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Oklahoma State Basketball Receives Postseason Ban

Brock Fritz

The NCAA has handed out the first penalty of the ongoing college basketball corruption scandal.

Oklahoma State was on the receiving end, receiving three years of probation, including a ban from 2021 postseason tournaments. The decision came down Friday, with the NCAA Committee on Infractions punishing the Cowboys following an investigation that sent a former Oklahoma State coach to prison.

"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 committee said. "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."

Related content: D-I Basketball Coaches Indicted in Adidas Bribe Scheme

Lamont Evans was Oklahoma State’s recruiting coordinator and associate head coach when he was arrested in September 2017, along with three other assistant coaches. Evans was sentenced in June 2019, receiving three months in prison for accepting between $18,150 and $22,000 in bribes to set up South Carolina and Oklahoma State players with certain agents and financial advisers.

Related content: Former Oklahoma State Coach Pleads Guilty to Bribery

According to ESPN, Evans was the highest paid assistant when arrested, earning $600,000 per year. He only spent one year at Oklahoma State, serving as an assistant coach in 2016-17 after spending four years at South Carolina, which has also received an NCAA notice of allegations.

The NCAA Committee on Infractions gave Evans a 10-year show-cause penalty Friday, meaning any school hiring him during that time frame must keep him out of athletic duties unless it shows cause for why the restrictions don’t apply.

The Cowboys will also have three less men’s basketball scholarships from 2020-21 through 2022-23. The school had already self-imposed a $10,000 fine plus one percent of the men’s basketball program budget and reduced number of official visits for three years.

Oklahoma State has said it will appeal the NCAA’s penalties.

"The University is stunned by the severity of the penalties and strongly disagrees with them," the school said in a statement, according to ESPN. "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 likely won’t be the only team punished, as high-profile schools like Kansas, Louisville, North Carolina State, TCU and USC have also received notices of allegations for their role in college bribery scandals.

Related content: USC Men’s Basketball Receives Notice of Allegations

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