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NCAA hamstrings a Xavier opponent

It’s October, so that means it’s silly season for the NCAA.

NCAA Basketball: Big 12 Basketball Tipoff
Mike Boynton is paying the price for something he didn’t do.
William Purnell-USA TODAY Sports

Quick. What is the most inept, unwieldy, and generally clueless large corporation you can think of? No, we’re not being political, and no, there is no correct answer other than the NCAA.

How would you feel if someone else did something illegal in which you weren’t involved and didn’t benefit from five years ago at a place where you couldn’t possibly have been? You likely wouldn’t care at all. How would you feel if you then took the punishment for that person? That is exactly what is happening to Xavier’s December 5th opponent, Oklahoma State.

Back in 2017 an assistant at OSU, Lamont Evans, took money from what turned out to be a government informant. None of that money was found to have gone to the OSU basketball program other than $300 to a player who both paid it back and already served a suspension for it three years ago. The Cowboys immediately fired Evans upon being informed of his indiscretions, cooperated with the NCAA fully, and moved on.

Or so they thought. Today, the NCAA announced that Oklahoma State is banned from postseason play this year. For something that someone else did. A coaching cycle ago. From an FBI investigation that “found zero evidence of Oklahoma State enrolling a prospect illegally.” For something that happened in 2017.

Obviously the fair choice here is to punish the kids who are playing for the team now. The current coach, Mike Boynton, wasn’t mentioned in the investigation even once and faces absolutely allegations of impropriety. The institution itself did everything the NCAA asked and even took the proactive steps of rooting out the problem and dealing with it quickly on its own. For that they get a punishment usually reserved for fraud of lack of institutional control. Oh, and they get three scholarships stripped.

The NCAA is a stupid mess run by people out of touch with the real world and lacking, apparently, in the ability to make a decision that requires even the slightest amount of circumspection. If the rich soulless who sit in ivory towers were capable of human emotion, they would undoubtedly be embarrassed. They aren’t though, so they will continue to count their billions made off the backs of kids for whom they clearly don’t care. It’s pathetic.

Mike Boynton’s impassioned rant on the subject is too good to be cribbed, so here are his thoughts, in close to their entirety: