Oklahoma State AD Mike Holder publicly commits to Travis Ford

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Rick Barnes is on the verge of going from Texas to Tennessee.(USATSI)
Travis Ford will be back as Oklahoma State’s head coach. (USATSI)

Oklahoma State athletic director Mike Holder released a statement Tuesday designed to end speculation that Travis Ford might not return as the school’s men’s basketball coach.

“Travis Ford is our head coach …,” Holder said. “He will be our head coach moving forward.”

Holder’s statement came less than 24 hours after NewsOK.com reported boosters were behind the scenes encouraging Holder to remove Ford. The sticking point, sources told CBSSports.com, is that firing Ford would cost Oklahoma State at least $9.6 million before it even hired his successor. That, combined with five NCAA Tournament appearances in seven seasons, was enough to convince Holder not to make a change at this time.

Oklahoma State has, under Ford, made three straight NCAA Tournaments but lost in the Round of 64 each time. Ford is 143-91 in seven years at OSU. He’s 60-65 in Big 12 games.

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