Oklahoma State men’s basketball coach Travis Ford, a legendary Kentucky player himself, became the latest sports celebrity dad to earn an ejection from a game they attended to cheer on their progeny.
Ford was tossed from the Stillwater basketball team’s matchup with Bartlesville at the Bixby Invitational Tournament. As reported by the Tulsa World, Ford’s son Brooks Ford competes for Stillwater, and Travis Ford was sitting rows behind the Stillwater team’s bench to take in the game on Thursday night, which eventually concluded as a 63-51 Bartlesville victory.
We have consistent dialogue with our student-athletes about their representation of Oklahoma State University and Cowboy basketball. The lesson is always that there are no days off from that responsibility. While people can debate whether my comments to a referee during a high school game involving my son warranted being asked to leave the building, as Mike Holder and I discussed this morning, there is no question I should have exercised better judgement in not publicly expressing my feelings. I regret the situation, and apologize for the unfortunate and unwanted distraction.
Here’s how the Tulsa World described what Ford allegedly did to earn the ejection from game official Rick Smith:
Smith, the game official, was speaking with the Stillwater coach when Ford said something, believed to be “you need to blow your whistle.”
That’s when Smith ejected Ford.
The Bartlesville source said it was “ridiculous.” In terms of volume, the source could hear Bartlesville fans over Ford.
“I hadn’t seen anything like that,” the source said.
There were plenty of other sources on site that echoed the comments of the unspecified Bartlesville source. A Stillwater school official felt that Smith “baited him into it,” and the Bartlesville play-by-play radio announcer noted that Ford did nothing demonstrative whatsoever.
Still, the ejection is sure to get Ford plenty of attention that he doesn’t want at all.