Eddie Sutton says son getting help

Updated: March 4, 2010, 12:03 PM ET
ESPN.com news services

Former Oklahoma State Cowboys coach Eddie Sutton says his son Sean recognizes he has a problem with prescription drugs and is getting the help he needs.

"He'll be all right because he's a strong person who made a mistake," Eddie Sutton said, according to the Tulsa World. "He realizes that he needs to get some assistance, and that's what he doing."

Eddie Sutton made the comments Wednesday at Oral Roberts, where another of his sons, Scott Sutton, is the men's basketball coach.

Sean Sutton was arrested and charged with four drug-related felonies last month. State investigators said Sutton, 41, picked up a shipment of prescription drugs under another person's name. He pleaded not guilty and was released on $10,000 bond, on the condition that he attend an inpatient treatment center.

Prosecutors have charged Sean Sutton with obtaining a controlled dangerous substance (oxycodone) by fraud; unlawful possession of a controlled dangerous substance (oxycodone) without a prescription; attempted possession of controlled dangerous substances (clonazepam and Adderall); and use of a communications device to facilitate a felony.

Eddie Sutton, who has fought his own battles with addiction, said Sean's problems with drugs started as they do for many others -- with a prescription.

"He got the prescriptions to start with because of the back problems he had, and just continued to get [more], Sutton said, according to the report. "And I think that happens to a lot of persons. That's how it starts out. A doctor prescribes a medication, and they go beyond."

"I've talked to a lot of drug counselors across the country when we were trying to select the proper place for [Sean] to be in, and they tell me that the biggest problem they have these days -- moreso than alcohol or street drugs -- is prescription drugs, because they're so easy to get," Sutton added, according to the Tulsa World.

Sutton succeeded his father as Oklahoma State's coach and went 39-29 in two seasons before resigning under pressure in April 2008. He has not coached since. Oklahoma State bought out his contract by paying Sutton about $2.2 million.

Eddie Sutton stepped down as the Cowboys' coach in May 2006 following a drunken-driving crash. He had been treated for alcohol addiction prior to his return to Oklahoma State, his alma mater, and had planned to set up an addiction awareness program at OSU that never materialized.

Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.

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