by Kerry Martin
Either the communications team at Oklahoma State University (OSU) did a really good job of preparing the head men’s basketball coach or he has an innate understanding of how to respond to the media.
To address an incident where player Marcus Smart shoved a fan of the opposing team in the stands, the OSU athletics department held a press conference yesterday about the situation and Smart’s suspension. Along with the apologies and acknowledgement of wrongdoing from all parties, what stood out to me was how head coach Travis Ford kept his composure while making his statements and taking questions from reporters.
When asked by a journalist what should be done to separate fans from crossing any boundaries and provoking players, Ford responded by refusing to say what “should be done” but instead that his priority was to focus on his team.
Whatever your viewpoint on how he handled the situation in the game, Ford was completely on target during the press conference by following one of the top interview rules that we’ve outlined in our Message Matrix Training Program: Don’t speak for other people or organizations; only speak for yourself.