Daily Bullets (March 19)

Written by Steven Mandeville
Beware the Ides of March

So here’s the deal.

Here’s what happened. Underwood and Holder had preliminary discussions a few weeks ago, but an OSU source said that Underwood discovered that both Illinois and Missouri were interested in talking, giving him more negotiating leverage.

Last Monday, the day after the Cowboys were assigned to Indianapolis for a first-round NCAA Tournament game against Michigan, Holder and Underwood met. The OSU source said Holder offered $2.2 million per year and would get Underwood to $3 million after five seasons. The Big 12 average is $2.9 million for a head coach. But Underwood said he wanted $2.9 million now and would prefer $3 million.

Travis Ford, fired a year ago after eight seasons as OSU’s coach, was making $2.4 million a year, the residual of a 10-year contract he signed after his first season, in which the Cowboys made the NCAA Tournament and beat Tennessee in a first-round game. [NewsOK]

Underwood skipped a Thursday meeting with Holder in Indy then came back on Saturday and turned in his resignation. It’s big egos and big money: Underwood saw a chance to make $800k more a year and hopped on it. There’s always more than meets the eye and it’s fair to speculate that Underwood and Holder probably didn’t have a weekly round out at Karsten.

There is blame on both sides. Holder bungled the contract upgrade with Underwood. But Underwood, too, wasn’t the man we thought he was. Holder, an excellent AD in many areas, like vision and goals, can fall short in the people category. Underwood, who signed on for the Big 12’s lowest basketball salary and spoke of the all right things in his 362 days on the job, ended up liking cold hard cash as much as the next coach.

“I thought I had a good enough relationship with him that we were going to work it out and ultimately he would be the basketball coach here for a long time,” Holder said Saturday night. “I was surprised. Perhaps I didn’t have as good a relationship with him as I thought.” [NewsOK]

Decisions, Decisions

Whether you’re Pro-Doug, Team New AD, Underwood was fake or everything at once, here’s where we are: single and ready to mingle.

 When Holder defines Underwood as having been “kind of a dream come true,” the athletic director defines his next project as daunting.

As the man of the moment in Stillwater, Holder shoulders the pressure of sustaining the momentum generated by a coach whose resignation after one season was beyond unexpected. It was unimaginable. [TulsaWorld]

Positions all over the board are justifiable but there are recruits to appease and a significant stay-or-go decision that needs to be made.

Underwood Coverage from PFB


OSU and NCAA Notes

Early list of replacements from the Oklahoman….Pokes wrap up third in wrestling at the NCAAs….Underwood stuff from the Illinois angle….Good for Illinois that they found the $$$ laying around to pay Brad, doesn’t sound like there’s much laying around….Iowa State fell to Purdue yesterday, West Virginia moves on….Disheartening to hear of assault cases but Purdue handled it as you should

Hate that you and  I have to process this.  The universe has to even out at some point.

Cowboy baseball got another W on Saturday.

Cowgirl Tennis shuts out Texas

  • DKurt

    Speaking of bball recruits-are the signed to LOI or can they possibly move on to other schools??

    • Chris Hall

      Its up to school if they rather let them out but most time schools will if they really dont want to play for someone.

  • David W. Ayres

    Fred Hoiberg (recent example of a beloved alumni making the jump to big12 hc without experience).

    Steve Kerr (recent example of well prepared announcer making the jump to hc without experience).

    You dont need previous coaching experience and I’m pretty sure both programs (ISU and Golden State) dod not settle for these guys. ISU is a bether job right now (it shouldn’t be but it is) and GS is arguably the best NBA team. Other NBA coaches without previous experience (I know NBA and college are different, but this was the quicker list to get):

    Lenny Wilkens
    Don Nelson
    Doc Rivers
    Scott Skiles
    Isiah Thomas
    Dan Issel
    Dave Cowens
    Vinny Del Negro
    Kevin McHale
    Kiki Vandeweghe
    Kevin Pritchard
    Marc Jackson

    So…the up and comming mid major coach thing doesn’t wor (they leave or suck). The hot assistant doesn’t work. We need an OSU guy who knows his crap and will work his butt off. We need someone who bleeds orange and not green.

    We need our Hoiberg. #bringdoughome

    • Lokeasy

      I was on the fence last year about Doug and was yesterday until I read this comment. This is far more succinct and effective than a week worth of articles.

    • lpscout

      Well done, David W. Ayres. You have advanced the “Doug” idea for me.

    • jt

      Of the 12 names you mentioned, only 5 had winning records as a head coach, with 3 of them barely over .500.
      I’m a opposed to Doug being HC, no. However, it does give me some pause.

      • David W. Ayres

        True, but at least there is a decent precedent with guys who jump straight into coaching without “paying their dues”. We should give him a shot and bring in Dickey to mentor him. Heck, bring in Mason and Corey Williams.

    • forever 14

      You left off Larry Bird.

      • David W. Ayres

        Sorry, you are right. I got the list online, and it may have only been a partial. I will edit and add him.

    • David Einstein


  • davids

    I just don’t know what interest might show up. I’m sure there will be a few surprise inquiries from both sides. I think Doug would be a good recruiter and game manager. It’s hard for me to say anything about how someone has their team practices and prepares. This might be a good time to give Doug a shot. Is this a gamble?

    • oSuJones

      I think the gamble is leaving the program teetering on the brink like it is right now. Every bit of momentum is completely dead in the water. For Holder, the only way he sees success in any OSU sport is because alumni are running the show. I mean football, baseball, and wrestling are all captained by alumni and their passion for OSU….not their loyalty to Holder….is what drives them to success. It would be the same with Gottlieb…and might be the only option we have at this point.

  • David Einstein

    At least we are kicking ass in other sports.

  • oSuJones

    As much as I am unsure about Gottlieb, I also think that OSU may have to hire him just to help stitch up the open wound that Underwood has left. Trust is such a difficult thing to gain and Underwood had gained that this year. But in one stroke of a pen to a contract, he has decimated that trust. Any unknown coach, even if a great candidate/proven, will not rally the fan base and possibly save recruits like Gottlieb can at this moment.

  • Saucy Takes

    Keiton page! Burn it down