OU basketball: Capel supporters seem few
I hammered OU basketball coach Jeff Capel pretty good earlier this week, and I was very surprised at the response of readers. It was almost universal support for what I wrote.
That’s relatively unheard of. In the dark days of Sooner football, some zealots supported John Blake and even Howard Schnellenberger almost to the bitter end. Some hoop fans supported Kelvin Sampson even after the NCAA violations.
But support for Capel seems minimal. I got one email — I’ll share it in my weekend mail bag — accusing me of “piling on,” and a couple of radio sportstalk hosts, James Hale and my partner Al Eschbach, weren’t crazy about the column. But otherwise, seems like I struck a chord.
Wednesday night at the Thunder-Memphis game, more people (some I know, some I don’t) came up to me to talk about the Capel column than to talk about the impending Laker-OKC series.
In some ways, that’s good news for Sooner basketball. Who knew anyone cared enough anymore to get riled up? Just goes to show you that the fan base, while turned off and maybe even dormant, hasn’t lost its interest.
Some OU insiders have suggested that Capel is being quiet on the advice (demand?) of attorneys, pending the NCAA investigation of Tiny Gallon. I have no doubt that’s true. And I can understand Capel not talking about the alleged payments from some Florida scumbag to Gallon.
But there is no legal reason for Capel to keep mum about who is point guard is going to be. The Sooners have five players on scholarship right now; one of them is Gallon, who might not be eligible and wants to bolt anyway, as he admitted on Twitter.
You’ve basically got four ballplayers — Cade Davis, Kyle Hardrick, Steven Pledger and Andrew Fitzgerald — and two of them were suspended for shoplifting a couple of months ago. That’s not much of a basketball team.
Fans deserve to know how this program crumbled so quickly and what Capel plans to do about it. Any advice to go into a total shell serves only to make Capel look worse and eat into his credibility with fans. Those fans apparently still care, to some degree. Better to incur their wrath than to run them off completely.
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