The NCAA on Friday announced sanctions against Oklahoma State’s basketball program after a Notice of Allegation and a Level I violation against former assistant coach Lamont Evans.
Per the NCAA, Evans accepted between $18,150 and $22,000 in bribes from two financial advisers to influence student-athletes. The case originated when Evans was arrested in 2017 in connection with an indictment and federal criminal complaint filed in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York.
“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 Division I Committee on Infractions said of its decision in the NCAA’s 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.”
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The following are the infractions levied upon the Oklahoma State basketball program:
Three years of probation.A 2020-21 postseason ban for the men’s basketball team.A $10,000 fine plus 1 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 2018-19/2019-20 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 one-year postseason ban for Oklahoma State means Cade Cunningham, the No. 1 recruit in college basketball, won’t get to play in the NCAA Tournament should the Mike Boynton-coached Cowboys have a season worthy of the big dance (as expected). Boynton hired Cunningham’s brother, Cannen, as an assistant coach last June. Cade Cunningham chose to play at Oklahoma State over Florida, Kentucky, North Carolina and Washington.
According to the NCAA’s release, Evans, who was fired in 2017 amid the allegations, “also violated NCAA ethical conduct rules when he refused to participate in an interview and provide information relevant to the investigation.”