Cowboy 2020 Signees Remain Committed Despite Postseason Ban

Zach Lancaster

STILLWATER -- Friday was an incredibly difficult day for Oklahoma State basketball and its fan base. The NCAA handed down some harsh punishments Friday morning that included a one-year postseason ban to be carried out during the upcoming 2020-21 season.

I don't think I really need to go into details about why that's so heartbreaking, but when you sign the No. 1 overall prospect in the country and add him, and the rest of a very talented class, to a young and talented roster led by two talented juniors, you don't want to be banned from postseason play.

Jacob Unruh of The Oklahoman spoke with 2020 signee Donovan Williams on Friday about the NCAA penalties and Williams remains 'All in.'

“I told [Mike Boynton] right now I’m still all in,” Williams told The Oklahoman. “That's not going to change my mind. Now, if something else happens and a lot of players decide to leave, maybe I’ll rethink it and check my options. But as of now, nothing has changed for me at all.”

Williams also told Unruh that he had spoken with fellow signee Rondel Walker and Walker remains committed to Boynton and Co. as well. However, as Williams said above, or should Cade Cunningham decide to take his talents elsewhere, the situation could change for both Walker and Williams.

“One of the main reasons I decided to come here was because of Cade,” Williams said. “If he decides to leave, where does that put both (me and Walker)?”

As of Sunday, June 7, the entire 2020 class, as well as the entire current Cowboy roster remains intact.

Oklahoma State announced on Friday its intention to appeal the NCAA's ruling, which included a long list of punishments, included the sanctions imposed by the university:

  • Three years of probation.
  • A 2020-21 postseason ban for the men’s basketball team.
  • A $10,000 fine plus 1% 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 2018-19/2019-20 rolling two-year period and to 18 during the 2019-20/2020-21 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 university also 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 university also 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 university also must reduce the number of recruiting person days by five during the 2020-21 academic year.
  • A 10-year show-cause order for the former associate head coach. During that period, 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 staff from participating in off-campus evaluations for three consecutive days during the summer evaluation periods in 2020 (self-imposed by the university).

Mike Boynton told the media during his Zoom press conference on Friday afternoon that he planned on supporting any decision a signee or current player makes, whether that be staying at Oklahoma State, or going somewhere else to play ball.

“Just from the player standpoint, I’m not going to allow any player to get screwed in this process. That’s not going to happen,” said coach Boynton. “Any player who stays with our program, will do it with their eyes wide open as to what exactly is going on. They’ll understand that there’s a risk involved, for instance, a lot of talk has been about Cade. I’ve also got a grad transfer committed and signed to come to our university, so it would in a sense be his only opportunity to play college basketball, his last opportunity. So, those conversations will be real and thorough and I’m going to make sure we guide them and help them make the best decision. And if it’s the case they want to be at Oklahoma State, then we’re going to support that as well, but we’re not going to screw these kids over again after what has already happened.”

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