The Cowboys got back at six a.m. and Gundy on Sunday afternoon revealed that some players had trouble getting to sleep. The head coach admitted that his biological clock was trying to tell him it was time to start the day when his body and mind were telling him to go to sleep.
The head coach was asked if college football is ever going to get back to Saturdays and Saturday afternoons and where it is more for the student-athlete. He prefaced his comments by saying he needed to watch what he says.
"I really need to bite my tongue a little bit," started Gundy, who admitted that he knew little about the latest in conference realignment with Pitt and Syracuse going to the ACC, but that realignment could create later nights for OSU if they were to go west to the Pac-12. "I've expressed that concern for a couple of weeks. I don't think a game should ever kick off at nine o'clock because of problems like you had last night. We got back at six a.m. in the morning. I'm not a big fan of it. We are raising the APR level and the number of hours that these student-athletes are having to meet and then playing games all over the country at all times. I wish the people making the decisions would think about them and them getting their education."
More critical than all of that was that while the delay was going on at Tulsa the team and one of the most loved members of the Cowboy football family received some devastating bad news. Co-defensive coordinator and linebackers coach Glenn Spencer has been supporting his wife, Angela, for the past several years through heart problems. It was just over a year and a half ago that Angela had a heart transplant and had the swing of a vast improvement before a recent downturn. During the delay Spencer received news that Angela had a setback and he immediately left to go back to Stillwater. Gundy revealed on Sunday that it was during the first quarter they learned that Angela Spencer had passed away.
"The last 12 hours have been difficult for our football team," Gundy said. "Our coaches and players are close. His family is with him and he is doing as good as could be expected," Gundy added of Spencer.
Asked by Bill Haisten of The Tulsa World about how Spencer has dealt with all of this in recent years and Gundy became very animated.
"It is one of the most impressive things I've ever seen in my life," he said. "She had a heart transplant and they went through some good months and then some bad. He has been completed dedicated to her and to his two teenage boys, who have learned to take care of themselves and he would go to Oklahoma City to be with her in the hospital all night and then come back here for meetings at 8 a.m.
"It really shows what life is all about," continued Gundy. "I could never be that strong, be that kind of person. (I believe) certain people cross our paths in life for a reason and Glenn has taught us all a lot of lessons. Our players and our coaches understand adversity and how to deal with it."
Asked about how much Spencer will be involved this week in preparing for the showdown with A&M, Gundy said that he told Spencer to be gone as long as he needs to.
"There is not a harder worker in our program or anyone that wants to be here more," said Gundy. "I told him to come back whenever he wants whether that is three days or two weeks."
How the Cowboys will adapt, likely with Joe DeForest and defensive coordinator Bill Young working with linebackers and Jason Jones working more with the entire secondary, until Spencer comes back will be decided tomorrow. He said on Sunday they scrambled to get all the video from Tulsa graded.
The Cowboys head coach said he is asking his staff to go home after practice on Sunday evening and catch up on rest and then dive in fully on No. 8/9 Texas A&M in the morning. He said the team has no choice about overcoming any hangover from the overnight game in Tulsa. He has told his players to go home and sleep, have a regular class Monday and then spend much of their day off resting including getting to bed early on Monday night.
On the injury front, Gundy said he was glad to get out of the Tulsa game with no major injuries. Despite giving up 365 yards rushing to Tulsa, the Cowboys were able to rest weak side linebacker Alex Elkins. Gundy said Elkins could have played and was about 80 percent, but by Wednesday of this week will be close to 100 percent. He also said kicker Quinn Sharp, who had a turned ankle in pregame, was fine and would be good for Texas A&M.
That showdown game with A&M is now scheduled for 2:30, and that is p.m. and not a.m., making the Cowboys head coach happy.