Yahoo Sports’ Dan Wetzel, and Sports Illustrated’s Pat Forde and Ross Dellenger discuss Oklahoma’s announcement that long-time assistant coach Cale Gundy had resigned after using a ‘racially charged’ word in a team meeting.
DAN WETZEL: Big story out of Norman, Oklahoma late Sunday night, Cale Gundy, brother of Mike Gundy, who's, obviously, the Oklahoma State Coach. But Cale Gundy was a star quarterback at Oklahoma and has spent, I think, the last 20 plus years, 25 plus years as a assistant coach with the Sooners. He released a statement late Sunday night, where he resigned from his job and said, "I owe it to Sooner nation to be transparent.
Last week, during a film session, I instructed my players to take notes. I noticed a player was distracted. I picked up on his iPad and read aloud the words that were written on his screen. The words displayed had nothing to do with football. One particular word that I should never, under any circumstance have uttered was displayed on that screen.
In the moment, I did not even realize what I was reading, and as soon as I did, I was horrified. I want to be very clear, the words I read aloud from the screen were not my words. What I said was not malicious. It wasn't even intentional. Still, I'm mature enough to know that the word I said was shameful and hurtful, no matter my intentions."
We've gotten more of an update on Monday from head coach Brent Venables, and he said this. "Coach Gundy resigned from the program, because he knows what he did was wrong. He chose to read aloud to his players not once, but multiple times, a racially charged word that is objectionable to everyone and does not reflect the attitude and values of our university or our football program. This is not acceptable, period. Coach Gundy did the right thing in resigning and so on."
So mistakenly reading a word once, not saying you keep your job, but that's once. Saying the same word multiple times is a different story. So I know he's not the head coach, but kind of a coaching legend at OU. Is that your thoughts on that, Pat?
PAT FORDE: Yeah, no, I mean, it's significant. The additional context offered by Venables, I think, is instructive, and the tone from Venables makes it clear. I think that, if Cale Gundy didn't step down, he was going to step down. He was going to be pushed, and maybe that's what happened here ultimately.
But there are words you cannot say, and you should not say. And clearly, Cale Gundy said it and not once, but multiple times. And here in 2022 as a college football coach, this is what you get. I don't want to hear people moaning, oh, cancel culture, oh, this is ridiculous.
If you don't know that as a football coach, you're ignorant, OK? You should know that that's kind of the situation that you are in, and that's the environment you're in, and be respectful of that environment. So for Cale Gundy, you know, it's the end of a long, and storied, and beloved career. But I think it should be.
ROSS DELLENGER; Well, and we at first, right when this came out, Sunday night into Monday, you kind of heard that the backlash or the moaning of the cancel culture and stuff like that. And I think part of why you heard that is because this story didn't seem right. Something seemed like something was missing. There had to be more to the story, and then, little by little, the truth is coming out that he didn't just say the word once, that he said the word multiple times.
So I don't know what happened with his statement, why his statement kind of inferred or suggested that he read it almost by accident one time. And then, obviously, Venables came in to clear up and offer more information. Obviously, when you're speaking to a room full of athletes, and say those things, and knowing you have to go on the road and recruit, and knowing your own players talk to recruits, I mean, that's just not-- that's not a good situation. And for everybody, a split was probably necessary there.
DAN WETZEL: Yeah, and who knows? I mean, we may get more context from if there are sides to the story from all the different sides. That's the thing. I mean, this initial statement is one person's statement.
PAT FORDE: Right. We haven't heard from any of the players.
DAN WETZEL: Yeah, we have not heard from the players, and we don't know what other attitude is. And it's a new coach, and it's a lot of different things.
ROSS DELLENGER; A lot of former players coming out, interestingly, who weren't in the room, coming out in support of him pretty passionately. So that probably is part of what sparked, I guess, Brent Venables to release his statement, because there was a loud push from his former players who came out in support of him.
DAN WETZEL: Right, who love him. He does have his support out there, so a lot of different angles on that.