The time has come for the Oral Roberts University’s athletic program to drop from the NCAA Division One to a lower division in college sports. The NCAA Division II would do nicely, and a further drop to the lower NAIA would also make sense. The Golden Eagles of the Tulsa based religious school need a reset for various reasons, including their new in-house regulations to recruit only “good-standing” Christian athletes. ORU is not going to be Division one material with regard to being competitive with other members of Division One.
Head basketball coach Scott Sutton was fired this week by the ORU fathers (here here Hobby Lobby owner David Green) for lack of winning the past few years and not cleaning out his brother from the program. “Told” to get rid of his brother, assistant basketball coach Sean Sutton, former head man at Oklahoma State University, Scott Sutton declined. He was fired. Sean’s baggage must have finally clashed with the artsy fartsy items of the Lobby.
Scott Sutton, the eighteen year head man for the school was previously told in 2013 by new ORU President Billy Wison to recruit and sign only Christian athletes, which has done the past couple of years. This has resulted in a decline in wins for ORU. ORU’s record was 25-8, 21-12, 23-11, 24-9, 16-15, 20-13, 19-16, 27-7 and 20-15 but over the past four seasons, ORU went 17-16, 19-15, 14-17 and 8-22. Significantly, ORU is in a losing pattern and one that with a limited recruiting base dooms the program at the highest level of college basketball.
If ORU wants to be respectable in sports, a drop down would put them on equal basis with other religious schools that recruit athletes with the same persuasion of moral thought. Schools like Oklahoma Baptist, Oklahoma Christian University, and Southern Nazarene come to mind. With attendance not coming close to the glory days for his school, losing will get tiring and that is never good. You can “expect a Miracle” in Tulsa, but right now, do not expect a win. Sports fans, that is the way I see it.
Feature photo: newson6.com