OU basketball coach Jeff Capel says he feels like program's been 'cleansed'

BY JAKE TROTTER, Staff Writer, jtrotter@opubco.com Modified: May 25, 2010 at 11:39 pm •  Published: May 25, 2010
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TULSA — The past few months haven't been pretty for Oklahoma men's basketball.

The school's worst record in almost three decades.

Three underclassmen gone to the NBA, and two others gone from the team.

Two assistant coach departures.

And an NCAA investigation, which prompted one national columnist this week to write the program was deserving of the "death penalty."

But OU coach Jeff Capel said Tuesday evening he's pleased with the direction of the program in the wake of a tumultuous year.

"A month ago, I mentioned 'Cleansing our program.' I feel we've done that. I like the direction we're going," Capel said during the OU caravan in Tulsa. "It's been challenging. Obviously, a lot of things going on. But I'm really excited about the way our returning guys have worked and the new guys we have coming in."

As Capel turns the page on last season, the NCAA is investigating whether former assistant coach Oronde Taliaferro conspired with a Tampa-based financial adviser to provide ex-Sooner forward Tiny Gallon with "extra benefits."

According to TMZ.com, former Merrill Lynch financial adviser Jeffrey Hausinger wired $3,000 into a bank account shared by Gallon and his mother, Sylvia Wright.

Phone records show that Taliaferro and Hausinger exchanged at least 41 phone calls and 25 text messages over a ten-month period.