OSU basketball: Cowboys signee Donovan Williams so far remains committed despite NCAA penalties
Donovan Williams thought Oklahoma State coach Mike Boynton was calling for a routine check-in Friday morning.
It wasn’t a cheery conversation.
The Cowboys received a one-year postseason ban and the loss of three scholarships for the next three seasons from the NCAA on Friday. OSU will appeal, but Boynton wanted Williams to hear it from him first.
Shock was evident. Williams, a four-star guard from Lincoln, Nebraska, who is a key piece of the Cowboys’ top-10-ranked recruiting class, was not expecting that kind of news.
- Related to this story
- Article: 'Completely, completely out of balance': OSU basketball angry, disappointed after NCAA deals postseason ban, scholarship reduction
- Article: OSU basketball: Lamont Evans case's resolution has Mike Holder ready to fight for Cowboys
- Article: Opinion: NCAA isn't messing around this time. Watch out Kansas, Arizona and LSU
“It was pretty upsetting, especially because it caught me completely off guard,” Williams told The Oklahoman. “I feel like it struck me out of nowhere.”
But Williams processed the news and for now reaffirmed his commitment to the Cowboys.
“I told him right now I’m still all in,” Williams said. “That's not going to change my mind. Now, if something else happens and a lot of players decide to leave, maybe I’ll rethink it and check my options. But as of now, nothing has changed for me at all.”
Not long after Boynton received the news, he began to call his players. He reached out to current players. He called future players, including No. 1-ranked recruit Cade Cunningham.
Boynton said he would understand if they want to leave.
So far, nobody has expressed a desire to leave.
Williams said he spoke with former Putnam West star Rondel Walker. Williams said Walker intends to remain pledged to the Cowboys.
But neither know what Cunningham will do.
He could join the G-League, play overseas or even transfer elsewhere. Should he leave, that could mean more players exit, even if OSU is locked in a lengthy appeals process.
“One of the main reasons I decided to come here was because of Cade,” Williams said. “If he decides to leave, where does that put both (me and Walker)?”
Williams also talked with OSU star Isaac Likekele, who Williams said is rallying the players together. Likekele told Williams he loves playing for Boynton and doesn’t want to leave.
That gave Williams hope that the Cowboys will be all right one way or another.
“I’m pretty sure we’re all on the same page here,” Williams said. “I’m not sure what everybody else is thinking. Right now, it’s hard to tell because it just happened today. There’s a lot of decisions to be made.
“I’ve got about 25 days to figure it out and we’ll see what happens from there.”