Our View: Geno Ford has left the university through the back door.

DKS Editors

Bradley University athletics’ website announced Sunday night that Ford had become the schools’ 13th head coach.

On the surface, it seemed this would be a tough blow only to the Kent State fans, who assumed the team had already been notified. But as more information was revealed about Ford’s departure, the fans weren’t the only ones hurting.

The athletes learned the Mid-American Conference Coach of the Year would no longer sit by their side at the same time that news reports surfaced in Kent – they didn’t hear the news from the man they entrusted with their college basketball careers: Ford.

There was no preliminary meeting between the players and the now former coach. Justin Greene, the MAC Player of the Year, reportedly learned from Twitter that Ford had left.

There was no phone call, email or text from Ford to the players.

His departure alone would have caused a range of emotions among the team, but it must have been heart-wrenching news to hear from a third party.

Ford has been around the basketball team for the past three seasons as its head coach. He just finished his second season with 20 or more wins. The only season he failed to hit 20 wins was during his first year at the helm of the Golden Flashes. He had two-straight MAC Regular Season Championships on his tab, along with two-straight MAC Coach of the Year awards, which he received in his final two seasons.

At the start the 2010-2011 season, Ford had a team with 10 new faces and three returning ones. He helped transition the players, once strangers, into a basketball family. They’ve been together for countless hours, from pre-season workouts to the quarterfinals of the National Invitational Tournament.

Ford, who led Kent State to a 25-12 record this past season, had also been with these athletes through multiple tough, off-the-court situations.

But when it was his turn to deal with this tough choice, he shied away.

Instead of owning up to his decision with his roster of athletes that have looked to him for guidance throughout the past season, Ford hopped on an airplane to Peoria, Ill.

Reports have indicated the players have already voiced their hopes that interim head coach Rob Senderoff be named the Flashes’ next head coach. At the same time, the athletic department has begun a national search to fill Ford’s spot.

Whether a new face or someone familiar leads the team, fans – more than ever before – should strongly support the team. Regardless of who designs the team’s plays, the players are still representing the name on the front of the jersey: Kent State.

We are the Kent State Golden Flashes, not Geno’s Golden Flashes.

DKS Editors