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Keeping tabs: Boynton's longstanding ties with the NCAA committee

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Mike Boynton

Mike Boynton met with students to discuss some basketball. 

For Oklahoma State coach Mike Boynton, communication with the NCAA committee has been anything but a one-off occurrence.

With the NCAA’s ruling on Wednesday to deny OSU’s infractions appeal, the Cowboys have been slapped hard with enforcements. Among the list of punishments include a one-year postseason ban, a loss of three scholarships over the next three years and a three-year probation period.

For the Pokes -- their conclusion to five years include both present-day predicaments, but also lost time.

In an hour-long impromptu interview with Boynton and athletic director Chad Weiberg, a vast array of topics were covered, and though many issues were tackled in now, that lost time still remained. In the case of Boynton -- it cost him some game days.

“On Jan. 20 of 2020, I flew to Atlanta to do the first round of this process with the NCAA," Boynton said. "The next day we played OU here [at home]. It was important that I’d be here, I went to Atlanta for no reason, to cooperate with them, to cooperate with John Duncan and Sharika Montgomery and Russell Register.

"And then this year, while in Lawrence, Kansas, for a game, the day we played, we had an appeal here [in Stillwater], and we cooperated, and we showed up, and we’d answer 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.”

Boynton’s committee of constituents for the calls, Duncan, Montgomery and Register, were all integral parts in OSU’s punishment process, and had the ultimate say in the program's fate.

As far Boynton’s Zoom call experiences, his exchange in Lawrence struck a chord, as his cooperation pried him from on-court time.

“We did it [a Zoom conference] on game day, and that morning," Boynton said. “I was prepared to just have the Zoom meeting on, but not have my camera or my microphone on to just listen during the same time as our shootaround. And then about 30 minutes before, they requested my visual presence, so I was at shootaround, in Lawrence, up in the stands, not helping my team prepare for the game.

"I understand is that the committee came from all different places, some of them are private practice attorneys, some of them are on campuses, conferences, it’s not like they work together all the time. So they get together that day to discuss the outcome.”

Boynton didn’t take the game-day shootaround lightly, as he saw the game as a major momentum-shifter while also stirring up some raw emotion.

“I remember being very frustrated. The team had a little momentum heading up there, and Kansas was reeling a little bit. We had a chance to really establish [ourselves]," Boynton said. "It is a joke. I’m literally sitting in the stands of Allen Fieldhouse on a Zoom meeting while my guys are down there trying to practice. It’s a shame.”

The back-and-forth between Mike Boynton and the NCAA dates far past two years of practice as his introductory press conference five years ago was heavily centered around the ongoing conflict. Now, with the NCAA’s official ruling, some may say Boynton’s relationship with the committee is a thing of the past, however, according to Boynton there is still no end.

“But it’s not over," Boynton said. "The right decision could have brought some closure here. So while one part of it, in that we don’t have to worry about what the outcome is, is over, there’s still some residual effect. There’s a kid who’s not going to get a scholarship to college because we can’t offer one over the next whatever years it is with that scholarship reduction."

sports.ed@ocolly.com