OSU: How enticing is the job?
There’s a feeling among some that the way Sean Sutton was treated at OSU will scare away some prospective coaches. Boone Pickens’ money and power, the short string given a favorite son, the entire uncomfortableness of it all — playing on a court named after a man (Eddie Sutton) who isn’t likely to step foot in Gallagher-Iba Arena anytime soon.
That could be right. On the other hand, who would you rather follow. A coach who moved on because he was wildly successful, or a coach who was shown the door? Look at Texas A&M, where Mark Turgeon took over for Billy Gillispie, who literally brought Texas A&M basketball to life before going to Kentucky. Turgeon ended up with a nice season, thanks to a first-round NCAA Tournament victory over BYU and taking UCLA to the wire. But it was choppy waters, with an 8-8 Big 12 record, and now with some talent moving on, Turgeon’s not in great standing with the Aggies, who still are wondering what kind of coach they got compared to the jewel who left.
The next OSU coach could be stepping into a great spot. Remember the old proverb: Don’t follow the legend; follow the guy who follows the legend. We sort of lost all that perspective in the Sutton saga; sort of grouped Eddie and Sean Sutton all into one big era, into one big coaching conglomerate, which frankly might have been the problem in the first place.
The truth is, Sean was not getting it done as the OSU coach, and the only real question is whether he deserved more time to change people’s minds. Some say yes, some say no, and both sides have valid points. But no one in Cowboyland is saying, wow, things were going great! Why’d they make a switch?
That’s the environment into which the new coach steps. It’s not rock bottom. The Cowboys haven’t been a bad basketball team; they just haven’t been a good basketball team. A new coach has some players with which to work. Come in, start winning and we’re talking toast of the town.
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