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THE COACH Gundy only wishes he'd said more and that he'd been better prepared

By Andrea Cohen and John Helsley Modified: September 25, 2007 at 10:20 am •  Published: September 25, 2007
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STILLWATER — Oklahoma State University football coach Mike Gundy expressed two regrets about his Saturday postgame comments.

He wishes he had said more and wishes he had been better prepared.

"I probably should have had a better prepared speech — my English would have been better,” Gundy said Monday at his weekly news conference at Boone Pickens Stadium. "The only thing I said is that I should have written it out because there's other things I wanted to say and didn't get out because I forgot.”

Gundy made national news Saturday when he spent his entire postgame news conference on an emotional defense of backup quarterback Bobby Reid and criticism of a column by The Oklahoman's Jenni Carlson.

The column asserted Reid remains OSU's most talented quarterback but lost the starting job in part because of his attitude and lack of toughness.

Following OSU's 49-45 victory over Texas Tech Saturday, Gundy berated Carlson, saying three-fourths of the column was "inaccurate, fiction.”

Reid quarterbacked OSU to a bowl victory over Alabama last season and has been called the biggest recruit in school history. But the junior from Houston lost the starting job to sophomore Zac Robinson two weeks ago.

Gundy called Reid a good kid who does things right and is undeserving of such criticism.

"It's garbage,” Gundy said Saturday of the column, "and the editor who let it come out is garbage.”

Gundy said he has received considerable support from other coaches in the form of e-mail and voice mail messages. E-mails to The Oklahoman have been overwhelmingly supportive of Gundy. OSU athletic director Mike Holder praised his coach for defending a player, adding that "nothing is more important to us than our student-athletes.”

At his Monday news conference, Gundy spoke for 10 minutes before the questions turned to Saturday's postgame speech.

Three times, Gundy declined requests to be specific with what he believed was inaccurate in the story. When asked by Carlson, he said, "I don't have to. I'd rather just let it go.”

Gundy had originally planned to not address his postgame reaction, saying there should have been a handout to the media addressing that point. But he did answer questions.

"The only thing that matters to me is what I thought was right, and whatever I thought was right is what I said. Other than that, I just have to let it go,” Gundy said. "I don't say things for people to disagree or agree with me. I say them if I think they're right.”

Gundy's Saturday comments became popular on the Internet, hitting the top 10 videos on YouTube by midday Monday.

"It just happened because of my feelings for the team and the players, and I just felt like it wasn't the right thing,” he said. "I certainly didn't do it to receive recognition, and I certainly don't want to take away from this upcoming game like it unfortunately took away from the last game for the team.”

Gundy said Monday he wasn't mad at Carlson. He said his objection was with the story.

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Football Writers Association of American President Mike Griffith, of the Knoxville (Tenn.) News-Sentinel, released a statement about Gundy's comments on Saturday night: "I consider Coach Gundy's behavior completely inappropriate. It shows a lack of respect for the media and doesn't speak well for the university and the fans that he represents.”

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