The NCAA just handed down its first punishment to a school tied to the college hoops scandal and it will directly impact one of the sport’s brightest new stars.
Oklahoma State has been given a one-year postseason ban (effective in the 2020-21 season), three years of probation, a fine, and other recruiting restrictions for former associate head coach Lamont Turner’s involvement in the pay-for-play scheme. Turner accepted between $18,150 and $22,000 in bribes from two financial advisors to influence student-athletes to retain their services once they reached the NBA. This news means that Cade Cunningham, the No. 1 incoming freshman who chose the Cowboys over Kentucky back in November 2019, will not be able to participate in the NCAA Tournament. Whether or not Cunningham, a five-star guard from Texas, will be allowed out of his letter of intent remains to be seen.
“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 Division I Committee on Infractions 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.”
Here is the complete list of penalties:
- 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).
When you look at these penalties and compare what Turner did to what coaches at LSU, Kansas, Louisville, and Arizona did, well, those programs better prepare themselves. Oklahoma State and Turner committed one Level I violation. Kansas is facing five.
Read more about the NCAA’s decision at the link below.