Oklahoma Sooners coach Cale Gundy announced his resignation from the football program after he revealed he read aloud a word during a film session.
Gundy announced his resignation in a post to social media that begins, “I moved to Norman fresh out of high school in 1990. It feels like I never left. I have devoted nearly all my adult life to Oklahoma football. My children graduated from OU; so did my wife. For almost three decades, this university has been my home, these players have been my family.”
“Today, with great anguish, I announce my resignation,” he wrote. “I apologize to those who are disappointed by this news….”
Gundy then explained, “I owe it to Sooner Nation to be transparent about what led to this decision: Last week, during a film session, I instructed my players to take notes. I noticed a player was distracted and picked up his iPad and read aloud the words that were written on his screen.”
“The words displayed had nothing to do with football,” he relayed. “One particular word that I should never—under any circumstance—have uttered was displayed on that screen. In the moment, I did not even realize what I was reading and, as soon as I did, I was horrified.”
He elaborated, “I want to be very clear: the words I read aloud from that screen were not my words. What I said was not malicious; it wasn’t even intentional. Still, I am mature enough to know that the word I said was shameful and hurtful, no matter my intentions.”
“The unfortunate reality is that someone in my position can cause harm without ever meaning to do so,” he continued. “In that circumstance, a man of character accepts accountability. I take responsibility for my mistake. I apologize.”
Gundy would then detail all the support he’s received while mulling over his decision to resign. He then explained why he ultimately chose to resign, “This team—its coaches, players, administration, and fans—do not deserve to be distracted by off-the-field matters while working to continue the tradition of excellence that makes me so proud to be a Sooner.”
“I won’t do the program I love the disservice of distracting from this mission,” he declared. “Effective immediately, I am stepping down.”
“Naturally, I leave these sidelines heavy hearted. Coaching this football team truly has been my life’s passion. But I leave confident that the team will continue to prosper and I leave with tremendous love for the University of Oklahoma and its athletics department,” he concluded. “Sooner born, Sooner bred, and so on… Boomer!”
The official Oklahoma Football shared a statement from head coach Brent Venables accepting Gundy’s resignation.
It reads, “It’s with sadness that I accept Coach Gundy’s resignation. He’s dedicated more than half of his life to Oklahoma Football and has served our program and university well. We’re thankful for that commitment. We also acknowledge that in stepping aside he’s place the program and welfare of our student-athletes first. In coaching and in life, we’re all accountable for our actions and the resulting outcomes.”
“The culture we’re building in our program is based on mutual respect,” Venables stated. “Our staff is here to develop successful student-athletes, but also young men of character. As the leaders of this program, it’s essential that we hold ourselves to the highest standards as we model for our players the type of men we want them to become.”
He then announced, “L’Damian Washington, who has been serving as an offensive analyst for our program, will coach our wide receivers on an interim basis.”
Joe Mixon, a running back for the Cincinnati Bengals and graduate of the University of Oklahoma, issued his own statement declaring that Gundy’s resignation “ain’t right.” He also implied that whatever word Gundy read aloud was apparently a racist slur.
He wrote, “Most importantly Coach Gundy is not, and I repeat is not a racist in any way nor has a racist bone in his body, mind, or soul. I grew up in the Bay area and went to school obviously in Oklahoma. I know racists, I have witnessed both obvious and discreet forms of racism and have known and detested even more actual racist.”
“Coach Gundy is the farthest thing from this type of person,” Mixon declared. “I spent every day for the 1,000 days I was in Norman with him, and I never saw anything that would lead anyone to believe this or think this.”
After detailing how important Gundy was to him as a father figure and mentor in life, Mixon stated, “I know this about Coach, if he was admonishing a student athlete for any reason, it was because he was trying to help that athlete be a better person, player, teammate and student athlete of OU.”
“I know for a fact, that if he used any derogatory or inappropriate words, it was because they were written and not his own thoughts,” he asserted. “I have never seen him say, think or utter and (sp?) racist words, slang, or saying.”
He continued, “And please keep in mind that he is in meeting rooms and locker rooms where such words are thrown around by the players and in the music we listen to as often and easily as football fly in the air at practices.”
Mixon concluded, “I offer my highest support and admiration for Coach Gundy and will be extremely disappointed with the school, the program, and the administrators if he is not allowed to continue as a coach at the university going forward.”
“If he in anyone’s eyes did anything wrong then let us show people how we give people second changes (sp?), how we help all people be better people and that we teach all to work together, grow and evolve as people,” he stated.
“I for one having gone through my own tribulations while at OU know that I am where I am because I was given a second chance at school, life and to be a better person. And I owe a lot of that to Coach Gundy as a person, teacher, and coach,” Mixon finished.
What do you make of Gundy’s resignation and its acceptance by head coach Brent Venables?