Cowboys' Gundy doesn't back down after postgame tirade

Updated: September 25, 2007, 7:55 PM ET
ESPN.com news services

Oklahoma State football coach Mike Gundy might have liked to choose his words differently after a postgame press conference got heated Saturday, but the sentiments of his statements remained the same two days later.

On Monday, ESPN's Joe Schad asked Gundy to expand on his stance that college athletes should be spared criticism after a report in The Oklahoman detailed the reasons quarterback Bobby Reid may have lost his starting job.

"Did you see the press conference," Gundy said, before Schad repeated his question. "I'm asking if you saw the press conference?"

After Schad said "yes," Gundy responded, "That pretty much answered that question, didn't it?"

Asked if his postgame rant, which included no talk of the game, might have overshadowed what his players accomplished in such an important win, Gundy stood by his actions.

More on this story

Read the original column from The Oklahoman that caused Oklahoma State coach Mike Gundy's initial reaction. Story

• Watch the columnist's reaction to the situation. Video
• On Tuesday, Carlson wrote that she stood by her facts. Story

Gundy tried to explain himself further to reporters 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, so I was the guy that had to say something about it," Gundy said. "But I certainly didn't do it to receive recognition and I certainly don't want it to take away from this upcoming game like it unfortunately took away from the last game for the team."

The Cowboys face Sam Houston State on Saturday.

On Saturday, Gundy was rather animated when addressing the media after a wild 49-45 Cowboys win over Texas Tech.

"Tired of certain people downgrading college athletes who are good people," Gundy said about the newspaper column on Reid. "If you want to comment on his play, comment on his play. But don't comment on something that's outside of his play that is downgrading or belittling to a young man who is trying to do things right and he has to get splashed all over the newspaper in the state of Oklahoma. And on a game day."

Gundy also questioned columnist Jenni Carlson, asking her if she had any children. When she answered that she didn't, the coach said she wouldn't know what it was like to have them publicly ridiculed after a poor showing.

Carlson responded Sunday by telling the paper, "I stand behind my column. Being questioned is part of being a columnist, but I am certain of the facts in this column."

Carlson told the NewsOK Web site that during Monday's press conference, she was able to ask Gundy what was wrong with her column.

"He said on Saturday that three-fourths of what I had written in Saturday's column was inaccurate, and I really wanted to know from him what those inaccuracies were, what those statements of fact that were wrong were," she said during a video segment. "And unfortunately, I didn't get any answers. I asked the question and the question was also asked by a couple of other people in different ways, and still we don't have answers to that. So, that's unfortunate because when you contend that there's that much wrong with something, I as a reporter would really like to know what was wrong with the story, with the column."

According to the Oklahoman, Gundy responded to the request to clarify by saying, "I don't have to. I'd rather just let it go."

Oklahoman sports editor Mike Sherman issued a written statement on Monday that said: "The Oklahoman stands behind Jenni and her right to do the column. We have been covering OU and OSU athletics for a long time, and our relationship with them is bigger than any individual or disagreement."

On Sunday, Gundy said he could have handled the situation a little differently.

"If I'd have had to do it again, I would have prepared for it," Gundy told reporters. "I shot from the hip. I would have had a written-out statement and actually covered some things that I probably could have gone into a little more in-depth. But I shot it from the hip. It probably wasn't very well-prepared."

Football Writers Association of America president Mike Griffith issued a statement about the incident on Monday.

"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. Coach Gundy's actions have brought national attention and further scrutiny to the situation that could have been handled in a more private and appropriate matter."

The Association for Women in Sports Media issued a statement Monday night saying Gundy handled the situation in an "unprofessional manner" and that while he has a right to express his opinion, "his decision to air his objections in the form of a personal attack shows a lack of respect for all journalists."

Gundy said his secretaries had informed him he was getting numerous e-mails and that "the phone won't stop ringing," but he hasn't dealt with any of the reaction.

"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."

ESPN's Joe Schad and The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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