Sutton Expresses Appreciation For Support

STILLWATER, Okla. ( — Oklahoma State University Head Basketball Coach Eddie Sutton expressed his sincere appreciation Wednesday night for the support he has received following last Friday night's auto accident. In a statement to the media via telephone, Sutton, who is on a medical leave of absence, acknowledged that he has an alcohol problem and plans to enter a treatment center next week.

During the telephone statement, Sutton apologized for his mistake and the harm he has caused his family, his team, the University and its fans. OSU System CEO and President David Schmidly said the entire OSU family is behind Coach Sutton and will support him and his family in the days and weeks ahead.

Here are statements from the news conference from Sutton, Schmidly, OSU head coach designate Sean Sutton and others:

Head Coach Eddie Sutton comments
"Let me begin by expressing to each of you how much I appreciate the support I have received from so many people around the country.

"I especially am grateful to my family and for their support, especially my wife Patsy.

"And, I also want to thank the OSU Family for its support.

"This is a very difficult period. As many of you know, I love Oklahoma State University and I want to do what is best not only for OSU but also what is best for me and my family.

"I know what has happened since Friday has caused a great deal of sorrow. I regret what has happened more than anyone will ever know.

"I sincerely apologize to my family, to my university, to my players…past and present. I also apologize to Teresa Bernard - I am grateful no one was seriously injured in the accident.

"For the past two years, I have experienced a number of health challenges. My back and hip situation is well documented. The pain at times literally has been unbearable.

"That said, I make no excuses for what has happened. I have a problem with alcohol. I recognize it and I will be seeking treatment for it; and I know I have let many people down.

"I seek your help and I trust, as I address my health challenges and my problem, I will once again be worthy of earning your trust and respect.

"The overwhelming words of encouragement I have received from people and the unconditional love of my family has sustained me, and, I am certain, will continue to do so in the difficult days ahead.

"I love Oklahoma State basketball. And even though this has been a tough year for our coaches, team and fans, I know our team is in great hands with Sean (Sutton), James (Dickey), Jimmy (Williams) and Kyle (Keller). I am proud of Sean, as I am my entire family - and I know he will do a great job.

"To my players, I love you and I expect you to play hard because you are representing the finest university with finest fans anywhere on the face of this earth.

"I will now move forward to address my health concerns. But, let there be no doubt that I will be pulling with all my might for the Cowboys and I hope each of you will be pulling for me. God bless and thank you."

President David Schmidly
"Oklahoma State is a family. When something happens to a family member you stand behind them; that's what we intend to do with Coach Sutton.

"We want him to get well, get back on his feet and we will look forward to the time when he will return and continue his contribution to our University.

"In the meantime, we have all the confidence in the world in Sean, James, Jimmy and Kyle.

"That is why we made the decision two years ago to name Sean as head coach designate.

"We know our program and our players will be in great hands.

"Now what is important is the health of Coach Sutton. We admire his courage, his forthrightness and his honesty this evening.

"We want him to get well and we will do whatever we can to support him to the fullest."

Head Coach Designate Sean Sutton
"I have great admiration for my Father. We are proud of the courage he has exhibited this evening, and our family stands behind him and will support him through these tough days."

Assistant Coach James Dickey
"I have known Coach Sutton for 25 years. He is like a brother and I have great love and respect for him. He has always taught personal responsibility and accountability to our coaches and players. And that is what he is doing this evening - taking responsibility and accepting accountability. I would expect nothing less from this wonderful man.

"I am looking forward to his recovery from the accident and regaining his health to the fullest. I have nothing but the utmost admiration for him. He has always been there for me and I will also be there for him.

"I know what he has done for his beloved alma mater, his players and coaches past and present.

"Oklahoma State has been fortunate to have him lead the program back to glory. To those of us who know and love him we simply refer to him with great respect as Coach."

Assistant coach and former player Randy Rutherford
"I am here to speak on behalf of the players, both present and former, who think the world of this man and this Coach.

"He has taught us a lot about basketball, but more importantly he has taught us a lot about life.

"Tonight he is once again teaching us about life - about accepting responsibility for our actions.

"My respect for Coach Sutton continues to grow.

"I know I can speak for the players when I say we count it a privilege to have been coached by Coach Sutton. He is one of the finest and most caring human beings I have ever met.

"We all make mistakes in life. We are not judged by the mistakes but what we do after the mistakes.

"You can rest assured Coach Sutton will do the right thing and we will be there with him all the way."

GoPokes Top Stories