When Chuck Fairbanks left the University of Oklahoma after five years as head football coach to take the New England Patriots coaching job, he made enemies of those who wore crimson and cream. Fairbanks not only left a good football program, he left it in a shambles.
Fairbanks died Tuesday in Scottsdale, Ariz. Brain cancer took him out at the age of 79. I would imagine not too many tears will be shed by fans who remember he “got out of Dodge” before the Sooners would be leveled with two years’ probation. Their beloved Sooners would not be allowed on television for two years and were not rewarded with a bowl game for two years. Fairbanks’ assistant Bill Michaels had altered transcripts of two high school players from Galveston—quarterback Kerry Jackson and lineman Mike Phillips—to make them eligible for college scholarships. Fairbanks knew what was coming down the pike in the aftermath and cut out for New England. Many believe Fairbanks knew of the transgressions and split, but that will never be proven.
His resignation was a blessing for Sooner fans in the long run because the university hired Barry Switzer to replace Fairbanks. Switzer turned out to be one of the best coaches college football has ever seen.no comments