OSU Men’s Basketball Banned from 2020-21 Postseason; Probation Handed Down by NCAA

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Lamont Evans

INDIANAPOLIS – The former Oklahoma State men’s basketball associate head coach violated NCAA ethical conduct rules when he accepted between $18,150 and $22,000 in bribes from two financial advisors to influence student-athletes, according to a decision released on Friday by the Division I Committee on Infractions.

In 2017, federal criminal charges were brought against 10 people, including four college basketball coaches, as well as managers, financial advisers, and representatives of a major international sportswear company.

The coaches that were charged in the case, steered players to advisers who paid bribes to the coaches, Bloomberg reports.

According to court documents, former OSU assistant basketball coach Lamont Evans received at least $22,000 in bribes in exchange for his agreement to exert his official influence over certain student-athletes.

Following the charges, OSU announced that Evans had been fired from the program.

In January of 2019, a lawyer for Evans said that the former coach was pleading guilty to a conspiracy bribery charges.

Evans was eventually sentenced to three months in prison in June of 2019.

According to OSU’s Division I Committee on Infractions on Friday, Evans violated NCAA ethical conduct rules.

“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 in its decision. “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.”

The committee says Evans violated NCAA rules because athletics department staff members are prohibited from receiving benefits for facilitating or arranging a meeting between a student-athlete and an agent, financial advisor or a representative of an agent or advisor. Athletics staff members are also prohibited from representing, directly or indirectly, any individual in the marketing of their athletics ability or reputation to an agency, and from accepting compensation for the representation.

“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.”

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).

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