Oral Roberts fired men’s basketball coach Scott Sutton Monday. Sutton is the winningest coach in school history and had led the team to wide-ranging success in the Summit League and in the NCAA Tournament. Sutton’s firing came after 17 seasons and two straight losing seasons. However, the record does not seem to be all that there was to the firing.
School president Billy Wilson took over in 2013 and started Sutton’s downfall. According to the Tulsa World and KTOV-TV, Wilson wanted Sutton to adhere more closely to the school evangelist roots. Sutton reportedly was only allowed to recruit players without tattoos and incoming players were subjected to a faith test.
The new rules in place led to a bunch of pitfalls and prohibited Sutton from succeeding as a head coach. The records from the last couple of seasons were a good enough excuse for Wilson to fire Sutton.
The Tulsa World reported that Sutton had only found out about his dismissal while he was attending his daughter’s tennis match. Neither Wilson nor the Oral Roberts AD contacted him at the time.