VIDEO: Oklahoma State coach pleads with students to attend games

The video above is something of a surreal scene.

Travis Ford, head coach of the Cowboys, on the mic at the student union and pleading with the student body to find it in themselves to attend the team's six remaining home games.

Oklahoma State is 16-4, ranked No. 8 and very much a legitimate Final Four team. It has a projected top-10 pick in Marcus Smart and one of the most electrifying dunkers in the country in Markel Brown. This is the best, most optimistic season in nine years in Stillwater.

And the fans just aren't totally on board.

Despite being considered one of the 25 best programs of all-time, Oklahoma State has always struggled with attendance. Gallagher-Iba Arena is a really cool spot (according to those who've been there), but the upper bowl is frequently showing way too many empty chairs.

But this is the real issue of concern, that the Cowboys haven't been able to replicate the intimidating/fun atmosphere of a home game with frenzied student section. Long story short: there's been practical issues for students getting to the games regarding ticket verification. It's become a headache to the point where plenty have given up on making the trip.

Ford told the students he'd resolved the issue, that everyone was welcome to come to the games, and that the team needs them to be there for an upcoming critical stretch against Baylor and Iowa State on Saturday and Monday, respectively.

Many schools -- even Duke and Kentucky as well -- have faced some challenges in selling out games over the years. It's no surprise that OSU is also facing these issues, and give credit to Ford for stepping up and embracing the students. We'll see how much impact it has come Saturday.

(H/T, CBT)

CBS Sports Writer

Matt Norlander is a national award-winning writer who has been with CBS Sports since 2010. He's in his seventh season covering college basketball for CBS, and also covers the NBA Draft, the Olympics and... Full Bio

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