I still have a recording of Lamont Evans from Mike Boynton’s introductory press conference that I don’t know whether to keep or not because it is a piece of history now.
Funny enough, the day Evans was arrested by the FBI – a day when I would have to become familiar with his name again along with the rest of America – I couldn’t remember who he was.
That’s because I was woken up by my roommate at 8 a.m. knocking on my door and telling me that Evans had been charged by the FBI for corruption. My initial reaction was incredulous for three reasons. One: I had forgotten Evans’ name because I had only talked to the assistant men’s basketball coach one time; secondly, it was early in the morning for a sportswriter whose nights usually end in the wee hours of 2 or 3 a.m.; thirdly, my roommate is known for conspiracy theories that may or may not be true.
This time, the news was true. For the rest of the day and week, I had to take charge of the News Press’s investigation, which I have to thank my roommate for getting me up as I was awake before my coworkers in the sports department were.
So began a week of records requests, rumors and reactions to this sad ordeal. Which, at the time I thought was sad. I wrote a column that said it was only the beginning of the end for OSU; thinking Boynton might have been involved and OSU player Jeffrey Carroll – who had been mentioned in the court records – was finished.
Here we sit, a game into conference play and there has been relatively little news from the FBI since.
The Cowboys are 10-3, with all three losses to top 10 teams. Boynton, who my colleagues and I defended from the get-go in March against the Doug Gottleib –faction, has taken me back as a fan of him.
I thought the warning signs were there as Boynton had named Evans his “co-coach” and called him a brother that Boynton had to know something. The fact, though unrelated, that his contract wasn’t signed at the time made me worry even more. Like most people covering OSU the past year, I learned to not buy into things at the surface value because of what Brad Underwood had done.
Now, Carroll has been cleared by a grand jury; the players are fighting with style and tenacity; and Boynton is as endearing as he is honest, something you don’t usually get as a member of the media with a coach. It’s not just me either as the fans – who most were already not giving Boynton a chance – have started to come around, with a good crowd present for Friday night’s game against West Virginia.
Although Chuck Smrt’s firm has yet to have any findings from OSU’s internal investigation, I didn’t see anything in the files OSU sent to the FBI by way of subpoena. Not saying I’m an expert by any means.
I’m just saying that it doesn’t feel like Doomsday anymore. College basketball continues to go on. News of pay-for-play programs have gone to the wayside for now and just play on the court and bad officiating dominate the headlines like usual.
As for what I will do with this Evans’ recording, I guess I will keep it in case anything ever happens in the investigation. I just hope that when more charges do come out, it’s not at the crack of dawn.
Jordan Bishop is a sports reporter for the Stillwater News Press and can be reached at email@example.com.