Gundy Says He Didn't Intend To Raise His Voice In Postgame Tirade

Friday, September 28th 2007, 4:31 pm
By: News On 6

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) _ Oklahoma State coach Mike Gundy said Friday he never intended to raise his voice during a postgame tirade at a newspaper columnist that's become an Internet sensation.

``My voice escalated as it went on because I got angrier when I thought about it,'' Gundy told an Oklahoma City radio station in an interview. ``Not at any particular person, but when I thought about the way it happened and the embarrassment that it may have made to this young man, it made me angry and that's just a fact.''

Gundy's rant at columnist Jenni Carlson of “The Oklahoman” was sparked by a column suggesting that quarterback Bobby Reid was demoted more because of his attitude than because new starter Zac Robinson was more talented. Reid's mother has told a Houston television station she is looking into legal action.

``It didn't have anything to do with football,'' Gundy told the radio station. ``The majority of it _ people talk about the facts of it _ the facts were it had discussions about the coaches. I know that some of those didn't take place because I'm one of the coaches. And it set me off because it was a personal attack on good kid. That's all there is to it. That's all it was.”

``And I really didn't intend on raising my voice.''

Besides being spread through the Internet video site YouTube, the interview has been discussed widely in debates over whether the column was too critical of a college athlete and whether Gundy crossed the line in his postgame comments. It has also fueled jabs at Gundy's comments (including ``Come after me! I'm a man! I'm 40! I'm not a kid!'').

Even the radio station that conducted the interview got involved in the action, creating a spoof of television beer commercials featuring snippets of Gundy's outburst interspersed with fake questions.

Gundy, who had declined interview requests from media outlets including The Associated Press, took the unusual step of granting an interview the day before a game because he said he ``just felt like at some point we had to put an end to this and today was the time to do it.''

``I just felt like that this wasn't going to go away until I kind of gave my side of it, even though I'm not really giving a side,'' Gundy told WWLS. ``I'm not getting into a debate with The Oklahoman or a debate with Jenni. What I'm trying to do is say, 'OK, here's what happened. Here's how this transpired. This is why I did it,' so we can go on and play football.''

After Robinson had relieved an injured Reid and led Oklahoma State to a 42-6 win against Florida Atlantic, Gundy said Oklahoma State's coaches made the decision to change quarterbacks when Reid was slow to recover.

``He practiced a little bit Monday, kind of hobbled around Tuesday and at that point we had made a decision that Zac had played well, he had come in and he was going to be our starter,'' Gundy said. ``And we told him that, and we went from that point on.''

Gundy told reporters after the Florida Atlantic game that Reid would not lose his job because of an injury, then reiterated the point in his weekly news conference two days later and also said that Reid had earned the position in a spring competition that ``wasn't close.''

The Cowboys lost 41-23 at Troy in Robinson's first start.

``After the game, the only response that I can give to anybody is that we don't lose jobs because of injuries. I don't know how severe his injury is,'' Gundy told the radio station. ``I thought he had a slight concussion. I didn't even know that it was a knee and ankle because in the game I don't have time, unless it's a very serious injury, to go and find out exactly what's happened.

``Believe it or not, I have to stay into what's going on in the game. So I didn't find out until afterwards it was a knee and an ankle.''

Robinson remained the starter, running for two touchdowns and throwing for two more in Oklahoma State's 49-45 win against Texas Tech that preceded Gundy's outburst. He said he hopes he can move on now.

``I don't want the coverage. Any time the media doesn't want to come up here and cover it or talk to me, I'm for it,'' Gundy told WWLS. ``Not that I have anything against them, but this is not some publicity stunt that I tried to pull because that's not what interests me.''

Gundy said he loves his job enough that he hasn't been bothered by the reaction to his comments.

``I'm going to be real honest with you, and there will be people out there that probably think I'm crazy,'' he said. ``It's been a tough week for everybody involved in it, but it's not for me. I don't have many tough weeks.''

Related Stories:

9/24/2007 Gundy Speaks Monday About Postgame Outburst

9/24/2007 "The Oklahoman" Article That Sparked Coach's Tirade

9/24/2007 WATCH THE VIDEO: Impassioned Head Coach Defends Player

9/25/2007 - Columnist Says Oklahoma State Coach Attacked Her Credibility

9/26/2007 Stoops Defends Gundy's Right To Confront Columnist