Oklahoma State’s basketball program was hit with a one year postseason ban Friday, and it could portend bad news for the sport as a whole.
Former Cowboys’ associate head coach Lamont Evans was sentenced to three months in jail last year after admitting to accepting bribes to steer recruits from Oklahoma State and South Carolina to certain agents. Oklahoma State has vowed to immediately appeal the ruling. (RELATED: Report: At Least Five Alabama Football Players Test Positive For The Coronavirus)
Oklahoma State’s statement on the NCAA findings. pic.twitter.com/fa52sB41BP
— OSU Cowboy Basketball (@OSUMBB) June 5, 2020
The postseason ban is especially devastating for head coach Mike Boynton and company, who just inked one of the best recruiting classes in school history. The class was spearheaded by Cade Cunningham, the country’s top recruit and potential number one overall pick in next year’s NBA Draft. What Cunningham does next will be a huge storyline. Will he go to the G-League? Will he transfer to another school? Those questions will be the subject of intense speculation in the coming weeks.
What will Cade Cunningham do? The Top-ranked prospect (potential #1 pick in 2021 NBA Draft) signed to play at Oklahoma State. The NCAA just banned OSU from postseason play in the 2020-21 season! pic.twitter.com/CgLmgcAe7I
— Ballislife.com (@Ballislife) June 5, 2020
One thing is for sure. If Cunningham still wants to play college ball, and wants to do so for a team that is eligible for the NCAA tournament, the NCAA absolutely should let him, regardless of what their bylaws say. He’s simply too talented for the sport to lose.
Other speculation that will emerge from Oklahoma State’s punishment is what could be in store for programs that have been accused of even worse violations, including Kansas, Auburn, and LSU. Based on today’s news, it appears the NCAA is intent on cleaning up the sport, and sending a message to programs that run afoul of the rules.