Former Oklahoma State basketball coach Sean Sutton met with the media Friday prior to entering a entering a guilty plea for multiple drug charges. Here is his prepared statement:
Thank you for coming this morning.
It may be hard for some of you to believe, but I have looked forward to the opportunity to address the media for some time. I certainly do not take any pleasure in what has brought us together today. In fact, I regret more than any of you will ever know what happened earlier this year. I am embarrassed. My irresponsible action caused a lot of pain for a number of people. It is only by the grace of God and the unwavering love of my wife, sons, parents, brothers and many other family members and friends across the country that I can stand before you today at peace with the past and looking forward to the future.
Shortly, I will stand before a judge and plead guilty to unlawfully obtaining and possessing prescription drugs for non-medical purposes. I accept full responsibility for what happened. There are no excuses. I did it. I am sorry. And now I must face the consequences.
For 115 days, I willingly subjected myself to a demanding and rigorous drug recovery and rehabilitation program at what is without question the finest facility of its kind -- Cirque Lodge in Sundance, Utah. Even though the setting was beautiful, this was no vacation. The program was intense, and it was the most challenging thing I have ever done in my life. The people were tremendous, and they have created a place of peace, hope and recovery. I entered Cirque Lodge a broken man, recognizing I could lose everything I treasured in life.
Trena and I are very pleased that Gary Fisher, director of operations at Cirque Lodge, is here with us today. Gary, thank you. I can say without hesitation, Gary and his team not only helped me turn my life around, but saved my life; and in so doing, I am happier than I have been in many, many years. But, I am not naÃ¯ve. I am on a journey for life. Failure is not an option. I have experienced firsthand the powerful grip prescription drug abuse and addiction can have on a person. And I have witnessed the horrible impact it can have on a family. I am committed to breaking the awful cycle of addiction that has harmed my family. I don't want my three boys -- Hunter, Spencer and Parker -- or my nieces and nephews to ever experience the heartache of addiction.
Prescription drug abuse and addiction is an epidemic in our country. If you recognize you have a problem, don't wait to ask for help. There is hope. You can change course and regain control of your life. I now have a lifelong commitment to self awareness, spiritual growth and recovery. I have my family, and I have my future. Life is good.
Speaking of family, I want to thank my beautiful wife, Trena, for the love, support, and strength she has displayed during these trying times. There is no better wife in the world. She does not deserve what she has endured. I have caused her much pain. She has been there with me and for me. My love for her is uncompromised. She is my rock and my angel. I am thankful and grateful to have her as my partner and my best friend. Trena, I love you, and I am proud of you. I will forever be by your side.
As for my three boys, they mean the world to me. They inspire me to be better. They are great kids, and I want to be the father they deserve. My family has come second to my career for many years. See, coaching basketball is what I do, it is not who I am. From this point forward, my family is my first priority. I have a renewed appreciation for what is really important in life. I treasure my parents, brothers, nieces and nephews. I apologize to each of you, and I am so thankful for your continuous support -- to love me even when I am not very lovable.
I must say, however, I caused a lot of pain, and I owe the people of Oklahoma, especially the youth, an apology for being a poor example. I also want to apologize to the sport of college basketball for the negative publicity this has brought to the game. Again, I am deeply, deeply sorry. I know I have a lot to prove to regain your confidence and restore your faith in me. I am ready, and with God's help and the support of family and friends, I believe I can earn your trust again.
My heart was warmed by the overwhelming support I received from fellow coaches across the country. The letters, the prayers, and the words of encouragement lifted my spirit and fueled my recovery. Your expressions of kindness turned hopelessness into hope. To the many Oklahoma State fans who called and wrote, thank you very much. It meant a lot to me and my family. OSU will always have a special place in my heart.
I would love to coach again at some point. I don't know when, but I do know, as tough as this experience has been for me, I have emerged a better person -- stronger, yet humbled -- and I am confident I will be a better coach if and when an appropriate opportunity arises.
Lastly, I do not blame anybody. This was my mistake. I am now at peace with my past, and I am committed to live in the present and look forward to building a bright future with my wonderful family and many wonderful friends.
Thank you, I will now take your questions.