Gundy Talks Florida Vacancy, Boone Pickens

It's not enough these days that Oklahoma State head coach Mike Gundy has plenty of on-the-field issues to worry about with an offense that is struggling to score points and an offensive line that is struggling to block the run game and protect the quarterback Daxx Garman, who is getting beat up on a weekly basis. The defense, as a result, is on the field too long.

Gundy told reporters Monday at his weekly media gathering that recruiting is going well and that this weekend they had a number of recruits on campus that could play. When he looked at many of the schools that were trying to recruit some of the better players Oklahoma State's win-loss record was as good or better than those schools. Gundy said recruiting is going well.

Public relations may not be at a high right now as Gundy was asked about Friday's comments in an Austin American-Statesman story featuring Boone Pickens. It's not enough that the local media that cover OSU will interview and hang on to Pickens' every word, now opponents' media are looking for stories from Pickens.

This quote on a question of whether Pickens supports Gundy as head football coach at his school, Oklahoma State, garnered lots of attention. "I’m certainly supportive of Oklahoma State University," Pickens said in the story. "I’m always going to be for OSU. I don’t care who coaches them."

Okay, that goes along with the old adage that if you can't say something nice then don't say anything at all. Pickens is very close to Oklahoma State vice president for athletics and athletic director Mike Holder. During the contentious contract negotiations between OSU and Gundy, when Gundy employed agent Jimmy Sexton, Holder discussed those negotiations with Pickens and a disconnect resulted between Pickens and Gundy. It dates back. Now the media is having a second bite at that apple and it's not the best timing for Gundy or really the school and the football program.

Gundy was asked about it Monday. Told of the comment that Pickens said he supports Oklahoma State no matter who the coach is, Gundy had a clever, possibly facetious response.

"That’s awesome," Gundy said. "I happen to be the coach, so that means he’s supporting me. I don’t need anybody to tell me that they like me or dislike me. I don’t really care. I just like to coach my guys and keep playing ball. I don’t know what to say. (Pickens), he’s old enough to make his own comments now, right? I can’t control what he says."

The other non-Cowboy football topic of the day, one that the media might consider sexy, was that Gundy had been installed as a 4-to-1 favorite to be the next head coach at the University of Florida by the Las Vegas book Bovada.

"That's crazy," Gundy replied quickly. "I just don't have any interest in that, I'm just worried about tomorrow's practice. I don't think there's any question most people in the country would say that Florida is one of the top 10 programs in the country tradition-wise and history-wise so is that a credit to the school here and the football program, I would say it is."

Thanks to Oklahoma State beat reporter Bill Haisten of The Tulsa World, probably one of the reporters that Gundy most respects and openly communicates with, here is some bonus material from a discussion down the hall following the Monday press conference.

On Pickens quote and that whole story blowing up: "I don’t have any idea (why the relationship with Pickens wasn't as strong)," Gundy responded. "With me, I have to take care of everything that I actually control and have my hands on. He’s very outspoken and he’s going to say what he wants to say, when he wants to say it. I just keep moving forward and do what I do."

On the Florida situation: "I didn’t know anything about it," Gundy said. "I don’t have an agent. I don’t have anybody that represents me."

On how one media member continues to scream on the radio that Gundy isn't happy at OSU: "I don't know why he would say I'm not happy here," Gundy stated. "I want (fans) to understand that I love what I do. I love coaching kids. I like coming to work. I enjoy getting the time with the players. I've done this a long time now and have a good feel for the way things are. If it were my choice, I would win eight, nine or 10 games a year and keep everybody happy. Right now, we’re not doing that. I can’t all of a sudden just be frustrated. That’s not what I believe in, and I don't know how much good it would do."

Finally, a football question. If something were to happen to Daxx Garman, and he has been hit a lot, is freshman Mason Rudolph really the back-up? Is he the guy that would go in: "There’s no right or wrong there," answered Gundy. "You're caught in a deal there where you do what you have to do."

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