Eddie Sutton's Oklahoma State Cowboys seemed to get a great draw in the 1994 NCAA Tournament. They were assigned to Oklahoma City's Myriad.
Alas, the blessing became a curse.
The night before OSU's second-round game against Tulsa, senior Fred Burley was caught trying to sneak out of his hotel after curfew. Sutton suspended Burley for that Tulsa game, and OSU lost 82-80.
Burley was from OKC; he had been a star at Douglass High School.
And now both the Cowboys and Sooners take their football teams to bowl games in Greater Dallas, the home area of more than 20 players from each roster.
Do Mike Gundy and Bob Stoops have to add hall monitors? Is there extra danger of boys being boys when they're back in their old haunts?
“They have their high school buddies around,” Gundy said. “For that reason, you gotta be a little more careful.”
Gundy's been bit himself. Before the Cotton Bowl three seasons ago, Gundy suspended cornerback Perrish Cox, for curfew violations. Cox was from Waco, 100 miles south of Dallas.
“We have a standard, and it's been that way, within reason,” Gundy said. “We've had guys that are a minute or two late for curfew, or five minutes. We have a certain discipline there. And then if it's considerably worse, or it's a repeat offender, they usually go home.”
The temptation of high school buddies is not as prevalent in more exotic bowl locales. In the last several seasons, OSU has played in bowl games in San Diego, San Antonio and twice in Greater Phoenix. None are OSU recruiting hotbeds.
OU plays Texas A&M in the Cotton Bowl Classic on Jan. 4. The Sooners haven't played in the game since the 2001 season. They haven't played a bowl game in Houston since the 1970 season.
In Barry Switzer's 16 OU seasons, his teams played in just one Texas bowl, and that was the 1981 Sun Bowl in El Paso, which is hundreds of miles from the Dallas and Houston and East Texas homes of most OU Texans.
Bob Stoops' teams have made Phoenix their most common bowl port, with four trips to the desert. Switzer's teams played in Miami's Orange Bowl nine times. Those teams had few Floridians, but some of the few were ornery Miamians, like Buster Rhymes and Mike Reilly.
“I don't know that it's ever been a big issue,” said Merv Johnson, Switzer's 10-year assistant head coach and still OU's director of football operations. “You probably would want to caution ‘em. They are obviously glad to get back home and can attract some old friends they probably don't need to be hanging out with too much.
“But I don't ever remember any significant issues. Hopefully, they would understand they need to get ready to play.”
Of course, players can find trouble with or without old pals. Stoops sent home defensive tackle DeMarcus Granger from the Fiesta Bowl five years ago, after Granger was arrested for shoplifting a coat at Arizona Mills Mall.
Granger is from Dallas. Not Phoenix. If boyhood pals helped get Granger in trouble, they went a long way to do it.
Berry Tramel: Berry can be reached at (405) 760-8080 or at firstname.lastname@example.org. He can be heard Monday through Friday from 4:40-5:20 p.m. on The Sports Animal radio network, including FM-98.1. You can also view his personality page at newsok.com/berrytramel.