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Day after the rant
Looking back at Mike Gundy's postgame tirade and what prompted it

by Berry Tramel Modified: September 24, 2007 at 11:51 am •  Published: September 24, 2007
I didn't write about Mike Gundy's tirade in The Sunday Oklahoman because I thought Oklahoma State football fans deserved better.

They deserved to read about one of the wildest games in OSU history and certainly one of the most important wins in Gundy's three-year head-coaching career. But a day later, the outburst and what led to it demands discussion.

Gundy was enraged by Jenni Carlson's column on Bobby Reid in the Saturday Oklahoman.

We don't like to be the story. We hate to be the story. But we became the story.

Did Gundy make some good points? Absolutely. The manner in which collegiate athletes are covered in the media is an excellent topic, worthy of discussion.

I don't buy all of Gundy's argument that college athletes are immune from scrutiny. You can't on one hand treat football players like princes, with everything from opulent training tables to enrollment favors, then claim they're just regular students.

I didn't agree with all of Carlson's column about Reid's attitude and toughness, which is not particularly unique. A whole batch of people rarely agree with all of mine.

But Gundy holds some responsibility for the events that led to the volcano Saturday night. He has not been truthful about the quarterback situation, and that's led to confusion, questions and speculation. Being dishonest with us — which means being dishonest with his very own fans — is not the proper way to do business.

As for Gundy's method and timing, what was he thinking? Yes, he embarrassed Carlson and The Oklahoman, but he also embarrassed himself, taking away from a glorious victory. It was a PR blunder, and I think Gundy probably knows that.

Sunday, he said he regrets only shooting from the hip, instead of preparing a statement. Gundy said he didn't read the column until after the game, though he had heard about it because OSU personnel confiscated all the newspapers from their usual place at the team brunch Saturday morning.

"I wouldn't change a whole lot about it,” Gundy said.

That's unfortunate, because Gundy did not come off looking good.

Oklahoman sports editor Mike Sherman said Sunday he stands behind Carlson and said reasonable people can disagree about how this column was handled and how college athletes should be covered.

Carlson said Sunday: "I stand behind my column. Being questioned is part of being a columnist, but I am certain of the facts in this column.”

Much of this row stems from the growing divide between the public and college athletic programs.

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by Berry Tramel
Berry Tramel, a lifelong Oklahoman, sports fan and newspaper reader, joined The Oklahoman in 1991 and has served as beat writer, assistant sports editor, sports editor and columnist. Tramel grew up reading four daily newspapers — The Oklahoman,...
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A recent column in The Oklahoman upset OSU coach Mike Gundy on Saturday night. BY MATT STRASEN, THE OKLAHOMAN


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