02.25.06

Calculating Sutton’s Win Total

Posted in Basketball at 12:02 pm by

If Oklahoma State manages to beat Texas Tech this afternoon, the win is credited to absentee coach Eddie Sutton’s career total rather than that of his son, Sean. The Oklahoman’s Mike Baldwin (above, left) —- moonlighting from his role as chieftan at the Underworld lingerie factory — examines historical precedent.

There™s some debate about whether Oklahoma State basketball coach Eddie Sutton should be credited for wins during his medical leave of absence.

OSU™s decision to count the wins for Sutton, though, isn™t uncommon.

Major League Baseball, the NBA and NFL all have credited coaches/managers with wins during a medical leave.

So why is Sutton™s situation drawing attention? Maybe it™s because there™s an assumption Sutton will never coach again.

œI don™t think you can make any assumptions, said Steve Buzzard, OSU™s media relations coordinator. œEddie Sutton hasn™t retired. Eddie Sutton hasn™t resigned. Eddie Sutton is still the head basketball coach at Oklahoma State.

The NCAA™s policy is for individual schools to make the decision. Professional teams usually take similar approaches to medical leaves.

Yankees manager Joe Torre underwent surgery for prostate cancer in 1999. During Torre™s recovery, Don Zimmer served as interim manager. Even though Torre wasn™t with the team, he compiled a 21-15 record.

œThere™s nothing on the books regarding these situations, said Michael Teevan, media coordinator for Major League Baseball. œWe basically check with our statisticians.

The NBA and NFL have similar philosophies. Whether a manager/coach leaves to attend a funeral, wedding or deals with a family illness, nearly everyone has been credited with wins during their absence.

Don Nelson, coach of the NBA™s Dallas Mavericks, took six weeks off in 2001 after prostate surgery. The Mavericks were 13-8 during Nelson™s absence. In 2000, Cleveland Indians manager Charlie Manuel had eight inches of his colon removed during emergency surgery. Manuel was credited with the wins, not interim coach Grady Little.

There was an exception this past year. Rams coach Mike Martz left the team after a 2-3 start due to a bacterial infection of a heart valve. Joe Vitt coached the remainder of the season. Martz was credited with the wins and losses. But when Martz was fired after the season, NFL officials switched the 4-7 finish to Vitt.

Personally, I am fully in favor of all future Oklahoma State basketball wins (Men’s and Women’s squads) being credited to Mike Martz.

With an NCAA tournament berth hanging in the balance, Kentucky has a killer trio of opponents at the end of their regular season. no. 24 LSU tonight, no.10 Tennessee next week and no. 12 Florida next weekend. The New Orleans Times-Picayune’s Jim Kleinpeter points to recent lineup changes — increased playing time for Brandon Stockton, Ravi Moss and Lukasz Obrzut (above) — as being the catalyst for the Wildcats’ current 3 game winning streak, though it seems inevitable that CSTB’s spam filter will again resume capturing vile messages about Tubby Smith.

Leave a Reply