In an article published by NewsOK, Berry Tramel discussed the circumstances that reportedly led to Brad Underwood’s departure from Oklahoma State.
Apparently, as reported earlier, contract negotiations became a bit contentious with Brad Underwood even getting up to leave a meeting between the two sides, according to Tramel’s article.
Oddly, Doug Gottlieb noted on Sunday that Underwood was doing his own negotiating instead of using his agent (Gottlieb also said they share an agent).
Here’s a particularly damning statement made by a source to Tramel.
The source said that Underwood was told by Holder that Ford won more games in his first year than did Underwood and went on to make five NCAA Tournaments. The source said that Underwood was so angry he got up to leave the office at that point, though Holder convinced him to stay.
“I think that was really hurtful,” the source said. “I believe that was the dagger.”
Now maybe this is just the type of hardball Div. I athletic directors play behind closed doors. I’ll admit it. I’m not an expert.
But I seriously doubt that the “loyal and true” crowd who want to believe that OSU is in to win, will take kindly to Mike Holder offending (and effectively running off) his most popular basketball coach in a decade.
Holder also reportedly compared OSU to being on the level of Iowa State, Texas Tech and Kansas State in the Big 12.
Oh, the layers.
For one, Iowa State has not lost to Oklahoma State in years. But let’s not throw all of that on Brad Underwood. The Tech comparison is insulting, though true as it may be. Again, not necessarily Underwood’s fault. The Kansas State (Underwood’s alma mater) may have been perceived as the cheapest of shots.
“He was going to Illinois the moment Holder said that to him,” the source said. “What he was looking for, Holder’s vision for the program, ‘I believe you can get us up to KU and Bill Self and blah-blah,’ and that just wasn’t what he heard.”
And let’s be honest, devaluing a program (which you run) to a coach who is still probably getting some of his mail forwarded is not the best of looks.
As more reports come out, narratives may change. But one thing is certain. It does not benefit anyone involved with a school for its athletic director to spend this much time in the news.
The pressure was already on Mike Holder. This only ratchets it up.