Texas is partial to its shade of orange, but on the night that Oklahoma State honored the 10 men who died in the plane crash 10 years ago, the Longhorns made an exception.
They wore some Cowboy orange.
Texas players sported the same commemorative “Remember The 10” shirts that were given to fans Wednesday night at Gallagher-Iba Arena. They wore them during pregame warm-ups, then on the bench throughout the game.
“That was classy,” OSU coach Travis Ford said.
Texas coach Rick Barnes said of his decision to have his players wear the shirts, “This is a game. This is temporary. There's just much bigger things out there.”
Barnes is the only current Big 12 basketball coach who was in the conference when the crash occurred.
“What I remember more than anything is we had just landed in Austin from Arizona, and the first thing that went through my mind was Coach Sutton,” he said of former Cowboy coach Eddie Sutton. “Tonight he came into the locker room and we had a few minutes together. I really thought a lot about him today.”
The entire Longhorn contingent also paused at the memorial to pay its respects before the game.
“I just remember that day,” Barnes said. “I never will forget it.”
MOMENT OF SILENT
Prior to tipoff, Gallagher-Iba Arena stood silent in remembrance of the men who died in the plane crash.
Public address announcer Larry Reece read the names of The 10 as a picture of each appeared on the scoreboard.
The silence lasted 10 seconds.
The job of placing more than 13,000 T-shirts on the seats inside Gallagher-Iba Arena began before sunrise Wednesday morning.
Among the 50-plus people who placed the shirts meticulously over every chair were members of the OSU equestrian team and a variety of athletic department personnel.
‘PAT LOVED THIS PLACE'
During the halftime ceremony, Reece recalled his days running the Cowboy Network, when he would get autographs for sponsors.
One day, he showed up with basketballs needing Eddie Sutton's signature.
“Larry,” then-director of basketball operations Pat Noyes said, “just have me sign that.”
Reece: “You know what, Pat? Our sponsors don't want your autograph.”
Noyes: “Larry, I do a better Eddie Sutton than Eddie Sutton does.”
Reece made special recognition of Noyes' father, Dan, who hadn't returned to OSU since his son died in the crash.
“Dan, I know this is hard on you,” Reece said, “but Pat loved this place, and we are so glad you are here with us.”
A sustained standing ovation followed.
FAMILIAR FACES RETURN
In addition to nearly a hundred family members of the men who died, numerous OSU dignitaries returned in honor of The 10.
Terry Don Phillips, who was OSU athletic director at the time of the plane crash, sat midcourt. Now the Clemson athletic director, he gave the pistols up signal when he was introduced early in the first half.
Among the former Cowboy players in attendance were Desmond Mason, Ivan McFarlin, Andre Williams, Victor Williams, Doug Gottlieb, Alex Webber, Brian Montonati and Terrence Crawford.
Also in attendance: former OSU athletic director Harry Birdwell and former OSU president James Halligan.