Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Griffin Calls Capel Firing "Unfair"

It came as a surprise to many that Oklahoma decided to fire head basketball coach Jeff Capel. I wasn't floored but it caught me off guard. Considering the Sooners had to bounce back frm a difficult two years, I thought Capel should've been given more time to get things back on track in Norman.

Blake Griffin was bothered by the firing and labeled it as "unfair" and said OU was "piling it on". (  http://sports.espn.go.com/ncb/news/story?id=6221727)

"What bothers me the most is that everyone is saying he did all of this when Blake Griffin was there," Griffin said. "Well to me, you say he deserves no credit when a certain player is there and then, when things go bad, throw all the blame on him. To me, they're piling it on. He took over the program after Kelvin Sampson and all of those sanctions and he put his faith in everyone. This is what he gets? Within two years we're in the tournament and now two years later he's fired? It's completely unfair."

"As soon as he got the job he started recruiting me and we were in it together," Griffin said. "When I committed to Oklahoma, it wasn't a popular thing to do at the time but I went because of Coach Capel. We all take pride in what we did there and what we built and for them to turn their backs on him so quickly, it really disappoints me."

After Griffin left, Capel quickly reloaded with freshman Tommy Mason-Griffin and big man Keith "Tiny" Gallon along with highly regarded returnee Willie Warren. That squad fell flat and Capel never could find the right combinations. There was some off court trouble and Gallon, Warren, and Mason Griffin left town. The NCAA came around again regarding a loan given to Gallon.

"I understand you have to win and I understand the coaching carousel," Griffin said. "And I know about the NCAA but he has said he knew nothing about it and I believe him. Besides, look around at some other coaches and what has happened. They're still coaching. In comparison to Oklahoma, you can't even compare it."

Regardless of what happened, Griffin still has love for the college he went to. He just thinks it wasn't right that the coach he played for was fired.

"I just want people to know the respect I have for Coach Capel and to let people know that I feel like they're giving him a really unfair boot," Griffin said. "I don't claim to know everything when it comes to basketball, but I do know a great coach. He's a great coach and I think Oklahoma has made a mistake."

Capel was once an up and comer in the coaching ranks. Maybe he'll get another shot elsewhere since there are some recent openings.


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