Coach Mike Boynton has been facing adversity since Oklahoma State hired him in March 2017. Boynton came into Oklahoma State looking to change the culture of a program that had just abruptly lost a head coach and had a former assistant under a FBI investigation.
Dismissed five players
Boynton started to integrate his culture immediately. In December of his first season Boynton dismissed junior Davon Dillard and freshman Zack Dawson for repeated violation of team rules. Boynton said the dismissals were not related to the FBI investigation into Evans.
“Being a part of Cowboy basketball has always and will always be an honor and a privilege,” Boynton told reporters in 2017 at the time of dismissal. “With that privilege comes great responsibilities and standards. (Dillard and Dawson) have failed to meet those standards and at this point it is necessary to move in different and athletic careers.”
After dismissing the first two players Boynton’s tenure seemed to be on the right path until three players were arrested in January 2019. Michael Weathers, Maurice Calloo and and Kentrevious Jones were arrested after they fired BB guns at cars in a Stillwater neighborhood. The three players were dismissed from the team immediately.
Only eight players on roster
After the dismissal of Weathers, Calloo and Jones, Boynton was left with only eight players on roster. The Cowboys held walk-on tryouts to fill spots in order for the team to be able to run 5 v 5 drills in practice. Eventually those players began to dress out for games giving Boynton more options off the bench for a wearing down starting lineup and an injured Trey Reeves. All of the walk-ons saw action in the season. The Cowboys finished the season 12-20 and 5-13 in Big 12 play.
Marcus Watson suspended from team
In October 2019 weeks before the season was set to begin incoming freshman guard Marcus Watson was suspended from the team after a protective order was filed against him. Watson received notice of the order after a female student filed the protective order as a “victim of rape.” Watson entered his name into the transfer portal and has since transferred to New Mexico State following the Title IX.
NCAA Level I violation
In the midst of a down 2020 conference schedule the Cowboys took another hit they received notice of Level I violations stemming from an FBI probe. In September 2017, the FBI arrested OSU assistant coach Lamont Evans on bribery charges. Evans was fired three days later. On Friday, the NCAA handed down its punishment to OSU resulting in a one-year postseason ban among other punishments. Boynton was never named in the report, but must deal with the consequences of other peoples actions. Boynton had the Cowboys set to have one of the best teams in OSU history with a top-5 recruiting class and returning most key contributors from last season.
“This will not stop me from having success,” Boynton told reporters on a conference call. “This is going to be another bump in the road in what seems like an encyclopedia of bumps in the road, but we will have success.”
Boynton has worked hard to build OSU basketball back up to the caliber that Henry Iba and Eddie Sutton set. However, every time it seems Boynton is headed in the right direction something knocks him off course.
“I feel like certainly there’s been a lot of headwind,” Boynton said. “Thought I had the plane turned around and the wind changed on me.”