Oklahoma State junior guard Davon Dillard and freshman guard Zack Dawson were dismissed from the basketball team for repeated violations of team rules, Cowboys coach Mike Boynton announced Thursday.
The dismissals were unrelated to the FBI investigation of former assistant coach Lamont Evans, who was fired after being charged with fraud and corruption. Boynton said the decision to dismiss Dillard and Dawson was made Wednesday.
Both were suspended to begin the season, with Dawson serving a one-game suspension and Dillard missing the first five games.
“This is probably the worst, if there’s a worst part of the job, is that these things happen,” Boynton said. “But my first and foremost responsibility is to the program. And I can’t make compromises in our core values when it comes to individual players. Neither one of those kids is a bad kid and that’s what makes it really, really hard. But they need this, and our program needs to move forward at this point. Certainly not an easy decision, but it’s one that’s necessary.”
Dillard averaged 4.3 points and 1.3 rebounds in four games this season, while Dawson averaged 4.4 points in five games.
The 6-foot-5 Dillard had suspension as a freshman before serving a key role off the bench last season.
Dawson, a 6-foot-3 freshman from Miami, signed with OSU last season and remained with the team when Boynton took over for Brad Underwood.
Boynton said he spoke with both players and their parents before making the decision.
“I’m a parent as well, so I certainly understand that people make mistakes,” Boynton said. “But we can’t ever compromise our core values. There are things we talk about daily in this program. Discipline is one of them and we will never compromise that for the sake of our program being as stable as possible, and unfortunately those kids haven’t met that expectation.”
Oklahoma State (7-2) will play No. 19 Florida State (9-0) on Saturday in Sunrise, Fla. Forward Yankuba Sima, a transfer from St. John’s, is expected to be eligible for the Cowboys for that game for the first time this season.