OSU AD Mike Holder Says He Was Blindsided By Underwood Leaving

Written by Kyle Porter

There is plenty of blame to go around in this mess of a situation, but Oklahoma State athletic director Mike Holder got out ahead of the story on Saturday and said he did not see Underwood’s departure coming. Apparently nobody did.

“We are saddened and disappointed in Brad’s decision to leave Oklahoma State after one year,” said Holder in a statement. “We are trying to digest this news. We wish Brad and his family well. In the meantime, we will consider the situation and move forward.”

So that sounds like Holder did not know this was coming which is also what he told Bill Haisten of the Tulsa World.

This is the right way to get out in front no matter what in the world happened. I suspect (and I’ll write on this a little bit later) that Underwood’s agent pushed for more either during or at the end of the season and Holder either balked or kept putting it off and putting it off.

Until 2:45 on Saturday.

Then, boom it’s 3:15 and Underwood is wearing somebody else’s orange.

So whether you think Holder botched this process or not, it’s not difficult to see that this hit him out of nowhere. Maybe that’s Underwood being slimy, or maybe it’s Holder not being prescient. We will likely never know.

Holder did tell Haisten that he’s moving on and looking forward.

One problem … he might have bigger rattlesnakes fish to fry.

  • UrbanCowboy

    Imagine how much more contentious that Gundy contract situation would have gotten if Underwood would have received the contract it would have taken to keep him. #FoodForThought

    • David Einstein

      Damn good point.

    • Scott in Texas

      I don’t think Gundy’s deal is done. My guess is if not signed already Gundy is going to get whatever he wants, including an orange unicorn.

  • Frank Eaton

    Holder was stunned? What else is new? The guy’s the worst P5 AD and has been since his hiring.

    • Scott in Texas

      Worse than any Baylor AD ever?

      • Alec M


      • Frank Eaton

        Not morally. Good point. Baylor AD doesn’t overpay losers and run off winners… but yeah they’re a little too ‘win at all costs’ for my liking…

  • Ty Webb

    How do you let this guy get away Holder? You don’t leave a job this quickly unless you have real issues with your direct boss.

    I think we can finally see why Gundy has had so many issues over the years with Holder. Holder is the common denominator with the fractured narrative theme.

  • Houstonpoke

    This is complete BS from Holder. Holder botched this from the get go. How do sign a weak coach for 10yrs and botch a second coming type coach inside of 12 months. Sorry, but Holder needs to go…. tired of the issues with all sports and the constant contract issues… still surprised Gundy and Smith are both in Stillwater

  • Jeremy Hall

    Leonard Hamilton might be available?

  • Alec M

    When a school has a big scandal. Like, say Baylor, for instance. And the AD is “blindsided and mortified” and all the other BS. Who is still one of the first fired in the situation? The AD is, which is exactly what should happen here.

  • Alec M

    If anything this says A LOT about Mike Gundy’s character. You know he’s delt with Holder, been offered more money and better jobs, delt with Boone Pickens AND STILL STAYED AT OSU.

  • Trey Buck

    How many people had a problem with Ford’s contract extension after his first year? Probably not many i’m guessing. I don’t think you should get sucked in to the hype and just triple a person’s salary after 1 year and make him/her one of the 10 highest paid people in their respective field. Maybe Holder learned from his past. If Holder was trying to work with him and Underwood already had this Illinois deal working/in place then good for Underwood. Move on and best of luck. Don’t let the door hit ya….OSU has a lot of good teams, athletes, coaches and I love hearing about how good the equestrian team, cross country, soccer, tennis, etc teams are doing and Holder has handled all of that hasn’t he? I absolutely love Gundy and Holder needs to do everything to keep him at OSU. So if a guy signs a contract and then after 362 days doesn’t negotiate “fairly” then packa**….We will be alright and get it figured out….for the record I’m all in on Doug now!! GoPokes LiveOrange

  • Philip Thomas

    Mike Holder is a moron, pure and simple! If I’m “Big Daddy” T. Boone, then I am really pissed off and expect some heads are going to roll over this, and that usually means somebody at the top of the ladder has got to go; Mike Holder should be fired immediately before he does any more damage to the OSU program!