Coaches Losing It
Congratulations to Oklahoma State's Mike Gundy (16), who showed he can be Bob Knight without the titles after his tantrum in response to a column by the Oklahoman's Jenni Carlson. In the Saturday paper, she questioned the toughness of quarterback Bobby Reid, who'd been benched by Gundy the previous week. Gundy responded by losing his mind after one of the few big victories in his 28-game career as a head coach, a shootout upset of Texas Tech.
On Monday, a completely unapologetic Gundy said it was "unfortunate" that his 3-minute, 20-second tirade took away from his team's victory. Of course, that was his fault, since he deemed trashing a reporter more important than acknowledging the Cowboys' performance.
Coaches have the right to take issue with journalists, and to do it in public. That's part of the job for a columnist to take what he/she dishes out. But this was such a shrill overreaction that the message was lost amid the screaming.
One of Gundy's big complaints was negative treatment of a "kid" who is not being paid to play the game. But coaches never object to the tens of thousands of fans fawning over that kid, the tutors arranged to help him maintain minimum eligibility standards, the training table meals he eats, the tricked-up locker room he changes in -- or the positive press most players receive most of the time. Hero worship is expected and encouraged; criticism is child abuse. It's quite the double standard.
(For the record, Reid is 21 years old. He was old enough to vote in the 2004 presidential election or to die in Iraq. But few people are afforded the means to grow up more slowly than major-college athletes.)
"Come after me!" Gundy bellowed directly at Carlson. "I'm a man! I'm 40!"
OK, if you insist. The Dash will go after Gundy.
The great orator said that the column in question was shown to him, "by a mother. A mother of children."
As opposed to a mother of walruses, presumably.
Gundy went on to say that 75 percent of the column was fabricated. He took issue with two points in the column. So maybe math isn't his specialty.
Anyway, The Dash hopes Gundy felt like a big man when it was over. Next time an ounce of professional decorum would be appreciated. Until then, try to worry more about improving that 13-15 career record that includes seven victories over Sun Belt and I-AA opposition.
(By the way: Gundy says he doesn't read the newspapers. It's The Dash's experience that the majority of coaches who say they don't read the newspapers are lying.)