OU brought back some legendary cheaters…
10:00 AM EDT on August 29, 2011
This past weekend the University of Oklahoma men's basketball program held its first ever "Alumni Legends Basketball Game." The game featured a "who's who" of former OU basketball legends, including household names like Ernie Abercrombie, Steve Bajema and my Grandpa's favorite Calvin Simpson player, Renzi Heskett.
It also showcased the return of former OU head coaches Kelvin Sampson and Dave Bliss. Wait. What?
More than 100 former players turned out for a reunion weekend that featured a Legends Alumni Game on Saturday. Price and White, the backcourt tandem from the Sooners' 2002 Final Four run, played — albeit on opposite teams — and Griffin came out as a spectator.
Two of Kruger's predecessors, Kelvin Sampson and Dave Bliss, served as opposing coaches in a game that had to be decided in sudden-death overtime.
Ha Ha. Really??! OU has a "legends" basketball game and they pick Kelvin Sampson and Dave Bliss as coaches? That's the equivalent of USC naming Reggie Bush and OJ Simpson honorary captains at their spring game.
Okay, maybe it's not that bad — Dave Bliss technically didn't murder anyone. He just tried to defame and slander one of his murdered players. — but the decision to bring these dishonest cheaters back on campus is comical. Seriously, the only time Kelvin Sampson and Dave Bliss should have "legendary" attached to their names is when they are either cheating, committing NCAA rules violations or just being a regular old f&cktards.
Then again, this is the University of Oklahoma we're talking about. They do have a solid history of bringing back and embracing those who dishonored and embarrassed the program. For example:
• Even though his players liked to rape, snort and get paid for their victories, Barry Switzer is treated like a minor god in this state. I say minor god, because if he were a major god, all his weird restaurant concepts would never have failed.
• Brian Bosworth wrote an auto-biography that trashed and dishonored the program, but he's now one of the most popular ex-Sooner players. Hell, even I got all giddy when I interviewed him.
• Charles Thompson sold crack to an undercover officer and appeared on the cover of Sports Illustrated in an Orange jumpsuit, yet even he was welcomed back to the program with open arms and was an occasional fill-in host on the Sport Animal.
So yeah, I guess I shouldn't be too surprised that OU is bringing back (and honoring) former coaches with checkered pasts. And even though I don't agree with it, bringing Kelvin Sampson back didn't bother me too much. They were honoring the 2002 Final Four team, he didn't leave the University on bad terms, and he seems like a decent guy if you like heart, hustle, hardword and blue denim shirts.
But Dave Bliss? Really??? He coached OU for five years in the 1970s. Since then he's coached at three middle-tier programs, cheated at all of them, and became the focal point of a college basketball scandal so notorious it needs its own Wikipedia page. He's even got a school in trouble on the high school level.
Anyway, OU should be associating with Dave Bliss as much as Dean Blevins should be associating with pain pills and whiskey. He's a total joke. The program has enough bad things going on (low-level mid-major talent pool, shitty arena, no fan support). The last thing it needs some slick, fast-talking, Texas swindler stepping on campus and interacting with current players, alumni and fans. His phony "please forgive me" story has already worked on our naive star-struck blowhards in the local media. If we're not careful, Dave Bliss will soon be appearing on car commercials with Brad McRay and Rhett Bomar.