Sutton is an 800-game winner and college basketball coaching legend, but the Kentucky chapter in his career was mostly a dark one.
Sutton (who took the job, legend has it, after Arizona's Lute Olson turned it down) reached the second weekend twice over his first three years after arriving from Arkansas but saw the Wildcats' season end on both of those occasions at the hands of heavy underdogs. Still, the enduring takeaway from the Sutton era at Lexington wasn't the Final Four misses but the NCAA violations that would cripple the program for his successor.
The discovery of an illicit payment by Sutton's staff to recruit Chris Mills, as well as a college entrance exam taken by player Eric Manuel that was determined by the NCAA to be a case of academic fraud, resulted in a two-year postseason ban, a one-year TV ban and scholarship reductions for the program. Before the hammer fell, Sutton resigned under pressure, subsequently coaching at Oklahoma State (where he reached two Final Fours) and briefly at San Francisco.
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