Will Early’s dismissal cost Sooners?
Early left early.
Barely into July, OU basketball coach Jeff Capel dismissed his recruit from the squad, for transgressions unknown but apparently related to a trespassing charge over the weekend, and now Capel is down to 10 scholarship players.
Ten is enough. But 10 is precarious.
Capel, who in April removed from the team Bobby Maze, now is one sprained ankle or one more dismissal from his team dipping into walkons for full-scale scrimmaging. Walkons or Capel himself.
As OSU found out last season, teams that can’t go all-out in practice are hard-pressed to improve as the season progresses. The Sooners, 16-15 in Capel’s first year, face a pivotal season, not because Capel’s job status is in question, but to jump-start his administration. Another mediocre season would drop OU basketball further into the shadows.
Early was not likely to be a difference-maker. Not in games. But practice could be another story.
There’s no quarrel with Capel’s decision to bounce Early. Capel seems to be no-nonsense, and no-nonsense early is better than no-nonsense late. Hopefully, it won’t cost Capel’s second Sooner squad. But it could.
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