Ex-Oklahoma coach Barry Switzer admits covering up player charges
Former Oklahoma head coach Barry Switzer said that he would try to cover up his players minor scrapes with the law and helped keep those names out of the public eye.
Switzer coached the Sooners from 1973-1988, piling up 157 wins, 12 conference titles and three national championships.
He resigned in 1989 after the team was placed on probation by the NCAA.
Switzer said he had cozy relationships with local law enforcement officials to make sure that the players who got in trouble were not publicized.
“I’d have local county people call me and say, ‘One of your guys is drunk and got in a fight and is jail down here.’ And I’d go down and get him out. Or I’d send an assistant coach down to get his ass out,” Switzer said to USA Today. “The sheriff was a friend of the program. He didn’t want the publicity. He himself knew this was something we didn’t need to deal with in the media or anything with publicity.”
Switzer spoke about unnamed players who got in trouble with the law and making them run stadium steps at 5 in the morning.
Switzer, who also won a Super Bowl title with the Dallas Cowboys, said the way he handled his players was the normal practice all around college football when he was coaching at that level.
“We could handle things internally in an era 30 years ago that you can’t today. You get a traffic ticket today, it’s everywhere,” Switzer said. “No one escapes what we have today, the attention and technology we have today."
- Scooby Axson