The NCAA alleged Thursday in a statement signed by three of its top leaders that some of its volunteer committee members and staff received “threatening and offensive messages” in the wake of a decision to uphold Oklahoma State’s postseason ban. According to the NCAA memo, comments from Oklahoma State personnel identified NCAA personnel by name.
“This is unacceptable,” said the statement, which was signed by NCAA president Mark Emmert, board of governors chair John J. DeGioia and board of directors chair Jere Morehead.
Oklahoma State’s appeal of a postseason ban was unsuccessful, the NCAA announced earlier this month. The decision means the Cowboys will be ineligible to participate in the NCAA Tournament this season. The ruling was met with swift rebuke by OSU officials, with athletic director Chad Weiberg saying in a statement that, “we are profoundly disappointed for our student-athletes, none of whom were here at the time of this case.”
The Cowboys were picked to finish fifth in the Big 12 after returning most key players aside from Cade Cunningham from last season’s 21-9 team. They were initially given a postseason ban for last season, but the lengthy appeals process deferred the enforcement of the ruling and allowed the team to compete in last season’s NCAA Tournament.
“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,” the NCAA statement said. “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.
“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. 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.”
Oklahoma State was one of four schools that had an assistant arrested by the FBI in late September 2017. That assistant, Lamont Evans, pled guilty in January 2019 and eventually spent three months in federal prison. Evans was found to have acted unethically and illegally after being captured on federal wiretaps and surreptitious videos.