Man, this one hurts. Eddie Sutton is an absolute college basketball coaching legend. He's one of the best to do it, with stops at Creighton, Arkansas, Kentucky and Oklahoma State. Not only that, he won at every single stop. The guy finished with over 800 wins - a record of 806-326. He was the two time AP National Coach of the Year and really built Arkansas into the program it was for Nolan Richardson to eventually win a title at.
It's a joke that it took as long as it did for Eddie Sutton to be elected to the Hall of Fame. He was elected just two months ago after years of people within the college hoops game pleading for him to get a nod. It made no sense for him not to. Part of why people think he was held out of the Hall of Fame is how his time ended at Kentucky.
He recruited and brought in Rex Chapman and the Unforgettables. But he was head coach when Dwane Casey (yep, that Dwane Casey) allegedly sent $1,000 cash in an envelope to Chris Mills' father. The NCAA deemed that penalty so egregious they considered the death penalty before hitting UK with a 2-year postseason ban and a bunch of other shit. It ultimately led to a split at the school and Sutton resigning before he got fired. Not that Kentucky fans resent Sutton, but it's how his career ended at his biggest spot.
But what he did to follow that up at Oklahoma State is why he's a Hall of Famer. He made two Final Fours there. He never had a losing record in 16 seasons. He missed the NCAA Tournament just three times there. He was absolutely beloved by players and is still talked about all the time no matter what school they played for him at.
Sutton was 84 years old. It's a goddamn shame he can't be there for his Hall of Fame induction, it should have happened years ago. RIP to an absolute legend in college basketball.