What Mike Boynton & Chad Weiberg had to say after NCAA rejected Oklahoma State's appeal
STILLWATER — Oklahoma State athletic director Chad Weiberg and men’s basketball coach Mike Boynton addressed the media Wednesday following the NCAA’s denial of the university’s appeal for sanctions banning the program from the postseason.
Here are the opening statements from both, starting with Boynton’s emotional, unscripted speech:
OSU basketball coach Mike Boynton
“Thank you all for being here. I’m disappointed, disgusted, appalled, frustrated … but somewhere in Indianapolis is a group of people celebrating.
“Stan Wilcox gave a directive … he sent John Duncan … and the team … to save face.
“Our players don’t deserve, they shouldn’t have to deal with this. Russell Register and Sharika Montgomery came here and interviewed everybody they could, and they uncovered nothing.
“The FBI did its job and so did we. There was a single NCAA violation. One player received $300. One player. Not a recruit. Not a future recruit. Not a family member. One current player received $300.
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“In of itself, because it was self-reported by us, it’s secondary violation to which the punishment is you pay the money back, you serve your suspension, which the kid did, and you move on.
“How we’re here and Stan Wilcox and John Duncan and Russell Register and Sherika Montgomery and the committee on infractions to include Ellen Ferris, Anthony Jenkins, Jonathan Alger, Allison Rich and David Shipley — that’s the appeals committee, excuse me.
“The committee on infractions: Alberto Gonzales, Joel Maturi, Gary Miller, Vince Nicastro, Larry Parkinson, Thomas Sullivan and I don’t know the young man’s name who’s the general counsel at Princeton (Sankar Suryanarayan). I can’t say it and I won’t try to butcher it.
“They slept well last night. They felt good about the work they did, while I explained to 17 kids that their dreams of playing in the NCAA Tournament this year couldn’t be realized. And that’s shameful. It’s no wonder that nobody trusts them, because they get to hind behind letters, COI and (IAC), and they don’t have to come do this and answer questions and talk to kids and talk to parents.
“So, the message is clear, because we had one $300 violation, no failure to monitor, no lack of institutional control, no recruiting violations, no head coach responsibility, no players playing ineligible, so if you got some of those things going on, don’t do what we did. What we did was we asked them that we work with them through this process. ...
“On Jan. 20, 2020, I flew to Atlanta to do the first round of this process with the NCAA. The next day, we played OU here. It was important I be there. I went to Atlanta for no reason, to cooperate with them, to cooperate with John Duncan and Sherika Montgomery and Russell Register.
“And then this year on Feb. 7 while in Lawrence, Kansas, for a game, the day we played we had an appeal hearing. And we cooperated and we showed up and we answered their questions and we provided all the information they asked.
“So, if you’re one of those other schools, be careful what they ask you for. Stan Wilcox should be ashamed that he gave this mandate, because this was about trying to save face for something that was uncovered, not because of their doing.
“And now our cooperation has made it worse for a guy like Isaac Likekele, who was nowhere near Stillwater when this was happening. I had a young man in my meeting last night raise his hand and ask me, ‘Coach, what are we talking about?’ That’s how long it’s been.
“They’re not answering any questions today. That’s all you need to know about them.”
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OSU athletic director Chad Weiberg
“I am profoundly disappointed, dismayed and disgusted by the NCAA’s decision after a four-and-a-half year process, a process that took over twice as long as the FBI’s original investigation. To use this flawed and inconsistent process to take away the opportunity for postseason and the NCAA Tournament from student-athletes that had nothing whatsoever to do with this case proves to me that the national office has chosen to weaponize the NCAA Tournament against the very membership that has turned it into the lifeblood of the NCAA. I have a deep and fundamental disagreement with the NCAA using the tournament in this way.
“It is the bad actors, those that knowingly circumvent and violate the rules that should be punished. It is unnecessary to punish these student-athletes this way, and is further proof that the NCAA system is disconnected and broken. Deep and drastic changes are need to create a better, more consistent and fairer model. ...
“We began this process with the NCAA before Coach Boynton had the opportunity to coach his first game as a head coach at Oklahoma State and this week we enter his fifth season. He has recruited and coached every single game with this investigation, infractions and appeals process taking place. It has not stopped or even slowed him and this Cowboy basketball program. And this decision today will not either.
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“I want every OSU fan to know that we take playing by the rules very seriously. We will continue to do so. Upon learning of the FBI’s evidence we never disputed that we employed a person that was operating outside our system and outside the rules. We took immediate action to remove him and began cooperating with the NCAA. Because of that, I’m very concerned that today’s decision will send a very chilling message to the NCAA membership that cooperating in an investigation with our own governing body is not in your best interest.
“What message does it to send to the membership that you can receive a postseason ban regardless of the fact the findings found no lack of institutional control, no head coach responsibility, no failure to monitor, no academic fraud or misconduct, no participation of ineligible players as result of violations and no recruiting violation, a decision we believe has never happened before in the history of the NCAA?
“What is the membership to make of a postseason ban for student-athletes five seasons after the fact because of a rogue employee who was acting solely on behalf of his personal self interests, went to great lengths to hide it from his employer and resulted in zero advantages in recruiting or competing for the institution? It seems to me if it were applied consistently, the message the NCAA is sending to membership is a new standard. Of course, it remains to be seen if this new standard will be applied consistently. Only time will tell and we will be watching.
“In closing, I know I am joined by our alumni and fans in saying that I’m as proud today of Cowboy basketball, Coach Boynton and these student-athletes as I have ever been. I know the entire OSU family joins me in thanking Coach Boynton for his leadership and the way he and his program represent our institution.
“I know we will rally around and get behind Coach Boynton and this team. We start the season on Friday and look forward to having everyone back in Gallagher-Iba Arena this year. The future of this program remains bright. Great things are ahead for Cowboy basketball.”
Jacob Unruh covers college sports for The Oklahoman. You can send your story ideas to him at email@example.com or on Twitter at @jacobunruh. Support his work and that of other Oklahoman journalists by purchasing a digital subscription today.