Oklahoma State Basketball: Why penalty for Cowboys is awful in every way

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Oklahoma State Basketball

FAYETTEVILLE, AR – JANUARY 27: Brandon Averette #0 of the Oklahoma State Cowboys (Photo by Wesley Hitt/Getty Images)

Last weekend, the NCAA hit the Oklahoma State basketball program with a number of punishments for violations that happened over four years ago, including a 2020-2021 postseason ban. This is terrible in every imaginable way.

The NCAA recently announced the results of the lengthy investigation into the Oklahoma State basketball program and former assistant coach Lamont Evans. Back in 2017, Evans was fired from the Cowboys staff after the FBI began investigating allegations that he accepted bribes to influence how his players accepted professional and financial counsel. Oklahoma State received a Level I Notice of Allegations, reserved for the most severe infractions as determined by the NCAA.

The resulting punishments handed down to the Cowboys include three years of probation, a 2020-2021 postseason ban, and reductions in scholarships for the next three seasons. The university also adopted self-imposed penalties, including limits on recruiting activities and a $10,000 fine.

Oklahoma State is the first basketball program to receive punishments in the wake of an FBI probe into alleged illegal activity by a number of schools. Other programs received a Notice of Allegations from the NCAA and await their respective penalties.

The Cowboys were a popular early prediction to go dancing next season after assistant coach Cannen Cunningham recruited his younger brother and 2020 No. 1 prospect Cade Cunningham to the program. Understandably so, Busting Brackets’ Trevor Sinodhinos ranked Cunningham as the top 2020 impact recruit in the Big 12 Conference. Now there’s a possibility the potential No. 1 pick in the 2021 NBA Draft won’t be playing in college at all.

OSU has appealed the NCAA’s ruling. Whether the penalties are upheld or not, there’s a lot to dislike here on principle. Here are some of those issues.

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