Kelly Ogle, News 9
STILLWATER, Oklahoma -- Ten years ago, Cowboy Nation was thrown into upheaval when a flight carrying 10 members of the Oklahoma State basketball program crashed on the way home from a matchup with Colorado.
It's safe to say that one of the hardest hit by the tragedy was current head coach Eddie Sutton.
"I think the most emotional time was when I first heard the loss of those ten guys," Sutton said. "I can remember I had to get a room by myself when we first got back just to regain my composure; wipe the tears away from eyes."
And it fell to him that night to break the news to many of the families.
"One of the hardest things I ever had to do in my life was to call some of the parents and to call some of the wives and tell them what had happened," Sutton said.
Some of those who know him best believe Coach Sutton never really recovered from that night. He suddenly aged, and six years later he crashed his car while under the influence of alcohol and medication.
"Well I'm a recovering alcoholic and I think that it possibly could have been a factor," Sutton said. "You can use that excuse to get a drink anytime, I guess if you are an alcoholic."
And even now he shoulders the burden knowing some blame him for their loved one's deaths, and he understands.
"[There is] sadness for sure. I don't have guilt because I'm a realist," Sutton said. "I don't have the guilt but I certainly have the sadness of losing those people."