Houston’s Kelvin Sampson ejected after storming court, screaming at officials

The Houston Cougars had the game in the bag during the second half of Tuesday night’s game against Oklahoma State, but Kelvin Sampson was still locked in. 

Houston’s head coach went berserk on the officials with just over 15 minutes remaining in the second half with his Cougars up by 20. 

Kelvin Sampson is ejected

After receiving a technical foul for coming onto the court, Houston head coach Kelvin Sampson, center left, is held back by players Emanuel Sharp (21), Ja’Vier Francis, center, and associate head coach Quannas White, center right, as Sampson goes after referee Ray Natili, right, as he ejects Sampson from the game during the second half of an NCAA college basketball game against Oklahoma State Tuesday, Feb. 6, 2024, in Houston.  (AP Photo/Michael Wyke)

Following an Oklahoma State bucket, Sampson came storming onto the court to scream at the officials. Sampson needed to be held back by his assistant coaches and players. 


Sampson was ejected from the game, his first ejection in 10 seasons as Houston head coach. 

ESPN analyst Fran Fraschilla said Sampson was “proving a point” as he watched a replay of the play that caused the ejection. 

“That was a push in the back. That has to be called,” Fraschilla said on the broadcast. “I’m going to just say this — this crew has done a good job to this point. The physicality in the Big 12 the last two weeks is unacceptable.”

Sampson was not willing to dive into what set him off in his postgame press conference. 

“I have no thoughts,” Sampson said when asked about the incident and his thoughts. “So, if I say something, answer your question, they fine me $25,000, what part of the $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.”


Kelvin Sampson runs onto the court

Houston Cougars head coach Kelvin Sampson runs onto the court after a play during the second half against the Oklahoma State Cowboys at Fertitta Center.  (Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports)

Sampson’s ejection came just a few hours after Baylor Athletics Director Mack Rhoades was fined $25,000 for his criticism of officials following the Bears win over Iowa State

Baylor head coach Scott Drew was ejected for the first time in his 21 seasons at the school after being hit with two technical fouls. 

“Scott (Drew) said it, we have the best basketball league in the country. And the officiating tonight did not match that. Period, end of story,” Rhoades said then. “This league needs to get better when we think about our officiating. And we have some great, great officials.”

“But this particular crew tonight did not match the level of this game, and that shouldn’t happen in this league,” he added.


Kelvin Sampson after being ejected

Houston Cougars head coach Kelvin Sampson reacts after being ejected during the second half against the Oklahoma State Cowboys at Fertitta Center.  (Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports)

Following Sampson’s ejection, Houston went on to defeat the Cowboys 79-63, three days after losing to No. 8 Kansas on the road. 

“It was a good win,” Sampson said. “In this league, they’re all great wins because they all count the same. For us, it’s a good bounce back.”

With the win, Houston won it’s 18th straight game at home and secured a 20-win season for the ninth straight year. 

The Associated Press contributed to this report