With OU, OSU players going 'home', is there added concern of lurking trouble?
Eddie Sutton's Oklahoma State Cowboys seemed to get a great draw in the 1994 NCAA Tournament. They were assigned to Oklahoma City's Myriad.
Alas, the blessing became a curse.
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The night before OSU's second-round game against Tulsa, senior Fred Burley was caught trying to sneak out of his hotel after curfew. Sutton suspended Burley for that Tulsa game, and OSU lost 82-80.
Burley was from OKC; he had been a star at Douglass High School.
And now both the Cowboys and Sooners take their football teams to bowl games in Greater Dallas, the home area of more than 20 players from each roster.
Do Mike Gundy and Bob Stoops have to add hall monitors? Is there extra danger of boys being boys when they're back in their old haunts?
“They have their high school buddies around,” Gundy said. “For that reason, you gotta be a little more careful.”
Gundy's been bit himself. Before the Cotton Bowl three seasons ago, Gundy suspended cornerback Perrish Cox, for curfew violations. Cox was from Waco, 100 miles south of Dallas.
“We have a standard, and it's been that way, within reason,” Gundy said. “We've had guys that are a minute or two late for curfew, or five minutes. We have a certain discipline there. And then if it's considerably worse, or it's a repeat offender, they usually go home.”
The temptation of high school buddies is not as prevalent in more exotic bowl locales. In the last several seasons, OSU has played in bowl games in San Diego, San Antonio and twice in Greater Phoenix. None are OSU recruiting hotbeds.
OU plays Texas A&M in the Cotton Bowl Classic on Jan. 4. The Sooners haven't played in the game since the 2001 season. They haven't played a bowl game in Houston since the 1970 season.
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