Share “For OSU, Sutton 'wasn't working'”

by Berry Tramel Modified: February 12, 2010 at 12:14 pm •  Published: April 2, 2008
STILLWATER — Lack of victories didn't cost Sean Sutton his job. Lack of leadership did.

That's what can be culled from a strange but predictable Tuesday on the Oklahoma State University campus, when OSU fired a favorite son as basketball coach.

OSU athletic director Mike Holder removed Sean not so much because of two straight mediocre seasons, but because Holder didn't believe things would improve.

Holder won't say that straight up and didn't Tuesday at a press conference in Gallagher-Iba Arena.

But Sean's shortcomings as a head coach went far past a 39-29 overall record and no NCAA Tournament appearances.

Two years is not enough time to give a coach to win. But it is enough time for a boss to judge whether a coach can get the job done.

"For whatever reason, it wasn't working,” Holder said.

Holder declined to address specifics on why he and Sean "mutually agreed” that a coaching change was necessary.

"That's between Sean and I,” Holder said. "I'm not a micromanager. I'm not going to tell a guy how to run his program.”

But Holder has had "many” conversations with Sean. "He knew what the expectations were.”

And didn't meet them. OSU hoops have not run smoothly even off the court since Sean took over.

Three player arrests between May and July last year.

An unstable coaching staff: Jimmy Williams was fired last year to make way for Corey Williams, a former OSU teammate of Sean's, but Corey Williams stayed only a month before leaving for a job at Florida State. And in February, Sean swapped the duties of assistant coach Kyle Keller and director of basketball operations Mike Hatch.

The departure of Corey Williams was most telling. He had talked of how working at OSU was a dream, then bolted a few weeks into the job.

Sean's work ethic also has been a concern, as a variety of sources have questioned his frequent absences from Gallagher-Iba Arena.

Of course, win enough games, and no one cares about any of that.

Tramel blog: Twisting in the wind

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by Berry Tramel
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 Oklahoman,...
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