Kelvin Sampson Feb 6, 2024; Houston, Texas, USA; Houston Cougars head coach Kelvin Sampson reacts after being ejected during the second half against the Oklahoma State Cowboys at Fertitta Center. Mandatory Credit: Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports

Ed Cooley wants young journalists to ask him more challenging questions. Kelvin Sampson may share that same sentiment, but it didn’t come across that way. The Houston Cougars head men’s basketball coach was snippy with reporters after being ejected in his team’s 79-63 win over Oklahoma State.

Tuesday’s game saw tempers flare, even with Sampson witnessing his team leading by 20 points with just over 15 minutes remaining. What set Sampson off was a perceived missed call where Cowboys center Brandon Garrison seemingly pushed off Cougars guard Jamal Shead on what likely should’ve been called an offensive foul.

This sparked a furious Sampson to charge onto the court, his outrage manifesting in a tirade directed at the officials and, waving his arms and unleashing a torrent of expletives in a fiery display that proved short-lived as officials swiftly ejected him from the game. And Sampson didn’t want to address officiating in his post-game press conference:

In the aftermath of a conference win for the Cougars, Sampson had no interest in dishing on what caused him to be ejected from Tuesday’s win. He was asked what transpired and if he had any thoughts, which led to him taking aim at the reporter’s line of questioning.

“I have no thoughts,” Sampson said. “So, if I say something and answer your question, they fine me $25,000. What part of $25,000 are you willing to pay? So, don’t ask me silly questions because it’s a $25,000 fine if I tell the truth. I can’t, so don’t ask me.”

Sampson does have a point here. While he makes well over $5 million annually and is one of the highest-paid coaches in college basketball, it makes little sense for him to comment on the officiating in what was a 16-point win for the No. 5 team in the country — likely not worth a $25,000 fine for criticizing the officiating.

At the same time, the reporter in question here was doing their job. It was a more than fair question that likely deserved much better than a somewhat snide response. And this was quite the contrast to Cooley’s recent press conference behavior.

No, the reporter isn’t going to help Sampson foot the bill for the fine, but a coach getting ejected for storming on the court with his team up by 20 points is undoubtedly worthy of headlines and probably the biggest takeaway from this Big 12 matchup.

Sampson has the right to answer how he sees fit, but he could’ve responded similarly without taking issue with a perfectly normal question.

[Will Kunkel on X/Twitter, The Spun]

About Sam Neumann

Since the beginning of 2023, Sam has been a staff writer for Awful Announcing and The Comeback. A 2021 graduate of Temple University, Sam is a Charlotte native, who currently calls Greenville, South Carolina his home. He also has a love/hate relationship with the New York Mets and Jets.