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Dumping Sutton so soon sets a dangerous precedent in Stillwater

by Jenni Carlson Modified: April 2, 2008 at 7:29 am •  Published: April 2, 2008
Sean Sutton came as close to being a head coach as any assistant could when he worked for his father.

He still didn't know everything about being the main man.

Late this season, though, the Oklahoma State men's basketball coach looked like he might be getting it figured out. His Cowboys looked better. So did he.

But now, Sutton is out. He came to a mutual agreement with OSU athletic director Mike Holder on Monday to resign, less than 23 months after officially taking over the reins in Stillwater.

It's too soon.

These past two seasons have been disappointments for lots of reasons.

No NCAA Tournament bids. Off-court troubles. Empty Gallagher-Iba seats.

Still, there were signs as this past season went on that Sutton was figuring things out.

No doubt the last few years coaching under his legendary father, Sutton learned tons. He watched how Eddie Sutton worked, how he handled problems, how he dealt with alumni and administrators. He also headed up the recruiting and the offensive game planning.

When the younger Sutton became the OSU head coach in May 2006, he was as prepared as any assistant could be to make that leap. He still couldn't know all the potholes and the pitfalls.

No one does until the sign on the big office has their name on it.

And for the better part of two seasons, Sutton floundered.

Continue reading this story on the...

by Jenni Carlson
Jenni Carlson, a sports columnist at The Oklahoman since 1999, came by her love of sports honestly. She grew up in a sports-loving family in Kansas. Her dad coached baseball and did color commentary on the radio for the high school football...
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