<
>

Sutton treated for head injury, later released

STILLWATER, Okla. -- Oklahoma State basketball coach Eddie
Sutton was released from a Stillwater hospital on Saturday
afternoon, less than 24 hours after suffering injuries in an
automobile accident, a university spokesman said.

Athletic department spokesman Steve Buzzard said the 69-year-old
Sutton suffered no serious injuries but will recuperate at home
from bumps, bruises and lacerations suffered in the accident.

Witnesses told police that shortly before the accident, Sutton
was unsteady on his feet and struck his head after falling in the
parking lot of Gallagher-Iba arena before entering his vehicle,
according to a statement released Saturday by Stillwater police.

A blood sample was taken from Sutton at the hospital because the
accident resulted in an injury, the statement said. The results of
the blood test will not be available for six to eight weeks.

Sutton's son Sean, the team's head coach designate, filled in
for Eddie Sutton during Saturday's game against Texas A&M at
College Station.

"It is good to be home, although I would rather be with my team
in College Station," Sutton said in a statement released by the
university. "I am certainly with them in spirit and I'm counting
on them winning today, which is the best medicine I could
receive."

The Cowboys lost 46-44.

Sutton said he plans to rejoin the team "as soon as possible."
The Cowboys' next game will be at home against Kansas on Monday.
After that, Oklahoma State won't play again until Feb. 19, when the
Cowboys will host Texas.

"While we look forward to coach Sutton rejoining the team as
soon as possible, we want him to take whatever time he needs to
fully heal," Oklahoma state athletic director Mike Holder said.

Sutton was traveling late Friday afternoon to the Stillwater
airport to fly with his team to College Station when the accident
occurred. Sutton, whom police said suffered a head injury, had some
bruising on his face but otherwise was alert upon being admitted to
Stillwater Medical Center, university spokesman Gary Shutt said.

According to a police report, Sutton was traveling north on
Washington Street in a sport utility vehicle when he traveled left
of the centerline, corrected and then struck another SUV from
behind as he was traveling about 60 mph.

Sutton's vehicle continued traveling north for a short distance,
then left the roadway and struck a tree, Stillwater police
reported.

Stillwater police said Saturday that the speed limit on that
portion of Washington Street is 45 mph.

An investigation into the accident is ongoing and results will
be forwarded to the Payne County District Attorney's office, police
said. Police said no citation has been issued to Sutton.

"Not at this time," said Stillwater Police Department
communications officer Chris Howell. "We're referring everything
to the district attorney's office."

The occupant of the other SUV sustained minor injuries and was
released at the scene, officers said.

"We remain grateful no one was seriously injured in the
accident," Oklahoma State President David Schmidly said in a
statement.

Oklahoma coach Kelvin Sampson opened his postgame comments
Saturday with a message for Sutton.

"I think everybody has so much respect for coach Sutton,"
Sampson said. "When something like that happens, we all feel our
own mortality. He and the Oklahoma State family are in our thoughts
and prayers."

Sampson, who also wished the best to Kansas State coach Jim
Wooldridge in his recovery from neck surgery, said "coaches don't
like to be away from their team."

"When coach Sutton came across the screen yesterday that he was
in a car wreck, I think everybody kind of held their breath," he
said.

Earlier this season, Sutton moved into fifth place on the
all-time NCAA coaching wins list, passing Lefty Driesell. He now
trails only North Carolina's Dean Smith, Kentucky's Adolph Rupp,
Texas Tech's Bob Knight and Jim Phelan of Mount St. Mary's on the
all-time list.

After Saturday's loss, Oklahoma State is 13-11 overall and 3-7
in the Big 12 Conference.

Sutton, the first coach to take four schools to the NCAA
tournament, has a career record of 794-309.

Sean Sutton already filled in for his father once this year when
the elder Sutton sat out of a Nov. 19 contest against
Texas-Arlington with chronic back pain.