Betts leaves South Carolina State to join OU staff

Updated: May 19, 2006, 9:32 PM ET
Associated Press

ORANGEBURG, S.C. -- South Carolina State men's head basketball coach Ben Betts Jr. has resigned his position to become an assistant coach at Oklahoma, the school's athletic director said Friday.

Betts' resignation becomes effective May 25, Athletics Director Charlene Johnson said.

"We appreciate the service Coach Betts rendered to our men's basketball program," Johnson said. "We wish him well in his new position at Oklahoma."

Oklahoma athletic department spokesman Mike Houck wouldn't confirm the move Friday night.

In three seasons as the Bulldogs' head coach, Betts compiled a 51-39 overall mark and a 36-18 record in the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference. During his first season, 2003-04, he guided the Bulldogs to an 18-11 record and was 14-4 in the MEAC, earning a tie for the league's regular season crown.

South Carolina State went 19-12 overall and 11-7 in conference play the following season and finished 14-16 and 11-7 this past season.

Johnson said a search for Betts' successor would begin immediately. In the interim, basketball operations will be handled by assistant coach Stan Cromartie, she said.

Betts thanked the school and praised the university and the Orangeburg community for the opportunity and support he enjoyed as head coach.

"I feel extremely fortunate to have represented the university as its men's basketball coach," Betts said.

Copyright 2006 by The Associated Press