NCAA Staff Received 'Threatening' Messages After Comments From Oklahoma State

Timothy Rapp@@TRappaRTFeatured Columnist IVNovember 11, 2021

HARTFORD, CT - MARCH 21: A general view of the NCAA logo during the first round of March Madness on March 21, 2019, at XL Center in Hartford, CT. (Photo by M. Anthony Nesmith/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)
M. Anthony Nesmith/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

The NCAA announced Thursday its staff received "threatening and offensive messages after being identified by name" by Oklahoma State personnel after the organization handed the school a one-year postseason ban in the 2021-22 season for recruiting violations.

Oklahoma State's appeal against the ban was dismissed last week. 

The NCAA's statement read, in part:

"Oklahoma State personnel encouraged individuals to circumvent the NCAA member-created process that every school agrees to participate in as part of their responsibility to each other. Further, there is a troubling trend of misstating facts about the infractions process by schools that disagree with the infractions outcomes. Each member has the ability to seek change to the Division I infractions process, and there is a review group underway looking at how to improve the process."

Oklahoma State was given the postseason ban after former assistant coach Lamont Evans pleaded guilty to bribery conspiracy for accepting money and gifts in exchange for steering college basketball players toward a marketing agency being started by Christian Dawkins.

Evans was sentenced to three months in prison. 

According to Matt Norlander of CBS Sports, Evans did not participate in the NCAA's investigation, which reportedly was "a factor" in the school's punishment. 

He added: "Everything else the NCAA acted upon was based off of what was provided in federal court. Oklahoma State is being punished for lack of cooperation (strictly from Evans) and unethical conduct, plus the fact Evans accepted dirty money."

Alongside the postseason ban, Oklahoma State was hit with a three-year probationary period, the loss of three scholarships per year for an undisclosed period of time and other recruiting sanctions. 

"We are profoundly disappointed for our student-athletes, none of whom were here at the time of this case," OSU athletic director Chad Weiberg said in a statement last week. "This is an unprecedented decision by the NCAA. There are other strikingly similar cases that did not include postseason bans and had only minor penalties. We had a rogue employee carrying out actions that benefited him alone and he went to great lengths to assure his actions were undetectable. He was terminated when we learned of his actions."

Kyle Boone @Kyle__Boone

Mike Boynton took a blowtorch to the NCAA on Wednesday. Called out enforcement staff by name. Said the only violation they committed was a secondary violation they self-reported.<br><br>"It's no wonder that nobody trusts them. They get to hide behind letters." <a href="https://t.co/Ao72n3pHq1">pic.twitter.com/Ao72n3pHq1</a>

Men's head basketball coach Mike Boynton added that the punishment was "incredibly unjust and unfair" and called the postseason ban for his players "the greatest disappointment in my career as a head coach."