Much of Armen Keteyian's report on the Oklahoma State University plane crash tragedies, which debuted Tuesday night on HBO's “Real Sports With Bryant Gumbel,” is a rehash of the January 2001 accident that claimed 10 lives.
HBO reaired much of its first report from March 2001, including an interview with coach Eddie Sutton about switching players from the two small jets to the ill-fated turboprop plane and an interview with Phyllis Lawson about how her son Daniel, who was killed in the crash, was terrified of flying on the small planes.
Keteyian discussed the National Safety Transportation Board's conclusion in 2003 that pilot error led to the crash and how the university revised its travel policy to require full-time pilots, the planes to have two or more engines and that the university pay for the planes.
The report noted how the November 2011 crash that claimed the lives of women's basketball coach Kurt Budke, assistant coach Miranda Serna, the pilot and his wife was exempt from OSU's travel policy because no players were on the plane.
Jim Littell, who was promoted from associate head coach to head coach after the tragedy, told Keteyian that flying on small planes is a necessity for college basketball coaches.
“That's what we do,” he said. “We get out of practice at 5 o'clock and go to watch a high school game. That's the nature of college basketball. Every coach around the country is doing it.”
However, OSU President Burns Hargis told how he had formed a task force in the wake of the accident to study the travel policy.
Littell had several poignant moments in the report, the last of four segments that aired on “Real Sports.” In clips from the memorial service, he tearfully told how he had “lost my best friend and his brother.”
At the end of the report, he discussed how he had to give his players time to grieve from the tragedy.
“They are all still grieving in a different way,” he said. “They all knew that coach was an extremely upbeat guy. He would always put his arm around someone. He would hug some people. He always made you feel special. We're trying to hold on to how special coach is.”
“Real Sports” next will air on HBO2 at 5 p.m. Thursday. It will be available on HBO On Demand from Monday to April 16.