Cale Gundy, the longest-tenured football coach in the Big 12, resigned from the Oklahoma coaching staff after he was caught reading “a word that I should never — under any circumstance — have uttered” off a player’s iPad.
Last week, the Oklahoma football team assembled for film analysis and review. It was just like any other film session, however, the long-time coach noticed that one of his players was getting distracted.
When Gundy approached the student-athlete, he picked up the player’s iPad and read the contents of the screen. Although the word was never specified, the coach quickly issued a public apology that extended beyond the players in the room.
“The unfortunate reality is that someone in my position can cause harm without ever meaning to do so,” he wrote on Twitter. “In that circumstance, a man of character accepts accountability. I take responsibility for this mistake. I apologize.”
In his statement, he added that he “did not even realize” he was saying the word and as soon as he did, “I was horrified.”
Cale Gundy explains he was ‘not malicious’ in his actions
“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,” Gundy continued. “Still, I am mature enough to know that the word I said was shameful and hurtful, no matter my intentions.”
From 1990 to 1993, Cale Gundy played quarterback for Oklahoma State and set nearly every school record by the time he graduated. He was an essential asset for the school, not only as a player but as a coach. By 1999, he joined the school’s coaching staff. He helped earn all of Oklahoma’s 14 Big 12 titles and its 2000 national championship. As a historic figure in Oklahoma’s football history, seeing him resing has brought complicated emotions.
Brent Venables, who served as an assistant alongside Gundy from 1999 to 2011, issued a personal statement that addressed his co-worker’s resignation.
“It’s with sadness that I accept Coach Gundy’s resignation. He’s dedicated more than half his life to Oklahoma Football and has served our program and university well,” Venables stated. “We’re thankful for that commitment. We also acknowledge that in stepping aside he’s placed the program and the welfare of our student-athletes first. In coaching and in life, we’re all accountable for our actions and the resulting outcomes.”
In a follow-up statement, Venables acknowledged that the coach used racist language and that is the sole reason for his resignation. “He knows what he did was wrong,” Venables shared. “He chose to read aloud to his players, not once, but multiple times, a racially charged word that is objectionable to everyone, and does not reflect the attitude and values of our university or our football program.”
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