Oklahoma State has responded to head football coach Mike Gundy’s controversial coronavirus remarks with an official statement.
Earlier today, during a teleconference with reporters, Gundy expressed his desire to return to business as usual with his program on May 1. He said the plan “wasn’t 100 percent” but is hoping for widespread testing to be available by that point to make returning to the facility possible. These are ambitious goals, but it was Gundy’s other seemingly flippant comments on his players and their health that set off a bit of a firestorm.
“In my opinion, we need to bring our players back,” Gundy said. “They are 18, 19, 20, 21, and 22-years old and they are healthy and they have the ability to fight this virus off. If that is true, then we sequester them, and continue because we need to run money through the state of Oklahoma.”
Not surprisingly, many criticized Gundy for his willingness to put unpaid student-athletes in harm’s way for economic gain. Additionally, there were others who thought he was being too cavalier about getting back to normal considering what is going on nationwide right now.
Oklahoma State’s official statement strikes a much different tone than Gundy’s remarks did.
“Everyone wants to return to some degree of normalcy as soon as possible,” the statement reads. “As for Oklahoma State University, we will adhere to the advice of public health experts who are making informed decisions in the best interest of the citizens of our nation and state based on sound scientific data.
“We will also abide by the federal and state mandates as well [as] Big 12 guidelines. We will not compromise the health and well-being of our campus community.”
— Dylan Buckingham (@DylanBuckingham) April 7, 2020
Oklahoma State did the only thing it could here. The administration had to come out and distance itself from what Gundy said and also assure people it will make decisions in a pragmatic manner.
It wouldn’t surprise us if Gundy was reprimanded some behind the scenes as well.