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Oklahoma Attorney General sends letter to NCAA denouncing penalties against Oklahoma State basketball

Mike Hunter, an OSU alum, said the NCAA’s ruling is “unjustifiable, illogical and needs to be reassessed.”

Oklahoma State v Oklahoma Photo by Ed Zurga/Getty Images

A state government official has started to plead the case for Oklahoma State basketball to have their NCAA sanctions reduced.

On Friday, Attorney General of Oklahoma Mike Hunter — an OSU alum — sent a three-page letter to the NCAA on behalf of the team, saying the ruling is “unjustifiable, illogical and needs to be re-assessed.”

On June 5, the NCAA Committee on Fractions placed OSU on three years of probation and banned the Cowboys from playing in postseason tournaments for the 2020-21 season. The penalties stem from Level 1 violations by former associate head coach Lamont Evans, who was sentenced in June 2019 to three months in prison for accepting between $18,150 and $22,000 in bribes to bring players from South Carolina and OSU to agents and financial advisers.

In a press release, the attorney general’s office said:

“OSU, the Committee argues, completely ‘owns the conduct’ of the coach,” Attorney General Hunter writes. “But this is not how the employer/employee relationship is typically understood to work. Employers are not usually responsible for every wrong employees commit, and especially not at the same level of culpability.”

Prosecutors generally treat favorably organizations that cooperate with investigators, recognizing that such entities are the ones best-positioned to probe corrupt acts of their own employees and assist in investigations and they should be incentivized to help root out such corruption, Attorney General Hunter continues. {oag.ok.gov}

The letter expresses Hunter’s concern that punishments placed on OSU were excessive. The full letter can be read here.

To have the state government on their side is huge for OSU, and while the response to the letter is yet to be seen, having your state’s attorney general on your side can’t be a bad thing in regards to the appeal.