Following the stand taken by star running back Chuba Hubbard, Oklahoma State launched a review into Mike Gundy. The longtime Cowboys coach was photographed in an OAN shirt—the far right, conspiratorial news network.
Hubbard threatened to skip his final season at Oklahoma State if things didn't change. He quickly had the support of many current teammates and former Pokes players. That helped drive home the significance of what he was calling for, which went far beyond the single instance of his coach supporting OAN.
“This was about way more than a T-shirt,” a source connected the situation told Yahoo Sports' Pete Thamel in late June. “Think about it. Chuba didn’t risk everything because of what channel Gundy watches. It was a lack of general respect for the well-being of the players.”
Athletic director Mike Holder has announced that the investigation into Gundy's conduct is over. While it found "no signs of indication of racism," he did say that Gundy needs to spend more time building relationships with his players. Gundy has admitted as much as well. Per Brett McMurphy, there is some fallout from the probe: Gundy's contract is being shortened to four years, and he will receive a pay cut after the review.
In 2019, Gundy was the 13th highest-paid head coach, per USA Today. It is unclear how much of a hit he'll take over this.
“When the players said they felt I was disconnected, it broke my heart," Gundy said in a statement to Yahoo. "Hearing that led me to look at myself and acknowledge that it’s probably true. I’ve spent a lot of time listening and learning lately, and now I feel better about moving forward in developing deeper relationships with my players. That’s what they told me they wanted and that’s now a top priority for me.”
Gundy and Hubbard have come together a bit in the weeks since the initial incident. Hopefully Gundy does put in the work to be better for his players, and isn't just paying lip service amid the current situation.