A core principle of Mike Gundy's program is honesty with Oklahoma State players and recruits.
The Cowboy head coach strives for fairness and honesty when handling his players and their families.
“If we have an issue with a young man because he's not playing enough or his parents want to talk to us, we tell them the truth, here's the reason why,” Gundy said. “We may not be right, but this is our job and this is the decision we've made.”
Gundy understands honesty can make a big difference in recruiting — before recruits make a commitment and after they are on campus.
“The players on our team are our best recruiters because we've backed up what we've said,” Gundy said. “It hasn't always been easy, but we tell people the truth. There's something to be said about being up front and honest. Beating around the bush and not saying what's going on isn't going to get you anywhere, that's not been our approach.”
It's an approach that has garnered the Pokes' program respect from current players and recruits alike.
“I think the players respect our organization and our structure because we tell them why,” Gundy said. “It's not our fault you didn't go to class, it's not our fault you're not working hard, you're making those decisions, not me. And because of that, here are the repercussions.
“Any young man who has come in our program has been treated fairly. He may not have played as much as he wanted to or it may not have been the way he thought it was because he didn't meet the expectations it takes to play here, like he wasn't working like he's supposed to or wasn't going to class. But he's been told why it worked for him or it didn't.”