STILLWATER – The NCAA has announced the punishments for Oklahoma State basketball regarding the Notice of Allegation and the Level I violation against former assistant coach Lamont Evans.
Evans, who was fired in the fall of 2017 when the FBI investigation was first announced, accepted between $18,150 and $22,000 in bribes to direct players to sign with certain financial advisors.
“Coaches are entrusted to look after the well-being and best interests of their student-athletes, including during the critical time when student-athletes are making decisions regarding their professional careers,” the committee said in its decision. “As the associate head coach admitted in his sentencing hearing, he abused this trust for his own personal gain. He sold access to student-athletes and used his position as a coach and mentor to steer them toward a career decision — retaining the financial advisors’ services — that would financially benefit him. In short, he put his interests ahead of theirs.”
Following a near-four year investigation, the NCAA's Committee on Infractions handed down the harsh punishment Friday morning.
“The committee classified the case as Level I-standard for the school and Level-I aggravated for the former associate head coach. The committee used the Division I membership-approved infractions penalty guidelines to prescribe the following measures:
- 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).
The postseason ban includes not just the NCAA tournament, but the Big 12 tournament in Kansas City as well.
“The conduct at issue in this case was related to a broader scheme that involved money and influence at the intersection of college and professional basketball,” the NCAA committee said, according to the release. “The scheme resulted in the arrest and prosecution of multiple individuals — including college basketball coaches — on conspiracy and bribery charges, and it led to significant NCAA reforms.”
According to NCAA representative Larry Parkinson, Oklahoma State can appeal the NCAA ruling.
This is a massive blow for Mike Boynton and Co. as the Cowboys were in position to have one of the best seasons in recent memory. Boynton and Co. just completed the best recruiting class in the modern recruiting era with the addition of Cade Cunningham, the No. 1 overall prospect the 2020 class, joined by four-stars Donovan Williams, Matthew-Alexander Moncrieffe and Rondel Walker, Montreal Pena and talented grad transfer Ferron Flavors.
Head coach Mike Boynton and athletic director Mike Holder will be meeting with the media via Zoom at 1:30 Friday afternoon, which Pokes Report will be covering and will be bringing more coverage throughout the rest of the day.