Category Archives: General Idiocy

When the shit comes down…

So, what do you get when you hit up Okie State with a FOIA request for all documents related to Gundygate?  A lot of entertainment, it seems.

My favorite thing of all — after the firestorm is ignited, someone at OAN emails Gundy for an interview.  Hilarity ensues.

3:45 P.M. Amazingly, OAN’s Chief White House Correspondent sends an email to Gundy — who is now squarely in the firestorm — asking if he would be available for an interview that upcoming weekend when President Trump is in Tulsa for his first, post-pandemic rally. Chanel Rion is an optimist — or something:

Folks, you know what they say: Shooters shoot.

When you have less of a clue than Mike Gundy, that’s saying something.

21 Comments

Filed under General Idiocy, Mike Gundy Is A Man

“This was about way more than a T-shirt.”

I carp a fair amount about Greg McGarity’s lack of PR skills, but compared to this, he’s a friggin’ PR guru.

After OSU players got a text message from team officials on March 17 telling them there’s “no need for you to return to Stillwater for any football related activities” because of COVID-19, they had little contact with Gundy as a team in the following two months.

Gundy compounded his lack of leadership and presence in front of the players with a series of actions and comments that simmered an undercurrent of anger in the program.

In his infamous COVID-19 news conference in early April, Gundy did more than issue his decree for the players to return to Stillwater to “run money through the state.” It wasn’t lost on the players that their coach, who makes $5.25 million per year, cast the players as robotic economic pawns rather than humans vulnerable to the pandemic.

Along with trying to restart the economy, Gundy resisted a pay cut.

He said of salary cuts, which have become commonplace for millionaire coaches: “I personally don’t want to get involved in that. It’s too early for me.”

Some of the internal frustration came from an announcement in late April of the athletic department taking away the football players’ stipends and a limit on access to summer school classes. While the players eventually received stipend money from the school when they returned to campus in early June, the uncertainty amid the pandemic led to a period of frustration and a rise in tensions.

On April 23, a few weeks after Gundy’s remarks about “running money through the state,” Oklahoma State football players received a group text message from Rod Johnson, the assistant director of football operations. It came under the header: “IMPORTANT SUMMER SCHOOL INFORMATION.” Johnson told the players that access to summer classes would be limited to scholarship players “making progress toward summer or fall graduation or eligibility purposes for fall competition.”

Johnson also told them in text messages viewed by Yahoo Sports: “THERE WILL BE NO ROOM & BOARD STIPENDS.”

That news blindsided many of the Cowboys’ players during the financial crunch of the pandemic. Stipends pay about $1,200 per month. The lack of access to summer school classes for players meant some players wouldn’t be eligible for federal Pell Grants, which pay up to $3,000 for summer classes.

In an environment where many coaches rallied for their players, Gundy didn’t announce the cuts to the players or address them directly. Instead, Gundy had an underling text them.

That raises tone deafness to a whole new level.  “But wait,” you might say, “maybe there were other schools doing the same thi…”

A poll by Yahoo Sports of Big 12 schools showed that Oklahoma State was the only school that both announced cuts on summer classes and a stipend withdrawal while not cutting coach or athletic department salaries. Many cringed at the perception OSU presented, as Gundy has made nearly $45 million in salary as a head coach and athletic director Mike Holder is slated to make $950,000 this year.

Never mind.  No wonder the players reacted the way they did.

17 Comments

Filed under Big 12 Football, General Idiocy

“I was a dumbass. I put the shirt on, not knowing enough about the shirt.”

This is the way to admit a screw up.

And if I were one of his players, I’d appreciate him for making the effort.

27 Comments

Filed under General Idiocy

T-shirtgate

I touched on it briefly in yesterday’s comments, but thought I’d flesh it out with a post today.  What’s interesting about what happened yesterday between Oklahoma State’s head coach and its star running back isn’t the politics.  It’s that Gundy, who’s got a history of making the kind of comments that can only come from a guy who feels untouchable in his job…

Gundy, as it turns out, has never been shy about telling us who he is. He’s bullied reporters in public, dismissed criticism of his coaching from fans online as “people sitting home drawing an unemployment check,” called players who transfer “snowflakes” and, more recently, wanted players to come back to campus in May amid the COVID-19 pandemic because the school needed to “run money through the state of Oklahoma.”

… suddenly has come face to face with a change in the wind, that players are feeling a sense of power.  Consider that yesterday wasn’t Gundy’s first show of support for OAN.

In the middle of that rant in April, Gundy touted his viewership of OAN, which is known as a favorite news outlet of President Trump and peddler of absurd conspiracy theories.

Gundy said he had gravitated toward OAN because he “wasn’t happy with the way the mainstream media” has handled the coronavirus story and that OAN was “so refreshing” because “there’s no left, there’s no right, they just reported the news.”

Notably, at the time Gundy expressed those thoughts, he got no pushback from his players and only mild criticism from the school — not about OAN, but about his take that everybody needed to be back at work by May so the program could get back to making money.   Not so yesterday, as Hubbard’s tweet ignited a firestorm of support for the player and criticism of the coach from a variety of sources.

Gundy felt it, too, as this joint message from him and Hubbard appeared within hours.

Gundy: “… I realized it’s a very sensitive issue with what’s going on in today’s society. … I’m looking forward to making some changes, that starts at the top with me, and we’ve got good days ahead.”

You can question the sincerity (he just now realized it?), but you can’t question the awareness.  And if you’re focusing on the t-shirt instead of the reaction, you are missing the big picture, as David Hale explained.

Gundy has done well as a football coach at a place where it’s hard to do well.

Oklahoma State has put up with plenty from Gundy during his 15-year tenure, mostly because he wins at a place where that isn’t terribly easy. His record is 129–64, with six seasons of 10 or more wins.

That’s how you start feeling untouchable, and for the most part, that’s how Gundy has been treated.  It’s a different world now, though.  We’ll see how easily he adapts.  And if he doesn’t feel he needs to do more than offer a few sympathetic words, they’ll let him know about that on the recruiting trail.

One other question remaining is how many others out there are like Gundy?

************************************************************************

UPDATE:  

Two observations:

  1. It’s a different world now.
  2. Would Gundy have done this had Hubbard not tweeted?

53 Comments

Filed under Big 12 Football, General Idiocy

Jeff Long, hoisted on his own petard

After two years, it suddenly dawned on America’s Sharpest Athletic Director that invoking NCAA violations in an ultimately ineffective attempt to weasel out of a buyout provision has unpleasant consequences.

Kansas officials have asked the NCAA to separate infractions cases involving alleged rules violations in its men’s basketball and football programs.

In its response to the NCAA Committee on Infractions’ referral to the Independent Accountability Resolution Process (IARP), the school agreed that a referral to the IARP is appropriate for the men’s basketball allegations, but argued that the football portion should be remanded to the Committee on Infractions (COI) for adjudication.

“[T]he type of violations that KU self-reported in football are regularly processed through the peer review model, and therefore, the COI is best positioned to resolve any remaining issues and to do so in a prompt manner,” the school said in its response. “Here, it is clear that there is a significant difference between allegations involving men’s basketball and those involving football. Specifically, the football allegations were self-reported, the institution and enforcement staff substantially agree on all aspects of the football allegations, the allegations involve only Level II and Level III violations, and the football allegations are not contemporaneous with the men’s basketball allegations.”

Hey, you can’t have a pattern leading to a NCAA ruling of institutional loss of control if you break up the pattern into parts, amirite?

4a5001b7beea096457f480c8808572428b-09-roll-safe.2x.h473.w710

Other than Larry Scott, I’m not sure there’s another figure in college football administration who’s just flat out stealing his salary like Jeff Long.

1 Comment

Filed under Big 12 Football, General Idiocy, The NCAA

America’s sharpest athletic director

A little over a year ago, I wrote this about Jeff Long’s struggle to weasel out of a $3 million buyout of David Beaty’s contract after Long sacked him:

You can stop chuckling now.  What’s impressive here, as you may have noticed, is that Beaty’s suit has caused the school to admit to possible NCAA violations, which should make for a lot of fun in discovery.  Not that this is going to get anywhere near the point of Jeff Long sitting for questions under oath.  Either the NCAA comes up with something relatively quickly, or Kansas settles, probably for an amount north of the buy out.  (Beaty’s lawyers aren’t gonna pay themselves, after all.)

And here we are.

Former Kansas football coach David Beaty and KU Athletics have reached a settlement for $2.55 million that effectively ends Beaty’s lawsuit against the athletic department, KU announced in a release on Friday.

The agreement comes 15 months after Beaty first filed his lawsuit, where he alleged that KU Athletics sought to concoct a reason to fire him for cause to avoid a $3 million payout…

Though KU settled for less than Beaty’s original $3 million buyout in his contract, the department likely did not come out ahead financially. In a Jan. 31 memo that was later unsealed, KU blamed Beaty for violations that “resulted in several hundred thousand in legal fees for Kansas Athletics.” This accusation came four months before the case settled Friday, meaning KU’s lawyer fees were likely to have exceeded the half-million mark on Beaty’s lawsuit alone…

Big picture, though, this appears to be a sound move for KU Athletics in regards to risk management. Beaty’s legal team was still going through discovery, and had already sent out a subpoena to former Adidas representative T.J. Gassnola. That could have been disastrous for KU’s looming NCAA case, as anything said in Gassnola’s deposition could have been used against KU, with that new information also coming out late in the process.

A Kansas judge also had approved an order for Beaty’s lawyers to receive practice footage from Les Miles’ first year as coach, along with un-aired footage from KU’s “Miles to Go” documentary that was broadcast on ESPN+ each week.

So, to recap:  Long, in trashing Beaty, opens his athletic department up to NCAA inquiry, and, in the end, pays out more than was owed his fired coach when you include legal expenses and hands it over in one lump sum instead of the six installments originally agreed to in Beaty’s contract.

I know the bar is fairly low at Kansas — I mean, this is the place that gave Charlie Weis another big contract after everyone else in the country had figured out he was a fraud as a head coach — but Long is working hard not to clear it.  The surprise, though, isn’t how this turned out, or even that Long won’t face any consequences for this botch job.  It’s that there are people in the industry who still think he’s credible.

It’s good to be an AD.

1 Comment

Filed under Big 12 Football, General Idiocy, See You In Court

Sammy Wheeler, salut!

“The day before he turned 21” is what really makes this sing.

As the saying goes, youth is wasted on the wrong people.

8 Comments

Filed under Crime and Punishment, General Idiocy

Today, in just win, baby

This story is as infuriating as it is predictable. Nor will it be the only one of its kind.

26 Comments

Filed under General Idiocy, The Body Is A Temple

The stoopid, she burns

This man runs a major US university.

“We need to learn to dance with the pandemic rather than being fearful of it,” West Virginia president Gordon Gee said. “We have moved from ‘The Hammer,’ which I call where we just locked everything down, to what I call ‘The Dance.'”

Which goes to show you can get pretty far in life if you have the ability to raise lots of money.

75 Comments

Filed under General Idiocy

Today, in stupendously hot takes

Danny Kanell brings it.

I don’t know what part of Kanell’s off-the-cuff opinion I appreciate more here, the idea that P5 commissioners are going cede their authority to a czar (for one thing, talk about your slam dunk set up to get your asses kicked even more in antitrust court) or that a guy who presided over a football league that just declared bankruptcy is somehow perfect for the job.

Stick to ragging the SEC, Danny.

15 Comments

Filed under General Idiocy, Media Punditry/Foibles