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Sean Sutton Fired At OSU— What was Mike Holder Thinking?

John MossSenior Analyst IApril 1, 2008

When I arrived at the office this morning, I was shocked to read this story from ESPN.com saying that Sean Sutton has been asked to leave Oklahoma State.

Mike Gundy, the Oklahoma State football coach, has had two consecutive mediocre seasons in Stillwater... and has the full support of T. Boone Pickens, A.D. Mike Holder, and the rest of the Oklahoma State community.

Sean Sutton took over under an adverse situation (his father, Eddie, left due to health reasons), took the Cowboys to two straight NIT Tournaments... and is told the program is "going in another direction".

Two names being thrown around in Stillwater as possible replacements for Sutton at OSU?  Billy Gillespie and Bill Self.  Gillespie is coaching at Kentucky, Self at Kansas.  Holder seriously believes that Self will leave Lawrence, Kansas to come home to the Cowboys (Self graduated from OSU), even though he will be heading down to San Antonio for the Final Four in a matter of hours.

It's that mindset that has me scratching my head.  Why would any athletic director think that a coach would leave one of the top five coaching jobs in the country to take the same position at a lower-tier program? 

It doesn't matter that the coach could go "home" to his Alma Matter, when they are already at one of the best jobs in the country.  Sure, Roy Williams left Kansas to go home... to North Carolina.  If you think Oklahoma State is on the same level as North Carolina, I have some ocean-front property to sell you here in Waco.

Holder lost all respect as an A.D. last year, during that amazing Oklahoma State vs. Texas game in Stillwater.  I'm sure you remember that classic triple overtime game, which featured a dominant Kevin Durant and one of the most amazing shots I've ever seen (Byron Eaton's fling while falling out of bounds).

Well, Holder was there, too.  At least for part of it.  See, Holder likes to keep a certain schedule.  He likes to go to bed at the same time each night, so he can get up and work-out in the morning.

So Holder left Gallagher Iba Arena at the end of the first over-time, because it was getting close to his bedtime.

That story just begins to scratch the ineptitude of Holder as an athletic director.  Unless he has a big-time coach lined up to replace Sutton, he will find himself in some seriously hot water.

Many fans in Stillwater are already outraged at the firing, if only because he shouldn't treat the First Family of Stillwater like that.  Eddie's signature is on the court, for crying out loud.

Only time will tell if Holder made this move with another coach already lined up to take over.  If not, he might be run out of town before he has a chance to fix his blunder.

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