2020-21 season. Cunningham is projected as a potential No. 1 pick for the 2021 NBA draft. His brother was hired as an assistant coach last summer.
On Friday afternoon, Boynton told Jeff Borzello of ESPN: “We’re gonna try to look at all the options, whatever they are: G-League, overseas, transfer to another school, stay at Oklahoma State,” Boynton said. “Whatever he decides is best for his future, I’m gonna support.”