ESPN documentary helps restore Marcus Dupree's connection to Oklahoma

by Berry Tramel Modified: December 23, 2010 at 7:53 pm •  Published: December 23, 2010
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“He's so friendly, just like a big teddy bear,” said former OU assistant coach Bobby Proctor, who stopped by the store to chat with Dupree.

Proctor encouraged Dupree to move back to Oklahoma. “Lots of people here would love to help you,” Proctor told him.

Dupree doesn't seem to have a bitter bone in his body. Look at it this way. Barry Switzer, maybe the greatest players' coach football ever has seen, admits he mishandled no player like he mishandled the sensitive Dupree. Yet Dupree still embraces Switzer.

“I still love Coach Switzer,” Dupree said.

That's why he came to OU in the first place. “I liked his swagger,” Dupree said. “The way he did interviews. He had good teams, good players.”

The 2010 Sooners are headed to the Fiesta Bowl. In the 1982 season Fiesta Bowl, Dupree rushed for 239 yards against Arizona State, but that wasn't enough for Switzer, who pointed out that if Dupree had been in shape, he could have run for 400 yards.

Nonsense, Dupree says today. “I should have had 500 yards.”

What would Dupree tell an 18-year-old hotshot running back who is confused and doesn't know what to do?

Said the man who once fit that exact description: “Tell him to come to Oklahoma.”

Dupree lives with regrets. He said on the film and he says on East Alameda, he should have stayed at OU.

“First of all, I could have gotten my degree,” Dupree said. “Second of all, I could have won the Heisman Trophy. Third of all, I could have won two national championships.

“That's the reason I came to Oklahoma, to do all those things.”

Those things didn't happen. But now perhaps Dupree can come back to Oklahoma and find something just as good.

Peace. Roots. Cheers. Lots of cheers. He's heard them before in Oklahoma. He's hearing them again.

Berry Tramel: Berry can be reached at (405) 760-8080 or at btramel@opubco.com. He 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. You can also view his personality page at newsok.com/berrytramel.


by Berry Tramel
Columnist
Berry Tramel, a lifelong Oklahoman, sports fan and newspaper reader, joined The Oklahoman in 1991 and has served as beat writer, assistant sports editor, sports editor and columnist. Tramel grew up reading four daily newspapers — The...
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