Oklahoma Sooners

Patty Gasso on Cheating Accusations: ‘It’s Such a Joke’

The Oklahoma Softball program has been the standard of its sport for the last decade or so, winning four of the last six and five of the last 10 national championships.

Patty Gasso, who has been with the program since 1995, has taken Oklahoma to the NCAA Tournament in every year since she came to Oklahoma from Long Beach City Junior College.

Over the last three seasons, Gasso’s squad has amassed a 166-8 record, has won the last two national titles, and is looking for their third straight.

 

While a healthy influx of transfers has helped the Sooners maintain their dominance over the sport, recruiting classes with players like Jocelyn Alo, Tiare Jennings, and Jordy Bahl has ensured that OU is constantly at the top of the sports when it comes to talent.

However, it takes more than talent to win at the level that Oklahoma does. Gasso has built a culture and community among her teams that have spanned graduations. The faith-based principles that she uses to sharpen her teams are something that only comes with years of practice, dedication, and hard work.

Then again, it’s just easier for some folks to see the success in Norman and just assume that there’s something else going on.

Earlier this year, Texas head softball coach Mike White seemed to imply that Oklahoma is cheating its way to success.

“They find ways to keep reloading, and I’m not quite sure all of it is–you know, whatever, I won’t say any more,” White said while stopping himself in an interview, via KVUE’s Tyler Feldman.

Gasso responded to the accusations by taking the high road and has since had some time to think about the claims, while White seemed to walk back his comments after the fact.

On Wednesday, Gasso appeared as a guest on The Oklahoma Breakdown podcast with Gabe Ikard and Teddy Lehman and discussed her feelings on the issue a bit further.

Co-host Teddy Lehman asked Gasso to expand on a comment that she didn’t have many coaching friends, whether it be because of intimidation or something else entirely.

“I don’t know if it’s because I’m a female and I get judged, but when I’m on the field, I’m a competitor,” Gasso started. “So, I’m just into it. Maybe I have a look that you might not think that I’m a nice person or something. When I go out recruiting, I sit alone because everyone’s afraid to come up and have a conversation.

 

“Or, because we win so much, people think that we cheat. They create stories and they’re so unbelievable, ridiculous accusations about our program: how we get players out of the portal, our players are taking illegal substances and that’s why we’re so strong. It’s gone out there and it’s come back to me and it is such a joke.

“It’s an embarrassment for our sport. To me, if I love athletics, I want to see greatness… I love to see excellence in any sport and people believe we can’t reach excellence without cheating. I’m waiting for someone to take their receipts forward, and nobody has any. I really don’t care, because I know what it means. If you can’t be us, or you can’t beat us, I guess you don’t like us.”

Patty Gasso has been one of the greatest advocates for the sport of softball of our time, and for her to have these kinds of accusations from anyone is ridiculous, let alone a rival coach.

Fortunately, the Sooners have never had any infractions under Gasso’s watch and from all accounts, the program goes above and beyond to make sure things are done the right way.

 

The Sooners (51-1) will continue their quest for a third-straight national championship on Friday, opening up NCAA Tournament play against Hofstra at 4:00 p.m. CT on ESPNU.

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