Doug Gottlieb has made a career as one of the most successful opinion makers in sports media by letting it rip, even if it means taking to task his alma mater.
Gottlieb, now a talk show host with FOX Sports Radio, joined Pete Mundo on the Heartland College Sports podcast last week and was asked about Oklahoma State basketball’s postseason suspension for the 2021-22 season.
This decision steams back to former assistant coach Lamont Evans’ involvement in a bribery scandal, where he would link top players to managers and financial advisers in exchange for bribes. In June of 2020, the Cowboys were hit with sanctions. Evidence obtained by the federal government caught Evans willingly participating in recruiting players to schools he was employed by: Oklahoma State and before that South Carolina. Evans accepted at least $18,150 in bribes — all of it money unknowingly provided by the federal government during its sting operation. Evans was working with Christian Dawkins, a former runner for a sports agency, who was trying to build out his own business for future basketball clients. Evans was convicted in May 2019.
The Cowboys appealed the decision last year, stating the school did not benefit from Evans’ actions and cooperated throughout the NCAA’s investigation.
Gottlieb responded to the question about Oklahoma State’s NCAA Tournament suspension by saying, “Oklahoma State was at least a little bit disingenuous in the way in which they approached what happened and incredibly disingenuous with the ‘woe is me’ when they were not allowed to participate in this year’s tournament, because all that was was a ruling that had taken place over a year before and then. And Oklahoma State had smartly appealed and because of COVID there was no appeal hearings, and because it was under appeal, when you had the best player in the country [Cade Cunningham], you got to play in the NCAA Tournament. And so while you didn’t like the initial ruling, all the NCAA did was say we are going to go back over it and the intial ruling stands.”
Now Gottlieb was also quick to point out that what Oklahoma State was not necessarily worthy of such suspension, adding, “Do I think that rises to the level of making the program miss the NCAA Tournament for a year when you had players and coaches not involved? I don’t. But I thought the way in which they approached it was at least a little bit disingenuous in the ties to the assistant and then the ‘How will you keep us out the tournament?’ when that ruling came down a year and a half before and they benefited from COVID to get into [the NCAA Tournament in 2021].”
You can listen to Gottlieb’s entire conversation with Pete Mundo as they discuss the craziness of NIL and the future of the Big 12 Conference in the Heartland College Sports podcast.