Well this sucks.
After less than a full calendar year, Brad Underwood is leaving Stillwater for Champagne, Illinois to become the head coach of the Fighting Illini.
On the plane and headed to #ILLINI country! ETA 5:00pm. Come meet your new coach, #ILLINI! The future is bright! pic.twitter.com/EVlFTTkKph— Josh Whitman (@IlliniAD) March 18, 2017
Underwood is set to make bank, nearly tripling his salary at Oklahoma State Jeff Goodman reported.
Brad Underwood agreed to a 6-year deal worth more than $3 million per season at Illinois, source told ESPN. Made... https://t.co/ahrhSW1JIn— Jeff Goodman (@GoodmanESPN) March 18, 2017
It’s a devastating development for a basketball program that seemed on the rise and Cowboy fans that finally had something to emotionally invest in. The news wasn’t just shocking for Cowboy faithful, it was a complete surprise to Mike Holder and staff.
According to ESPN’s Andy Katz, Holder found out about the
betrayal move the same way we all did... on Twitter.
Just spoke with an Oklahoma State official and was told Brad Underwood flew back with the team after the Michigan game Friday, landing at 8 pm CT. There was no indication he was leaving. School official was stunned and learned about his hiring at Illinois via twitter.
Holder issued a statement on the announcement.
“We are saddened and disappointed in Brad’s decision to leave Oklahoma State after one year. 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.”
Everyone is shocked at the news, even Kansas Head Coach Bill Self.
.@CoachBillSelf on Oklahoma State coach Brad Underwood leaving for Illinois: "It shocks me because Brad was on a roll in Stillwater." pic.twitter.com/FDVSubQTXO— KCTV5 News (@KCTV5) March 18, 2017
Speaking of Oklahoma State’s Athletic Director, there are plenty of reports coming out about his relationship with Underwood.
Source: Underwood accepted OSU contract last year with promise of renegotiation if he won. He won, but AD Holder never seriously engaged— Dan Wolken (@DanWolken) March 18, 2017
Told the relationship between Brad Underwood and Oklahoma State AD Mike Holder was a major factor in his... https://t.co/mI3OY0KLKC— Jeff Goodman (@GoodmanESPN) March 18, 2017
what im hearing negotiations didn't go well for underwoods camp. They wanted league average. Holder wasnt close to meeting it. @FranchiseOK— Sam Mayes (@AllmericanMayes) March 18, 2017
Not surprisingly, people are not pleased with Holder.
Fire him now. Thanks, Boone, for the stadium. Glad Mike can grease palms. #OKState doesn't need your stooge anymore. https://t.co/6Zkqywjm8f— Mike Harris (@TheMikeHarris) March 18, 2017
If this is true, I've never been more frustrated with the state of our program. Time for Holder to go https://t.co/opn6tenms8— PFB_Nate (@PFB_Nate) March 18, 2017
Mike Holder needs to answer questions about this. Surely a raise was coming? Maybe not, and Brad said "peace". #okstate— Carson Cunningham (@KOCOCarson) March 18, 2017
Thing is you can throw out a lot of really big names for #okstate HC job but it seems there's a problem with the HC boss. Just my opinion.— Eddie Radosevich (@Eddie_Rado) March 18, 2017
So when are we all meeting at Burns Hargis's office to demand that he #FireMikeHolder ? @OKStateProbs— Jacob Sitton (@JRSitton) March 18, 2017
At the end of the day, plenty of Oklahoma State fans know, no matter what Holder’s involvement in Underwood’s decision was, it was still his decision.
I don't even know who's the biggest traitor in the eyes of Okies now. pic.twitter.com/xCiLciEWg1— Macey Colbert (@MaceyColbert) March 18, 2017
So, Underwood really giving KD a run for his money on the whole talk up the franchise you're about to secretly bolt from thing... Just wow— LandGrant Gauntlet (@the_LGG) March 18, 2017
If Underwood was so offended by salary - why take it in the first place? Had bigger, more lucrative offers last year. Odd. #okstate— Carson Cunningham (@KOCOCarson) March 18, 2017
Obviously, the search is now on for Underwood’s replacement. It didn’t take long for many in the state of Oklahoma to bring up OSU’s favorite basketball son, Doug Gottlieb.
Oh, hey, Mike Holder pic.twitter.com/wXtBChX9Pa— Kyle Fredrickson (@kylefredrickson) March 18, 2017
#NewProfilePic pic.twitter.com/Ai72Dfw6wi— #BringDougHome (@OSU_Students) March 18, 2017
To be honest I would love it, but don’t see it happening.
We will continue to keep an eye on this story as it develops.