Ohio blew a 19-point lead against Tulsa and winded up losing, 90-88, on Friday afternoon in an opening-round game at the Paradise Jam.
After the loss, Bobcat head coach Saul Phillips, a man known for his one-liners of all varieties, made a remark about Tulsa that caused a bit of a stir among the Golden Hurricane fanbase.
In a report from Jason Arkley of the Athens Messenger, Phillips made a statement in a postgame radio appearance comparing Ohio and Tulsa that didn’t come off as very classy.
“Disappointing, disappointing. They have nine seniors, we got one. When those guys are selling car insurance, we’ll be winning championships, so. When their guys are selling car insurance, we’ll be winning championships.”
You can view the full transcript of Phillips’ postgame radio interview here.
Because of some of the backlash the comment caused, Phillips released a statement last night to clarify his comments about Tulsa.
“To clarify, I was just trying to underscore that their guys are seniors and ours are underclassmen, and I also stated that they are clearly an at-large team if they don’t win their conference. I certainly didn’t mean to imply that their guys won’t have pro careers, but I was just merely trying to underscore that they have a senior-laden team, which I have all the respect in the world for.”
If Phillips has “all the respect in the world” for Tulsa’s senior-laden team — a Tulsa team that beat Wichita State earlier this week — then why did he feel the need to call them insurance salesmen? To me, it just sounds like Phillips was angry after the loss and said some things he didn’t think would be heard by very many people.
Those statements might have come across as funny or motivating to Ohio’s fans on an Ohio-focused postgame radio show, but Tulsa fans certainly didn’t take too kindly to the lack of respect.