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Longtime Oklahoma coach resigns

Old 05-02-05, 01:50 PM
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Longtime Oklahoma coach resigns

NORMAN, Okla. (AP) -- University of Oklahoma head baseball coach Larry Cochell resigned Sunday, two days after reports surfaced of alleged racial remarks he made during two off-camera interviews to a sports network.

The longtime coach submitted a letter of resignation to president David Boren, who had met hours before with athletic director Joe Castiglione and members of the university's black community on the matter.

Boren accepted the letter and said Castiglione has designated Sunny Golloway as interim head baseball coach for the rest of the season.

ESPN reported on Friday that before a telecast of the Oklahoma-Wichita State game on two of its networks on Tuesday, Cochell used racial epithets as he praised freshman outfielder Joe Dunigan, who is black.

The interviews were not taped, and the play-by-play announcer and analyst who conducted them didn't know Cochell had used similar language in both instances until they spoke with each other days later, an ESPN spokesman said.

The university, which didn't learn of the remarks until contacted Friday afternoon by ESPN, issued a statement that it was reviewing the matter and that Golloway would assume Cochell's duties on an interim basis. Cochell wasn't in the dugout during Oklahoma's Big 12 Conference series with Nebraska on Friday or Saturday.

Cochell, who was 511-336-1 in 14 seasons at Oklahoma and led the Sooners to the College World Series title in 1994, apologized Friday and in his resignation letter.

"As I have said in a public statement, I deeply regret that I carelessly used language that is clearly contrary to the basic values of our university. Those words also created an impression contrary to my own personal values and my respect for all people," the letter released by the university read. ... I do not want to be the cause of any person having a mistaken impression about our university. Therefore I hereby request that I be allowed to resign as head baseball coach of the University of Oklahoma effective immediately."

In a statement, Boren said no one took any pleasure in what happened.

"A good and caring man has made a terrible mistake for which he must assume responsibility," Boren said.

Josh Krulewitz, director of media relations for ESPN, said the network initially reported on the story during a Friday evening broadcast, during which Cochell's remarks were shown in a graphic.

The commentators were unaware that Cochell had made similar remarks in their separate pre-broadcast interviews until they discussed it a few days later, Krulewitz said.

On Sunday, Krulewitz said, "We recognize that stories of this nature could have significant repercussions and we took great pains to bring the appropriate sensitivity and balance to our reporting."

In his statement, Cochell said he was honored to have been the caretaker of the OU baseball program, which he took over in 1991.

"I love and respect the University of Oklahoma," Cochell said. "There is not a university in the country that has done more to create a true sense of family based upon mutual respect."

Cochell led the Sooners to three College World Series appearances was named Big Eight Coach of the Year in 1994. He coached at Oral Roberts, where he took the team to seven NCAA regional appearances and a trip to the College World Series in 1978.
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Old 05-02-05, 01:53 PM
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So what exactly did he say?
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Old 05-02-05, 01:56 PM
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He apparently said something like "...he doesn't have any *********** in him" in reference to a black player.

Both the player referred to, the player's father, and the only other black player on the Oklahoma team all said they forgave him and he shouldn't have to lose his job over it.
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Old 05-02-05, 02:07 PM
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Originally Posted by WildcatLH
He apparently said something like "...he doesn't have any *********** in him" in reference to a black player.

Both the player referred to, the player's father, and the only other black player on the Oklahoma team all said they forgave him and he shouldn't have to lose his job over it.
Holy crap, thats pretty bad. I would think keeping him on as coach could negatively impact recruiting of black players.
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Old 05-02-05, 02:43 PM
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Chris Rock knows exactly what the coach meant, and so do I.
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Old 05-02-05, 03:43 PM
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Originally Posted by weargle
Chris Rock knows exactly what the coach meant, and so do I.

Even if that is the case some things you just do not say as a white guy.
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Old 05-03-05, 11:46 AM
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The sad thing about all of this is that the coach's comments were actually complimentary.
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Old 05-03-05, 04:42 PM
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Complimentary along the lines of "that's mighty white of you"? Or "not particularly black of you"?
Josh Krulewitz, director of media relations for ESPN, said the network initially reported on the story during a Friday evening broadcast, during which Cochell's remarks were shown in a graphic.
Why is it that none of the media are reporting on precisely what was said, the context of it, and any other elements that would go to explaining whether it was innocuous or not? I missed ESPN's "graphic", and every report I've seen or read is considerably vague on this point.
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Old 05-04-05, 10:08 AM
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and he had a heart attack yesterday, the day after resigning
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Old 05-04-05, 10:37 AM
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Originally Posted by BigDaddy
Even if that is the case some things you just do not say as a white guy.
And therein lies the problem.

Black dudes: free pass with that word
White dudes: career-ending mistake
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