Coaches speak out about Gundy's media tirade

Updated: September 25, 2007, 7:50 PM ET
Associated Press

DENVER -- Mike Gundy has had time to cool off and think about his postgame tirade.

Even if he could, the Oklahoma State coach still wouldn't take a word back.

Gundy was upset over a story that was critical of quarterback Bobby Reid. Instead of talking about the Cowboys' 49-45 win over Texas Tech on Saturday night, Gundy stuck up for Reid, often screaming at reporters, before hastily departing.

Gundy was asked during a Big 12 teleconference Monday if he regretted his rant.

"I wish I would've said more," Gundy said. "I'm tired of people downgrading college athletes that are good people."

Gundy wasn't alone. Oklahoma coach Bob Stoops thinks the media has become too jaded, too contemptuous.

"I find it hard to read the sarcasm in those articles," said Stoops, whose team is ranked third in the nation. "They're student athletes. They're not professional players. They're just playing for their school, trying to do a good job."

Gundy felt bad that his eruption overshadowed the Cowboys' big win. However, he felt it was the time and place to stick up for his player. He expressed disgust over the assertion that Oklahoma State's switch to Zac Robinson as the starting quarterback was "less about Robinson's play and more about Reid's attitude."

"Where are we at in society today? Come after me. I'm a man. I'm 40. I'm not a kid," Gundy said Saturday night.

Many coaches around the league have tuned out the media. Texas coach Mack Brown said he stopped reading newspapers, listening to call-in shows and surfing the internet about four years ago. That way, he doesn't waste time battling with reporters over false information.

"If I thought a writer or commentator said something that was unfactual, I might address it with him, like I used to, but that's just a waste of time," said Brown, whose team is ranked seventh.

Brown leaves it up to his players if they want to read or listen to the news.

"Not everything is going to be fair," Brown said. "You have to deal with it. That's life."

Nebraska coach Bill Callahan felt the same way.

"I know there are great writers out there, but I really try to focus on our football team," he said. "Whether or not you're being praised or being criticized, you really have to maintain an even-keel approach. Good or bad -- it's always going to be there."

Same with booing. The 25th-ranked Cornhuskers heard the boos in a 41-40 win over Ball State on Saturday. Callahan understood the fans' displeasure.

"People have their opinion and I respect that," Callahan said. "In America, people expect excellence. I don't think anybody likes to be booed. You've got to deal with it and don't let it get to you."

Colorado coach Dan Hawkins thinks booing has no place in college football.

"If you're not happy with what's going on, don't come to the game, or leave," Hawkins said. "It's like my grandmother used to tell me, 'If you can't say anything nice, don't say it at all.' But I understand those values are a little old fashion and people don't take those to the ballpark anymore."

Gundy said he's been bombarded by e-mails and calls of support since he lashed out at the media.

"I did it because I thought it was the right thing to do," he said.


Copyright 2007 by The Associated Press

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