Here are some of my thoughts on this, as structured as I can make them right now:
- Gottleib repeatedly stated tonight he feels Eddie should have outright resigned and has likely coached his last game @ OSU. I definitely agree with that assessment, and felt that way when I heard he was taking the medical leave. But was even more convinced when I realized he gets credit for the wins while Sean mans the bench. Talk about backing into 800 wins.
- Having said that, I think Eddie has earned the right to go out on his own terms. He should be allowed to resign however he deems appropriate. In my opinion, one of two things will happen:
1. He'll officially resign and never coach on the sideline again.
2. He'll comeback next year, and end up sticking around even longer than he would have prior to the accident.
- I really wanted to hear Eddie had just taken too many painkillers. I really did. My mother-in-law (a registered nurse) even speculated (I think somewhat hopefully even if she's a Sooner fan) that diabetics often times have that "fruity odor" on their breaths that the media reported. Given how old he is and his alcohol history, diabetes seemed like a possibility. These are only two examples of how we really wanted to believe Eddie wasn't drunk.
- The question that keeps crossing my mind is regarding the Hall of Fame though. Eddie was already being punished for his Kentucky days by voters. Does he even get in now? It's conceivable (and somewhat likely) he'll get 800 wins and not be voted in - at least not while he's alive.
I do think if voters plan to vote him in at any point, there's no value served in waiting. If you ever think you'll vote for him, do it now and inaugurate him. He deserves to enjoy it in person if he ever goes in.
Needless to say this is not my most structured posting, but Eddie's already interesting story just got deeper. And the past few days are only an inkling of what we're likely to hear and read over the future months / years about him and his legacy. If I had to project right now, I'd say Eddie goes down as a tragic figure who was a great coach and just couldn't ever eliminate all the offcourt demons that haunted him.
I also wanted to point out that either in the Hawaii newspaper or the Los Angeles Times I was reading today, Kelvin Sampson was quoted speaking very glowingly about Eddie and how badly he felt about the whole situation. I didn't want to bring him into this, but Kelvin showed yet again that in spite of your personal opinions of him - he's a great person just like Eddie.