Emails on the Sutton saga
The people have spoken. The majority of OSU fans support Mike Holder in the Sean Sutton decision. That is abundantly clear from my emails.
Leonard writes, “While it seems that some may have a personal vendetta against the AD (and he may not win a popularity contest), I wonder if this invocation of a fairness doctrine (‘more than two years’) is applicable also to the AD having an obligation to make a ‘fair’ and ‘reasoned’ judgment about the future of the program? His job description is not circumscribed by some calendar for basketball coaches. Are there not program, leadership, donor, alumni and future image issues that come into play and that might be separate from the whereabouts of the Sutton family? I just do not buy the conspiracy theory that somebody connived and plotted (like subversive spies) to do this coach in.”
People like to believe in conspiracy theories. I think it helps them figure out their place in the world.
EdmondVet writes: “I have heard a lot of radio/TV analysts saying if you were only going to give Sean two years, why hire him in the first place? Holder didn’t hire Sean in the first place. He was handed Sean by (Harry) Birdwell. Birdwell conducted no national search for a coach and was basically appeasing Eddie Sutton by naming Sean as coach designate. Birdwell supposedly had to lock Sean up or SMU was going to hire him away. It would have done Sean some good to go to SMU and better prepare himself for Eddie’s retirement. Who knows if Holder would have hired Sean three years later?”Actually, the question is this: Doesn’t matter if the guy has been on the job for two years or 20. If you know he’s not the right man for the job, why wait 15 minutes to do something about it?
Chris writes, “I’m not a super rich donor. I love
University. I have great tickets because I applied for them in the Paul Hansen/Leonard Hamilton era when no one wanted to attend. Some of the most enjoyable leisure times of my life have been at GIA. Although I’m profoundly sad about what has happened to Sean, my most honest feeling as a fan is one of excitement. Do I think Sean has the knowledge to be a successful D-1 head coach? Without a doubt. Do I think he possess the communication skills and personality to be a successful D-1 head coach? Sadly, no. Do I like Mike Holder? No, not really. Do I think he is a unique talent and wildly successful in whatever he’s undertaken? Again, without a doubt. I understand why media might be leery of Holder and even Boone. But my gosh, both men have proven themselves as winners in some tough arenas. Who among the media would turn down their gifts of money and devotion to their alma maters? Again, I hurt for Sean and his family. I desperately wanted him to succeed. I came to the conclusion late in the season that it wasn’t going to happen for Sean in
Stillwater now or in the future. As a fan I’m excited about new leadership in the basketball program. Again, I’m not a Holder fan. I’m not a Pickens fan, but I’m so grateful that he gives OSU a chance for success in athletics. I think they got this one right.”
Well said. I, too, am saddened about what happened to Sean. But just because Mike Holder is a strange bird doesn’t mean he’s wrong.
Josh wants to know if Bruce Pearl is “a legitimate candidate? Is this just a negotiation ploy? That would be a home run hire and not impossible to get. He is already second fiddle to football, he has to share the stage with Pat Summit, he’s in the same division as Kentucky and Florida, plus he’s in the same state as Vandy and
Memphis. Someone would really have to work hard to convince me that Tennessee is a better basketball job than
State. They have never been past the Sweet 16 in their history. I do not think Self is coming, nor Gillispie, but
Pearl seems like he would be attainable. Am I crazy?”
Josh, there’s no way I can comment on your mental status with a proper evaluation. But I think it’s possible
Pearl could be interested in the job, although I think it’s more likely he’s using it as a way to get a bigger contract.
John writes, “I feel that the firing of Sean was inevitable when you take everything into consideration – player development, off court issues, fan support, perception of the program, work ethic. That combined with a boss that demands very high standards in all of those areas, this decision was a no-brainer despite what seems to be a general consensus of local media types. It is for the same reasons that I believe the outcome from all of this will put OSU on a path to success not even reached in the Sutton era. By next week the Sean issue will be a somewhat distant memory I believe.” Well, I’m a lover of optimism, but I see no way OSU can surpass the Sutton era. Duplicate it, perhaps. Supercede it, no way, although I suppose an NCAA title, which is always possible if you reach the Final Four, is possible.
Richard writes, “Holder absolutely did the right thing in pushing Sean out the door. He had to stop the bleeding. Now he needs to hire a top quality coach. But so far, so good. By the way, Tramel, welcome back. Your articles yesterday and today have been right on the money. You are an excellent writer, but for the last few months (since Jenni’s piece on Bobby Reid) you have sounded too often like a guy who lives in
Norman when writing about OSU.”Richard, I have been telling it like it is both before, during and after the Gundy tirade.
Dan writes, “I can tell you what a lot of the more silent OSU fans are thinking. 1. When Sean was made the head coach designate, OSU fans were told it was because Sean was already the head coach in-fact and was recruiting and coaching in place of Eddie, therefore he’d simply carry on this success. Over the past 21/2 seasons, this looks to be false. 2. When Sean was made the head coach designate, a lot of fans thought this was premature and in fact, it cut off any possibility of getting Bill Self, whom a LOT of OSU fans were wanting to get before Eddie actually retired. Eddie was likely thinking of his son’s best interest and not necessarily the school’s, as many fathers would do. 3. With Sean in charge, OSU has missed three consecutive NCAAs and done poorly in the NIT. This was with a skilled team. What would he do without the star players? 4. The comparison between Gundy and Sean is ludicrous. While people don’t like to have mediocre seasons, he went to two straight bowl games and won. This is the football equivalent of going to the NCAA’s for Sean. If Gundy had not gone to two straight bowls, there would be many fans grumbling for a change. The defense is poor, but at least his offense is fun for the fans to watch.”
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