LAWRENCE, KANSAS - FEBRUARY 03: Head coach Kelvin Sampson of the Houston Cougars reacts on the bench during the first half of the game against the Kansas Jayhawks at Allen Fieldhouse on February 03, 2024 in Lawrence, Kansas.
Photo by Jamie Squire/Getty Images

Kelvin Sampson Takes Early Lead for Ejection of the Year

Less than a week since Northwestern men's basketball coach Chris Collins went viral for his hilarious, emotion-fueled  ejection, Collins just was overtaken by another college coach as the new favorite for Ejection of the Year. 

On Tuesday night, Houston basketball coach Kelvin Sampson set a new standard for coach ejections, when he stormed across the court and starting screaming and pointing in a referee's face in the second half of his fifth-ranked team's 79-63 win over Oklahoma State. 

Sampson became furious over an obvious shove in the back by an Oklahoma State player, which the referees missed and that led to an easy basket for the Cowboys. 

Sampson's frustration regarding the referees had been approaching a boiling point throughout the game, and finally amounted to a remarkable explosion of emotion in the midst of his team's blowout victory. 

After Sampson started screaming and pointing at the referee who missed the initial call, he then turned toward a second referee, once they threw him out of the game. Then, while members of the Houston staff were trying to escort Sampson off the court, he turned back around and started screaming at a third referee. 

All of which is to say that Sampson certainly got his money's worth. 

When Sampson was asked what prompted his anger after the game, he paused for a moment then decided to plead the fifth, saying, "I have no thoughts. If I say something, answer your question and 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. So I can't, so don't ask me. I learned that from (Baylor athletic director) Mack Rhoades."

Instead, Sampson preferred to discuss how Houston is now 20-3 on the season and 7-3 in Big 12 play, putting them in pole position atop the conference heading into an important road game against Cincinnati on Saturday. 

The two teams directly below Houston in the conference standings are Baylor and Iowa State; both of whom Houston plays later this month. 

Hopefully Sampson can manage to keep his cool for those crucial conference contests, because his team may end up needing him. 

MORE: Who is Kelvin Sampson's Longtime Wife?