For Pete's Sake

Former Oklahoma coach Barry Switzer says he had deal with law enforcement to keep minor offenses quiet

Former Oklahoma coach Barry Switzer in 1985.
Former Oklahoma coach Barry Switzer in 1985. The Associated Press

Former Oklahoma football coach Barry Switzer had a reputation of being an outlaw in his day.

Harsh? Maybe, but then again Switzer’s book, “Bootlegger’s Son,” includes a reference to him being an outlaw.

So perhaps it should come as no surprise that Switzer told USA Today he had a special deal with some law enforcement agencies that kept his players out of the public eye when they acted up away from campus. He emphasized that was only for misdemeanors and not felonies.

“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 told 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 claims that Oklahoma wasn’t alone in having a little help in keeping things quiet.

Of course, technology has changed things these days.

“We could handle things internally in an era 30 years ago that you can’t today,” Switzer said. “You get a traffic ticket today, it’s everywhere. No one escapes what we have today, the attention and technology we have today.”

For The Win had this first.

To reach Pete Grathoff, call 816-234-4330 or send email to pgrathoff@kcstar.com. Follow him at Twitter.com/pgrathoff

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