The Enid News and Eagle, Enid, OK


April 1, 2008

Sutton victim of Joey Meyer syndrome

Sean Sutton’s brief, unhappy tenure as head men’s basketball coach at Oklahoma State came to a not-unexpected end Tuesday.

He was either fired or forced to resign after just two seasons, depending on your point of view, the latest victim of the Joey Meyer Syndrome.

Meyer is the son of the late Ray Meyer, legendary basketball coach at DePaul. During his long tenure at the Chicago school, Meyer’s teams won 724 games, reached the NCAA Final Four twice and won the NIT championship.

In 1984 Ray Meyer retired. His replacement already was known at the time of his retirement — his son, Joey, who had served as an assistant coach under his father. Joey was anointed as his father’s designated replacement.

Sound familiar? Joey Meyer lasted seven years as the Blue Demons’ coach, winning 231 games but missing the NCAA Tournament his last four years and never winning a tournament game.

Meyer managed to attract some good players to DePaul, which once saw the legendary George Mikan wear its colors. Sam Cassell signed with DePaul, so did Rod Strickland and B.J. Tyler. Cassell opted for a junior college, Strickland stayed three years and then jumped for the NBA, while Tyler was lost for off-court difficulties.

Sutton’s recruiting troubles mirrored those of Meyer. Sutton signed all-everything player Gerald Green, who jumped to the NBA. Coveted junior college forward Gary Flowers signed with OSU but was kicked off the team before playing a game. Guard JamesOn Curry decided to opt for the NBA draft and forego his senior season.

Are you listening, Texas Tech fans? The next victim of the Joey Meyer Syndrome could be Pat Knight. Having sons succeed fathers might be a good idea in the business world, but it hasn’t worked out when it comes to college basketball.

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