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Oral Roberts basketball’s run covers up the university’s painful history of homophobia


IndyStar-USA TODAY Sports Oral Roberts celebrates their upset victory over Florida. This is not the inspirational story you think it is. During March Madness, there’s nothing the NCAA and college basketball fans love more than an inspiring Cinderella story. On that subject, aast weekend, Oral Roberts University basketball made national news when they followed a stunning upset of Ohio State by knocking off Florida in the second round.

In so doing, the Golden Eagles became just the second 15-seed in men’s tournament history to reach the Sweet 16 and it appears they fit the Cinderella bill.

Except in this instance, Oral Roberts is what would happen if Cinderella were played by Anita Bryant. And the story would consist entirely of Cinderella screaming that you’re going to hell for the jokes you’re already making about her school’s name.

Usually, the Cinderella narrative serves to depict underdog schools in the best possible light, casting them as a band of plucky young upstarts taking down the titans of the Big 10 and ACC. Fans without a rooting interest love cheering a smaller school and the NCAA’s marketing arm encourages them to adopt one of the lower seeds as their team.

In the case of Oral Roberts, […]

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