Monday, September 24, 2007

Mike Gundy Lectures the Oklahoma Media

From Dick Weiss of the N.Y. Daily News:

Oklahoma State coach Mike Gundy didn't have time to talk about his team's 49-45 victory over Texas Tech on Saturday in Stillwater. Instead, he chose to use his postgame interview session with the media to go ballistic on Jenni Carlson, a columnist for the Daily Oklahoman.

Carlson wrote a piece critical of junior quarterback Bobby Reid, who had been replaced by sophomore Zac Robinson prior to the game, suggesting among other things the coaches had sacked Reid, the most talented quarterback on the team, because of his attitude. Carlson claimed Reid had not always handled his nerves well and was "nicked in some games and sat it out instead of gutting it out."

She also painted a disturbing picture of Reid as a coddled player, standing near the team charter buses, using his cell phone while being fed chicken by his mother out of a boxed meal.

Carlson obviously tweaked a nerve that sent Gundy over the edge after Reid's mother came to his office to complain.

He characterized Reid as "a good kid" who goes to class and is respectful of the media and was the victim of yellow journalism.

"Three-fourths of this is inaccurate," Gundy claimed, holding up a copy of the column. "It's fiction. And this article embarrasses me to be involved with athletics."

Then he started raising his voice, pointed his finger in Carlson's direction and appeared to be moving toward her in a threatening manner. Video of the entire meltdown is already available all over the Internet.

"That article had to have been written by a person that doesn't have a child," Gundy wailed. "And has never had a child that had his heart broken and come home upset and had to deal with a child when he is upset. ... He's not a professional athlete and he doesn't deserve to be kicked 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 down the street and somebody makes fun of him because he drops a pass in pickup game or says he's fat and he comes home crying to his mom, you'll understand."

Great, coach. Scream a little louder in what certainly looked like an effort to intimidate Carlson because she dared to fairly criticize a 21-year-old scholarship player. Under a little stress, are we? Not everyone in Stillwater is buying into this uncalled-for diatribe after the Cowboys' ugly loss to Troy the previous week, where Gundy looked so disinterested on ESPN. As for accusations that Carlson claimed Reid was scared, we don't remember reading that in her column.

Gundy, who claims he doesn't read Carlson's newspaper "because it's garbage" and went on to say "the editor who let it come out is garbage," left without taking questions, and was applauded by what must have been cronies as he stormed out of the room. The Oklahoman stands by its columnist and its story. We wonder if Gundy would have made those outrageous comments if a male columnist had written that. For most rational coaches, these things are best handled in one-on-ones behind closed doors instead of on a bully pulpit.

This story has become a national emebarrassment for the program, the university and the Big 12. Gundy owes Carlson an apology for his outrageous behavior. And Oklahoma State needs to review whether this is someone it wants representing its school.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Your blog is pure trash. Your telling me that a columist who unfairly downgrades and lies about a player is being criticized for merly being a woman? One-on-one is closed doors? Someone who writes an article like that deserved to be humilated and should not ever being writing fora paper. If she was truthful, then she can come foward and clear things up. Your stance on this issue is despicable