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THE COLUMNIST Carlson stands by her facts, citing sources, observations

By Jenni Carlson Modified: September 25, 2007 at 5:46 pm •  Published: September 25, 2007
STILLWATER — I finally got a follow-up question.

Two days ago, Mike Gundy launched a verbal tirade on yours truly. The Oklahoma State football coach took offense to my Saturday column about Bobby Reid. When Gundy was still talking sense, before he went completely ballistic, he contended that the column was fiction.

"Three-fourths of this is inaccurate,” he said.

Then about three minutes later, Gundy stormed out. No questions. No rebuttals.

Monday at Oklahoma State's weekly news conference, I had a chance to ask the question that's been eating at me ever since:

You contended three-fourths of that column was inaccurate; could you tell me what those factual errors were?

"I don't have to,” he said.

Our paper has a policy of correcting errors, and I can't do that if I don't know what the errors were.

"I don't have to,” Gundy said again. "I'd rather just let it go.”

I'd rather let it go, too, but by disputing the facts in my column, Gundy attacked my credibility.

These were not wild accusations. They are facts that came from sources and observations. I will not stand on the sidelines and allow someone to attack my credibility.

Anyone who's involved with producing a product, any product, can understand.

Let's say you're making and selling widgets, and the widget maker across the street goes out on the corner and tells everyone passing by that your widgets are faulty. Seventy-five percent of them don't work, he says. You know it's not true.

What would you do?

Take it?

Of course not. You'd want your next-door widget maker to substantiate those claims or back off of them.

That's what I wanted.

Gundy was asked on at least three separate occasions Monday — once by me and two other times by other journalists — to expand on his contention that the facts in the column were inaccurate. Did Reid never consider transferring, for example? Did he play through injuries like coaches wanted? Gundy has yet to argue any facts specifically.

Gundy has only attempted to dispute one thing in the column. Saturday night, he said Cowboy coaches didn't start Reid over Donovan Woods in 2005 because Reid threatened to transfer.

I never said that they did.

Here's what I said: "Reid has considered transferring a couple different times, the first as early as 2005.

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