Ada Coach Accused Of DWI Returns To Game - - No One Gets You Closer

Ada Coach Accused Of DWI Returns To Game


ADA, OK -- An East Central University coach accused of drunk driving will be back on the court, and some students say they question the decision to keep him in the game.

On Monday, ECU officials reinstated their basketball coach, saying he had expressed regret and "evidence of personal growth." Some students agree with the decision.

"If he's remorseful and he can take responsibility, then I don't really see that big of a problem with it, as long as it's not something that continues," says student Kristen Howard.

On Jan. 13, an Ada police officer pulled over Rodney "Mac" McConnell, 36, of Ada, around 1 a.m. at West Kings Road and South Broadway Avenue. McConnell was arrested for driving under the influence for allegedly having a blood alcohol content of .08.

"Everybody makes mistakes. I think if he doesn't keep doing it, then he deserves a second chance," says student Christian Cody.

"I think he shouldn't be on, but he is," says student Charles Russell.

McConnell was set to appear in court for a hearing Wednesday. He did not personally show up, but his attorney James "Rob" Neal says another court date has now been set.

"At least give him his day in court, he seems remorseful about it, why not give him a second chance," says neighbor John Wise.

"If that's what they decided, I'd go along with the president. I'm sure they have all the information," says neighbor Dorotha Fenton.

In a statement, athletic director Jeff Williams said McConnell sat out for five games, but they are "now ready to move ahead as a program."

"If you're somebody somebody looks up to, a coach, teacher, any kind of figure, it looks kind of bad," says student Caden Holt.

"I think everyone deserves second chances. I'd give him another shot if he's a good coach," says student Michael Carlton.

The second year coach, who many said they were not familiar with, worked at a community college in Ranger, Tex., and several other schools, before becoming assistant coach at ECU.

He will be back on the court for Thursday's game at Southern Arkansas. If convicted, he could face up to 1 year in prison and a $1,000 fine.

The previous basketball coach at ECU, Joe Redmond, parted ways with the school after accusations of a recruiting violation, but according to the Tulsa World, he recently landed a coaching job at Booker T. Washington High School in Tulsa.