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Saturday, September 23, 2017

Report: Oral Roberts made Scott Sutton recruit Christian players without tattoos

Oral Roberts hired a new university president in 2013, and the school’s men’s basketball program has gotten progressively worse since. According to reports in the wake of former head coach Scott Sutton’s firing, that is not a coincidence.

Sutton, the son of legendary former Oklahoma State coach Eddie Sutton, supposedly found out he was fired this week when he saw the news on social media while watching his daughter’s tennis match. The Golden Eagles (8-22) just had their worst season in Sutton’s 18 years with the program. It would seem he stood no chance at success with the way his boss was forcing him to recruit players.

Bill Haisten of the Tulsa World reports that Oral Roberts president Billy Wilson put a new policy in place when he took over at the school — the basketball team must only recruit professed Christian athletes. Sutton disagreed with the policy but did as he was ordered.

A report from local TV station KTOV meshes with the one from Haisten, adding that Wilson also told Sutton he could not recruit players with tattoos — a ban that was later lifted — and that incoming players must pass a “faith exam.”

Kansas coach Bill Self, who coached at Oral Roberts from 1993-1997, was critical of Oral Roberts’ recruiting guidelines last month.

“Your pool of (potential recruits) has been decreased tremendously,” Self said. “There were a lot of people whose lives were changed – people whose entire outlook was changed because of their experience at ORU. Whether it was through osmosis – being around people of faith – it might have changed the lives of a lot of athletes. It would be sad to eliminate those types of kids.”

Several of Sutton’s former players blasted the school on behalf of the coach when news of Sutton’s dismissal came out.

Wilson also reportedly told Sutton that he could stick around for another season if he fired his brother, assistant coach Sean Sutton, and hired a coach-in-waiting. Gee, we wonder why he turned down that offer.

H/T The Spun

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