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NCAA: Staff threatened after Oklahoma St. penalties upheld

Christian Petersen
Getty Images

The NCAA said some staff members have received threatening and offensive messages since Oklahoma State basketball coach Mike Boynton identified some by name last week after a one-year postseason ban and other penalties were upheld on appeal.

Last year, an NCAA infractions committee hit the Cowboys with the penalties for former assistant coach Lamont Evans accepting up to $22,000 so he could help steer athletes to certain financial advisers. Evans was arrested in 2017, and Oklahoma State fired him.

The school said it fully cooperated with the NCAA from the beginning. It felt good about its chances in an appeal, believing the organization would view Evans as a rogue employee acting on his own.

After the penalties remained in place, a shocked and emotional Boynton named members of the Appeals Committee and the Committee on Infractions.

“They felt good about the work they did while I explain to 17 kids that their dreams of playing in the NCAA Tournament this year couldn’t be realized,” Boynton said. “That’s shameful.”

The NCAA said its staff members are getting unacceptable treatment, and there should be a system to protect them against personal attacks.

“This is also a clear example of the work that needs to be done to address issues and behaviors like this moving forward with the new NCAA Constitution and Division I Transformation process,” the statement said. “We know that an adverse decision can be emotional, but personal attacks against individuals simply carrying out their responsibilities are inappropriate, unethical and potentially dangerous.”