The days of light punishments from the NCAA are over.
On Friday, the NCAA’s Committee on Infractions handed down a harsh penalty against the Oklahoma State basketball program, which includes a one-year postseason ban.
The sanctions laid down by the NCAA (see below) are the result of a Level I unethical conduct charge against former associate head coach Lamont Evans. Evans was one of 10 men who were charged in the September 2017 case as a result of an FBI investigation, which accused him of knowingly receiving benefits and arranging meetings between players and financial advisors. He was implicated in this violation while coaching at both South Carolina and Oklahoma State.
The one-year postseason ban becomes even more devastating for the program as it was preparing to welcome the highest-ranked recruiting class in program history, led by top recruit and projected No. 1 overall pick, Cade Cunningham.
The list of sanctions from the NCAA is as follows:
- Three years of probation
- A 2020-2021 postseason ban for the men’s basketball team
- A $10,000 fine plus one percent of the men’s basketball program budget (self-imposed by the university)
- A reduction of men’s basketball scholarships by a total of three during the 2020-21 through 2022-23 academic years
- A reduction of men’s basketball official visits to 25 during the 2018-19 and 2019-20 rolling two-year period and to 18 during the 2019-20 and 2020-21 rolling two-year period (self-imposed by the university)
- A prohibition of men’s basketball unofficial visits for two weeks during the fall of 2020 and two weeks during the fall of 2021 (self-imposed by the university)
- The school must prohibit unofficial visits for three additional weeks during the fall of 2020, 2021, and/or 2022
- A prohibition of men’s basketball telephone recruiting for a one-week period during the 2020-21 academic year (self-imposed by the university)
- The school must prohibit telephone recruiting for six additional weeks during the probation period
- A reduction in the number of men’s basketball recruiting person days by 12 during the 2019-20 academic year (self-imposed by the university)
- The school must reduce the number of recruiting person days by five during the 2020-21 academic year
- A 10-year show-cause order for Evans, during which any NCAA member school employing him must restrict him from any athletically-related duties unless it shows cause why the restrictions should not apply
- A prohibition of the men’s basketball team from participating in off-campus evaluations for three consecutive days during the summer evaluation periods in 2020 (self-imposed by the university)
Oklahoma State announced that they will be filing an appeal of the NCAA’s penalties. Their statement explains that the university is appealing because they believe that the NCAA “appears to have made an arbitrary decision in the sanctions applied to the institution for the egregious actions by a former coach that did not result in any benefit for the University.”
Oklahoma State's statement on the NCAA findings. pic.twitter.com/fa52sB41BP
— OSU Cowboy Basketball (@OSUMBB) June 5, 2020
The entire college basketball world will be watching how the appeal process plays out, because if a minor offender gets a postseason ban, what will become of the major offenders like Kansas, LSU, and Arizona?