There was a time when Oklahoma State coach Mike Gundy cared about his quarterbacks enough to get hopped up on Red Bull and famously defend them in a shouting rant. That was pretty cool.
This week he said quarterback Wes Lunt, who began last season as a freshman starter but slipped down the depth chart after he sustained some injuries, could transfer but was given a transfer restriction list that included schools from the Big 12, SEC and Pac-12, and Southern Mississippi and Central Michigan as well. All transfer restrictions are pretty unfair, and if the NCAA cared in the slightest about student athletes it would never let broad transfer restrictions happen. But even in a world where coaches often have some rules on where a player can transfer to, that's a pretty substantial list. If Lunt wanted to go to a restricted school he would not only have to sit out but he'd have to pay his own way for a year.
It seems rather petty and unnecessary after both sides went out of their way to say that both sides appreciated what the other did, but it was time to move on. There's just no good reason for this.
So we grabbed a newspaper with the headline, "Coach restricts quarterback from going to whatever school he chooses for no good reason," sat Gundy down and let him know how we felt about it:
"I’m going to talk about this article right here. If anybody hasn’t read this article — I don’t read it, but it was brought to me by a mother ... of children. I think this is worth reading.
Let me tell you why I want to talk about this article. It’s all accurate, not fiction and this article embarrasses me to write about athletics tremendously. That article had to have been written about a coach that doesn’t have a child, and has never had a child that has changed their mind at 19 years old and come home from their freshman year upset! And had to fairly deal with the child when he is upset! And kick a person when he’s down!
Here’s all that Wes Lunt did: He goes to class. He is respectful to the media. He’s respectful to the public. And he’s a good kid. And he’s not a professional athlete and he doesn’t deserve to be restricted on what school he can transfer to when he's down.
If you have a child someday, you’ll understand how it feels. But you obviously don’t have a child. I do. If your child goes to a school and somebody makes fun of him because he has a lot of potential and might not start ahead of Clint Chelf, or says he’s fat, and he comes asking to his coach to go to the school of his choice, you’d understand. But you haven’t had that. Someday you will and when your child comes home after his freshman year when he's still young enough to regret his college decision, you’ll understand.
If you want to mess with the future an athlete for no good reason — one of your athletes! — you mess with one who doesn’t do the right things! You don’t restrict his transfer process because he does everything right and may not start on Saturday! We should not let you make that decision!
That’s why I don’t believe the NCAA’s rhetoric about caring for student athletes. Because it’s garbage! And the Oklahoma State administrator that let you restrict his college future is garbage! Restricting an amateur athlete who you’ve said left on good terms. And then you want to take care of guys who don’t do things right and downgrade them, the ones that do make plays.
Are you kidding me? Where are we at in society today? We expect more from you! You’re a man! You’re 45! You’re not a kid. Take some responsibility! Or your coaches. Don’t restrict a kid that does everything right, that’s heart is broken he isn’t the starter at Oklahoma State, and then say he can’t go to Southern Miss! That ain’t right! And then to make that decision about Wes Lunt, after you thanked him for everything he did. That’s not right!
So get your priorities straight. And I hope someday you have a child and somebody doesn’t let them choose their own college future and needlessly messes with them on a massively important life decision for no reason at all and you have to look them in the eye and say, 'You know what? It’s OK. They are supposed to be mature adults but they’re really not.' Who’s the kid here? Who’s the kid here? Are you kidding me? That’s all I’ve got to say. Makes me want to puke."