Gundy Uses Victory To Send A Message

It would have been a lot easier and a heckuva lot more fun for Oklahoma State head coach Mike Gundy to go to Saturday night's post-game media room and answer questions on what he called one of the most impressive wins by his Cowboys since he took over as coach. But, as everyone now knows, that's not what happened.

Coaches love to brag on their players and their staff when they make a turnaround like the Cowboys did Saturday night, coming off a disappointing loss at Troy only to go 1-0 in the Big 12 for the first time since 2004 and only the fourth time since the start of the Big 12 with the 49-45 win over Texas Tech.

It was a game that was never more than a possession game. There were 1,328 yards of total offense. Oklahoma State had three 100-plus yard rushers in a game for the first time in school history. Michael Crabtree and Danny Amendola of Tech each had 14 receptions and both had more than 200 yards catching passes.

In the end there was the 54-yard touchdown pass from Zac Robinson to tight end Brandon Pettigrew and the defensive stop to save the game

Instead of talking about the game in his post-game news conference Gundy used a brief appearance in front of the media to right what he considered a wrong in the morning paper in an attacking column by Jenni Carlson in The Oklahoman that literally drop kicked former starting quarterback Bobby Reid.

Gundy cited the story for inaccuracies and a biting tone aimed at a player that I've personally witnessed handle the demotion in a very mature and positive fashion. Reid is a team captain, elected by his teammates. He has done everything you would expect -- and more -- in practice and in games to support the quarterback that took over, Zac Robinson. Yet this column questioned his toughness, his character, and hinted that he won the job in 2005 because he leveraged the coaches by threatening to transfer.

Gundy delivered the monologue below while staring down Carlson, sitting on the fifth row, and in a medium to loud disgusted tone.

"He's a good kid and he's not a professional athlete and he doesn't deserve to be kicked when he is down," started Gundy. "If you have a child some day you'll understand how it feels, but you obviously don't have a child. I do. If you have a child some day and somebody makes fun of him because he dropped a pass in a pickup game down the street or says he's fat and he comes home crying to his mom you'd understand. You don't have that, and someday you will and when your child comes home you'll understand.

"If you want to go after an athlete, one of my athletes, you go after one that doesn't do the right things," continued Gundy getting louder. "You don't downgrade him because he does the right things but doesn't play well on Saturday, and you let me and my coaches make that decision. That's why I don't read the newspaper because its garbage, and the editor that let it come out is garbage.

"Attacking an amateur athlete for doing everything right and then you want to write articles about guys that don't do things right and downgrade 'em, the ones that do make plays," said Gundy in keeping at it. "Are you kidding me? Where is our society today? Come after me. I'm a man. I'm 40. Write something about me or write about our coaches. Don't write about a kid that does everything right, that's heart is broken, and then write that the coaches said he's scared. That's not true. Then say we made that decision with Donovan Woods because he was going to transfer, that's not true … That's all I have to say. I want to puke."

As the Oklahoma State head coach stormed out of the room he did so to a loud applause from the back of the room, which included his parents and several other supporters.

Now Gundy can expect a backlash from The Oklahoman, and there will be attention from outlets like ESPN, national publications, and likely, some other newspapers that will come to the aid of The Oklahoman.

It was a shame because Gundy should have been talking about the final stop by the Cowboy defense, Brandon Pettigrew, Zac Robinson, Dantrell Savage, Kendall Hunter, the offensive line, Nate Peterson with two sacks, and just about every other Cowboy that played.

I'm proud to say that in print, on radio, and on television I have never attacked a student-athlete. They are not professional athletes, and while describing a performance and a mistake is acceptable, attacking them as a person is as cheap a shot as you can take. I know from personal experience earlier this season how the media can overdo it. It was The Oklahoman, in this case too, that decided it would be good to feature my son after he made a bad snap at Georgia in the opener because his dad is involved as a sideline reporter on the Cowboy Radio Network. I chose not to participate. In fairness, I understand, thanks to my son being smart enough to handle the interview, the story came off OK. But, I chose not to read it.

I agree with Gundy, what is the media dropping to? It is all about controversy? Is the more controversial, the better? Today's sport journalism would make the Hall of Famers of sports journalism roll over in their graves. I'm pretty sure little will change nationally, but it might be some time before a local writer decides to attack a Cowboy football player.

Gundy opened up a can of worms he may have wished he hadn't. But Oklahoma State fans and, no doubt, his players will admire his gusto in trying to protect his player. I'm also willing to bet that subscriptions to The Oklahoman will be down in the "sea of orange."

GoPokes Top Stories