Despite the fact that the team has already played 17 games this season, the Oklahoma State Cowboys are scrambling to add more players to their roster for the remainder of their schedule. Desperate for bodies to fill the bench, the team turned to the student population of OSU, offering walk-on tryouts on eight-hours notice.
Students had to do more than just show up and participate in whatever drills the coaches and trainers had planned. According to the announcement, they also had to do the following:
- Be a full-time student at OSU
- Be within your five-year NCAA eligibility window (first enrolled in fall of 2014)
- Have proof of health insurance
- Have had a physical within the last six months
- Proof of a sickle cell test (can be done at the Student Health Center)
Okay, fine, so this isn’t exactly an Invincible-style call to arms where anyone can just show up and try to fulfill their hoop dreams. But the reason this hastily-prepared solution is being done in the first place is so the program can deal with some recent issues as quickly as possible. Head coach Mike Boynton had to recently dismiss three players from his program because of a situation “that doesn’t necessarily fit into what we believe is the right way to build [Oklahoma State’s] program.”
What actually happened was freshman Maurice Calloo, sophomore Michael Weathers and freshman Kentrevious Jones were connected to a local vandalism investigation. According to a police report obtained by Tulsa World, the vandalism in question was $5,500 worth of damage to two cars done with BB guns. Though the investigation is still ongoing, Boynton has committed to these dismissals—and it probably had to do with a couple of the players’ history. Weathers had already dealt with a one-game suspension earlier this season after pleading guilty to knowingly concealing stolen property in September. Jones was another player who had previously gotten in trouble with the program, having been suspended twice for a team rules violation.
Boynton has been through this song and dance before. Oklahoma State is just over one year removed from dismissing junior guard Davon Dillard and freshman guard Zack Dawson for repeatedly violating team rules, and only one week removed from graduate-transfer Mike Cunningham electing to leave the program. Cunningham had also received a suspension from the team for violating team rules.
Given everything the program has dealt with over the past couple years, it might not matter if you can’t shoot, dribble or contribute athletically in any meaningful way—just promise not to cause any headaches, and you’ve probably got a spot on the team.