Ford apologizes for swearing

Updated: February 10, 2009, 2:58 PM ET
Associated Press

STILLWATER, Okla. -- Oklahoma State coach Travis Ford went on a radio show to apologize after a courtside microphone caught him using a profanity when he called guard Obi Muonelo an idiot in the final minute of the Cowboys' 78-67 loss at Kansas on Saturday.

Ford's muffled voice could be heard on the ABC national telecast after Muonelo turned to jog upcourt, and Ford was able to get his attention by yelling the profane intensifier at him.

When Muonelo turned around, he was able to help trap Kansas' Sherron Collins in the backcourt for a 10-second count and a turnover with 45.4 seconds left.

It was "an unfortunate incident, something that I regret, no question," Ford said Monday on WWLS-FM radio.

Big 12 spokesman Rob Carolla said Tuesday that the incident was viewed as an "institutional issue" and the Big 12 would not be getting involved. Oklahoma State athletic director Mike Holder said he didn't notice the profanity while he was watching the game on television, but it was later brought to his attention and he met with Ford.

"That's when it's more important to be calm, cool and collected -- unflappable," Holder said Tuesday in a telephone interview with The Associated Press. "That's what leadership is all about.

"I have a lot of confidence in Travis that he's remorseful about it and he's committed to change," Holder said.

Ford told WWLS he has been trying to improve his language in the past few months at the urging of his wife and Holder and said it was "something you can guarantee won't happen again."

The Cowboys were scheduled to play at Texas on Tuesday night, and spokesman Mike Noteware said Ford did not plan to issue a statement beyond his comments on the radio.

"Travis is aware of it, I'm aware of it," Holder said. "It became a public issue when it was on national television."

Ford certainly wasn't the first coach to use profanity on the sidelines or even to get caught on camera. Kansas football coach Mark Mangino was taped yelling profanities at Raimond Pendleton during a 2007 game in a video that circulated on YouTube. And lip-readers know that coaches earn their fair share of technical fouls with cuss words.

None of that matters to Holder.

"I'm just concerned about Oklahoma State University and our coaches. I'm concerned about what we do and how we do it," said Holder, who in 2007 dealt with the fallout of football coach Mike Gundy's profanity-free postgame rant.

"What other people do is really of no consequence. At Oklahoma State University, there's a high standard of behavior, I'd like to think across the board," Holder said.


Copyright 2009 by The Associated Press

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