OU coach Jeff Capel, right, has not talked publicly since March 10. Since then, multiple players have left the program and reports have surfaced of a player accepting $3,000 from a financial adviser. Photo by Nate Billings, The Oklahoman
Hire a 31-year-old, as Joe Castiglione did four Aprils ago, and you get all that goes with such a novice. A coach who can relate to recruits down to the music on their iPods, but also a coach who isn’t a bridge over troubled waters.
The possible NCAA violations are most troubling. OU is just emerging from the Kelvin Sampson probation; to be playing with matches again is inexcusable.
Castiglione, who stood by Sampson only to see Kelvin bolt for Indiana, comes out looking bad if he hired the man who hired another rules-breaker.
Joe C. again is standing by his man but can’t be happy with the state of his program.
Truth is, Capel has not endeared himself to some OU leaders, even in the good times. His big pay raise last spring, after the Blake Griffin-led run to an NCAA regional final, came after flirtations with other jobs.
Bob Stoops, at the top of his profession, hasn’t negotiated that way. Rubbed some wrong that 34-year-old Jeff Capel did.
It all adds up to one big mess.
Both Billy Tubbs and Sampson departed as OU basketball coaches in rare instances of truly mutual breakups. They left for other jobs, and OU — fans and brass — were glad to see them go. But Tubbs (14 years) and Sampson (12) were on the job a long time.
Capel’s honeymoon has ended in a much shorter span. If his OU days end soon, few will lament his leaving.
405-760-8080; Berry Tramel can be heard Monday through Friday from 4:40-5:20 p.m. on The Sports Animal radio network, including AM-640 and FM-98.1.