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Saturday, February 11, 2006
Sutton to recuperate from injuries in auto accident

Associated Press

STILLWATER, Okla. -- Oklahoma State coach Eddie Sutton was released from the hospital on Saturday afternoon, less than 24 hours after being injured in an automobile accident, a university spokesman said.

Athletic department spokesman Steve Buzzard said Sutton, 69, suffered no serious injuries but will recuperate at home from the bumps, bruises and lacerations he did receive in the accident.

Witnesses told police that shortly before the accident, Sutton was unsteady on his feet and struck his head after falling in the parking lot of Gallagher-Iba Arena before entering his vehicle, according to a statement released Saturday by Stillwater police.

As a routine matter, a blood sample was taken from Sutton at the hospital because the accident resulted in an injury, the statement said. The results of the blood test will not be available for 6 to 8 weeks.

Sean Sutton, the team's head coach designate, filled in for his father against Texas A&M.

"It is good to be home, although I would rather be with my team in College Station," Sutton said in a statement released by the university before the game. "I am certainly with them in spirit and I'm counting on them winning today, which is the best medicine I could receive."

It wasn't to be. Texas A&M beat the Cowboys 46-44.

Sutton said he plans to rejoin the team "as soon as possible." The Cowboys' next game will be at home against Kansas on Monday. After that, Oklahoma State won't play again until Feb. 19, when the Cowboys host Texas (No. 7 ESPN/USA Today, No. 6 AP).

"While we look forward to Coach Sutton rejoining the team as soon as possible, we want him to take whatever time he needs to fully heal," Oklahoma state athletics director Mike Holder said.

Sutton was traveling to the Stillwater airport to fly with his team to College Station when the accident occurred late Friday afternoon. Sutton, whom police said sustained a head injury, had some bruising on his face but otherwise was alert upon being admitted to Stillwater Medical Center, university spokesman Gary Shutt said.

According to a police report, Sutton was traveling north on Washington Street in a sport utility vehicle when he traveled left of the center line, corrected and then struck another SUV from behind as he was traveling about 60 mph.

Sutton's vehicle continued traveling north for a short distance, then left the roadway and struck a tree, Stillwater police reported.

Stillwater police said Saturday the speed limit on that portion of Washington Street is 45 mph.

An investigation into the accident is ongoing and results will be forwarded to the Payne County District Attorney's office, police said. Police said no citation has been issued to Sutton.

"Not at this time," said Stillwater Police Department communications officer Chris Howell. "We're referring everything to the district attorney's office."

The occupant of the other SUV sustained minor injuries and was released at the scene, officers said.

Earlier this season, Sutton moved into fifth place on the NCAA career victory list, passing Lefty Driesell. He trails only North Carolina's Dean Smith, Kentucky's Adolph Rupp, Texas Tech's Bob Knight and Jim Phelan of Mount St. Mary's on the all-time list.

Sutton, the first coach to take four schools to the NCAA tournament, has a career record of 794-310.

Sean Sutton filled in for his father on Nov. 19, when the elder Sutton sat out a win over Texas-Arlington with chronic back pain.