We love sports.

We understand that they teach and develop strength, chemistry, strong work ethic and humility amongst countless other positives.

Sports are also competitive, grueling and difficult to master, meaning that for all the good it brings to the table, it can also create disappointment, inadequacy and failure.

When the struggles and failures come to a head, someone has to shoulder the blame, whether that be fair or not, and most of the time the Head Coach is the first one on the chopping block.

That was certainly the case for Kayla Ard, who as of two days ago, was on the sideline coaching the Utah State women’s basketball team.

USU had entered the Mountain West tournament as the #11 seed, and would drop their first game against Boise State, 85-49, to ensure the end of the season.

Utah State finished with a 5-25 record, and went 2-16 in conference play.

They finished the year on a 4-game slide, including a 104-44 loss on their home floor VS #23 UNLV.

It wasn’t surprising to see Utah State decide to go a different direction from Coach Ard.

Afterall, programs want to win, players want to win, and if you’re not winning, a shakeup is a necessity.

The Aggies had 5 or fewer wins in 3 of Ard’s 4 seasons at the helm and had an overall record of 24-90 since she took over in 2020.

The firing, the shakeup, the change of direction wasn’t the problem per say, but how Utah State decided to handle it was.

One can only assume that somewhere between the loss to Boise State in Las Vegas, and a post-game press conference, Coach Ard was informed her services would no longer be necessary.

No press release, no update, no knowledge, most players likely hadn’t even changed out of their uniforms and it was official.

Of course, it appears as the only people who knew about this was the brass at Utah State and Coach Ard herself, leading to one of the most awkward post-game pressers in basketball history.

Coach Ard was asked specifically about how she planned to rebuild for next season, a question you can’t tip toe around if you won’t be present for this process.

This was her response:

Coach was clearly upset, and who wouldn’t be, but seemed to handle the situation professionally and respectfully.

All the professionalism and respect in the world can’t quite hide the sheer feeling of discomfort that Coach, the media, and any viewer was experiencing in that moment.

Utah State is now viral, as people all over wonder why this Coach had to be put in that situation, or why it couldn’t have been done or announced at a later date.

I get the outrage, I get the confusion, but there are some things to consider leading up this event.

The conference had to happen here as noted by Parker Ballantyne;

But did she have to be informed of her release after walking off the hardwood? That’s up for debate.

Assuming that’s when the firing of Ard took place could certainly be in the wrong. Chances are, with year #4 going just as poorly as 2 of her other three seasons, I would be shocked if Utah State and Coach Ard didn’t already have an understanding of the weight of the situation.

It doesn’t seem like the wrong move, but it certainly felt like the wrong time.

What’s right or wrong, fair or unfair, has been debated and will continue to be, yet whatever your conclusion is, this whole scenario certainly has given us a unique moment in hoops history.