Travis Ford is a nice guy, knows basketball and has recruited well. But in the end, the highly rated signees didn’t rate well enough on the scoreboards to satisfy the fans and decision-makers. The alarming number of empty seats and unsold tickets helped seal the fate of the feisty former point guard of the Kentucky Wildcats.
Ford struggled mightily in the Big 12. Finishing conference play in ninth place, one game out of the cellar with records of 12-19 overall and 3-15 in the Big 12.
OSU’s twelfth straight loss at Oklahoma February 24th left Ford with a dismal record against his arch enemy: 6-13 overall; 7 straight losses and being swept 3 consecutive seasons.
Even more important is the lack of NCAA Tournament success -- specifically one win in five tries, including 3 seasons of missing out on March Madness.
After a successful first season in 2008 that saw Ford lead OSU to its lone NCAA win, he signed what many OSU fans considered an albatross of a ten-year contract extension. That kind of contract for an unproven young buck is a rare breed a cat, say the least. It started at $1.8 million per year, with incremental raises that called for Travis Shane Ford to make $2.8 mill per in each of the final four years, ending in 2019.
An inordinate number of injuries, especially this season, didn’t help. And finally, the deep-pocketed supporters of the once, and what they hope to soon again be proud OSU basketball program have ponied up to the bar and bought out the coach in the bright orange blazer.
Now, the objective is to find a replacement that can recruit like Ford, but win more games. And sell tickets. And sell popcorn, if need be. And hopefully be a likable guy who knows a lot about basketball. But as we’ve seen here, what Al Davis stood for is what’s most important: Just win, baby, win.