TULSA — Mike Gundy was rushed into an interview room inside the hotel. A member of the athletic department told the Oklahoma State football coach to get right to questions.
Gundy was supposed to have more time with reporters Monday night at the Tulsa Cowboy Caravan, but another OSU coach speaking at the event apparently didn’t fill his time slot on the stage.
“Josh (Holliday) was supposed to talk longer,” Gundy joked. “He had a great year. I don’t know why he was so short.”
The three biggest takeaways from Gundy’s five-minute interview:
Recent NCAA rulings have made Gundy pay closer attention to what the media is reporting.
“I have people who keep me very informed,” Gundy said. “I’ve probably read more than I have ever in the last few months to keep up with the Jones’ on this information.”
The NCAA announced last week that representatives from the power five conferences (Big 12, SEC, ACC, Big 10 and Pac 12) will account for nearly 40 percent of the voting power on the NCAA Council — which means that those conferences will likely have the ability to decide their own rules on issues like stipends for student athletes, contact with recruits, scholarship limits and much more.
“Big changes are afoot in the NCAA and the only thing for certain is college athletics as we know it today won’t exist very much longer,” OSU athletic director Mike Holder said last week. “I’m for putting the emphasis on student while still providing the opportunity to be an athlete. If autonomy puts us closer to that goal, then it will have been a good thing. Only time will tell.”
Gundy didn’t comment directly on current issues facing the NCAA, but said he has faith that Big 12 commissioner Bob Bowlsby has the conference headed in the right direction.
“(Bowlsby) knows a lot more about it than I do,” Gundy said. “I don’t keep up with it, but he’s very intelligent and has a really good feel. He’s on these committees … I don’t plan and pretend to know as much as what he does.”
Gundy thinks highly of Florida State quarterback Jameis Winston.
“He got better each game (last season),” Gundy said. “People talk about him like he’s a junior or senior, but he’s very young. He’s got a great supporting cast and is very talented … If you aren’t gap responsible and you get out of place, he can take off and make plays. He’s big and strong. Players fall off of him and he can throw it down the field and make a play.”
Winston’s abilities have been just one of many aspects in game planning the Seminoles, Gundy said, as the talent around Winston is also top-tier. With so many young OSU players being ushered into leading roles, Gundy said post-game film following the opener will give him a better idea of exactly where the Cowboys stand.
“One thing I’ve learned in doing this now for 10 years, I understand who we are and the direction we need to go,” Gundy said. “I think as a head coach, that’s really where I’ve improved the most over the last three or four years. I have a better feel for where we’re at than obviously everybody else, even our coaches because I see the big picture … After that game, I have to evaluate where we’re at and how we executed the game plan based on the team that we competed against.”
After 10 years as head coach, Gundy feels like he’s gotten better at public speaking engagements like the Cowboy Caravan.
“I enjoy getting out and being around the people, I think I’ve gotten better over the years,” Gundy said. “We all spend enough time in front of crowds and talking. I can relate to the Oklahoma State people and I enjoy being out there.”