Ford was sitting behind the bench for Stillwater High School, his son’s team when he was ejected during the third quarter of Stillwater’s loss to Bixby High.
According radio broadcaster Evan Fahrbach, Ford did not do “anything demonstrative at all.” Several witnesses told the Tulsa World they believed the ejection was an overreaction by referee Rick Smith.
Oklahoma State issued the following statement from Ford:
“We have consistent dialogue with our student-athletes about their representation of Oklahoma State University and Cowboys 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 thus morning, there is no question I should have exercised better judgment in not publicly expressing my feelings. I regret the situation and apologize for the unfortunate and unwanted distraction it has caused.”
“Travis came in to watch his son play, and I felt like he was baited into the whole thing,” one school official said. “When all of this took place, I didn’t hear one single thing said. The official blows his whistle, points (at Ford) and says, ‘You’re gone.’ And then I saw Travis walk out.”
The Cowboys are 5–3 this season. They play at Minnesota on Saturday.
- Erin Flynn