Oklahoma State finally got themselves some good news.
On Monday morning, Cade Cunningham announced that he will be honoring his commitment to Oklahoma State despite the fact that the Cowboys are currently banned from the 2021 NCAA Tournament.
“Loyalty. It’s more than a word,” Cunningham said in a statement posted to twitter. “It’s action. It’s standing by the people you started with. It’s showing up even when times are hard. It’s believing in the people that always believed in you. It’s commitment. Now, more than ever. I’m loyal and true. I’m committed. Stillwater, let’s work.”
This is huge news for Oklahoma State and head coach Mike Boynton for obvious reasons, and it shouldn’t come as much of a surprise. Cunningham had already turned down an offer that approached the money Jalen Green was paid to join the G League Pathway Program, and he turned it down again after the ban was announced. His brother was hired as an assistant coach, which made the idea of Cunningham playing college ball elsewhere fairly unlikely.
And there is still a chance that this ban gets overturned.
Because, to be frank, it’s one of the most egregious oversteps that the NCAA has ever made when punishing a program. You can read the long version here, but in short, Lamont Evans accepted bribes from shady financial advisors that provided no competitive advantage in exchange for trying to exert influence over where one borderline pro would invest his money after he left college. Jeffery Carroll, the only Oklahoma State player involved, was the victim of Evans’ crimes.
Evans was given a 10-year show-cause penalty and has already served three months in jail.
Piling on by banning Oklahoma State is just flat-out wrong.
Don’t punish this team because one former assistant coach was a bad person.