Updated: Sean Sutton is out as OSU coach
BY JIMMIE TRAMEL World Sports Writer
Tuesday, April 01, 2008
4/01/08 at 3:33 PM
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From Mike Strain's Blog: "If this decision was made solely because of on-the-court performance, it’s a bad one. After only two years, it's hard to really know how a coach is going to fare long term."
Related Story: View a timeline of Sutton's OSU career
From The Picker's Blog: "It's pretty much official: Oklahoma State athletics combine to form a rich man's toy. Nobody but an owner fires somebody after two years. Bad precedent? Sure."
STILLWATER -- The Sean Sutton saga finally reached a climax Tuesday when Oklahoma State University issued a press release stating that Sutton and athletic director Mike Holder have mutually agreed on a new direction for the program.
Sutton will step down after two seasons as head coach and a press conference will be held 4:45 p.m. Tuesday. Holder indicated that an immediate nationwide search for a new coach would begin.
Holder and Sutton met Monday and they were expected to meet again Tuesday. Whether a second meeting occurred was not immediately known, but OSU distributed a press release around 3:20 p.m. Tuesday to clarify Sutton's job status.
"After discussions with Sean and after examining the status of our program, Sean and I both concluded that it is in the best interest of both the OSU men's basketball program and Sean to go a different direction at this time," Holder said in the release.
"This was an extremely difficult decision and this is a sad day for me personally and this university. We cannot overlook the contributions Sean has made to OSU as a player, assistant coach and head coach. OSU is deeply appreciative and grateful to Sean as well as his father, Eddie, who together revived OSU basketball and made the program a consistent contender for conference, tournament and national championships."
Sutton, OSU president Burns Hargis and chairman of the OSU/A&M board of regents Low Watkins also were quoted in the release.
"I want the fans and my OSU family to know how much I appreciated their support over the last 17 years," said Sutton in regard to his tenure as a head coach, assistant coach and player. "It has been a great experience and I have loved every minute of my time here at OSU. I also want to thank our players, coaches and entire staff for all their hard work and support. My family and I will always have fond memories of OSU and I appreciate the opportunity to be a part of this great program and this great university."
Sutton was part of 387 victories in his time as a head coach, assistant coach and player at OSU. He was 39-29 in two seasons as head coach and had three years remaining on his contract. Details of a financial settlement were not immediately known.
Hargis said Sean Sutton "played a major role in the ascension of OSU basketball into the top tier of the nation. While this was indeed a tough decision for everyone, we all agree that it is the right decision for the future of the program and Sean."
Said Watkins, "While we respect the decision, we nevertheless admire the work of Sean and Eddie to restore OSU basketball to national prominence. We know this is a difficult time for Sean and OSU, but we are confident under the leadership of our president and vp of athletics, OSU will find the right person to lead our our program. In the meantime, we wish Sean the very best in the future."
Eddie Sutton did not immediately return a call to his cell phone Tuesday.
OSU assistant coach James Dickey (left) and head coach Sean Sutton react as OSU falls further behind OU in the second Bedlam game in March. OU swept OSU in the series this season.