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What the FBI Probe and Arrest of Lamont Evans Means for Oklahoma State



On Tuesday morning, news that the FBI had charged 10 individuals in a bribery and corruption scheme — including Oklahoma State associate head coach Lamont Evans — rocked the college basketball world.

The bombshell was a revelation of a two-year investigation into what U.S. Attorney Joon Kim called the “dark underbelly” of the sport. Four of the individuals charged in the investigation are current college basketball assistant coaches, some are agents, some are linked to sportswear companies, and one is a CEO of a financial services company.

Who’s involved

• OSU associate head coach Lamont Evans

• Arizona assistant Emanuel “Book” Richardson

• Auburn associate head coach Chuck Person

• USC assistant Tony Bland

• Director of Global Sports Marketing for Adidas, Jim Gatto

• Former Nike-turned-Adidas exececutive, Merl Code

• Former NBA agent Christian Dawkins

• Director of Adidas-sponsored program and President of the League Initiative, Jonathan Brad Augustine

• Financial advisor Munish Sood

• Representative of Thompson Bespoke Clothing, former NCAA referee Rashan Michel

What it means for OSU

According to United States Attorney Joon Kim, schools are not currently on the hook for this mess and have not been implicated, despite charges being made to assistant coaches at four schools.

“The schools, in a way, are a victim,” said Kim. “The schools are also a victim where they have hired college coaches who are taking bribes from managers and advisors to direct players who are entrusted in their care.”

Although assistants at USC, Arizona, Oklahoma State and Auburn are all implicated, neither the schools themselves, nor the head coaches at the schools, have been levied with any allegations. At least not yet.

Where this gets hairy is the NCAA side. When the NCAA gets involved, and it will, there will be a lot of questions. Primarily: Did Mike Boynton know of Evans’ doing? Then he, too, will be implicated. Did Boynton not know? He still could be guilty of a rotten circumstance, and OSU, too, for a lack of institutional control.

That could be a long time from now, though. In the present, it doesn’t appear that Mike Boynton is under any FBI watch. In fact, former Oklahoma State coach Brad Underwood might be more culpable than Boynton is.

It will be intriguing to see how and if OSU responds between now and whenever the NCAA comes down on these schools. At this point, this is more than an NCAA scandal. This is an FBI investigation, where wrist slaps and show-cause penalties are replaced with jail time.

As U.S. Attorney Kim said on Tuesday, this investigation, which has been covert for two years, is now an overt investigation. There has been a hotline set up to accept tips regarding these allegations and more.

That means dirt will come, more will be found guilty, and Tuesday could mark the beginning of one of the biggest scandals in college basketball history.

It’s yet to be determined what that means for Oklahoma State’s basketball program.

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