A day after Oklahoma assistant football coach Cale Gundy resigned from the Sooners, claiming he had inadvertently read aloud “a word I never should have – under any circumstances – uttered on a player’s iPad screen during a movie session, head coach Brent Venables released a new statement saying that Gundy’s statement didn’t tell the whole story.
“Coach Gundy quit the program because he knows what he did was wrong,” Venables said Monday. “He chose to read aloud to his players, not once but many times, a racist word that is offensive to everyone and does not reflect the attitude and values of our university or our football program. “This is not acceptable. Period. Coach Gundy did the right thing by stepping down. He knows our goals of excellence and the fact that coaches have a special responsibility to lead by example.”
Gundy, 50, was the longest-serving Big 12 football coach, ahead of his brother Mike, the Oklahoma State coach. He spent 16 years as a running backs coach, followed by seven other inside receivers coaches, and served as the OU’s assistant head coach. His announcement was followed by a show of support on social media from current and former players, including Joe Mixon and Adrian Peterson.
“As painful as it was to deal with the resignation of Coach Gundy from the program, it does not touch the experience of the pain felt by a room full of young men whom I am responsible for protecting, leading and supporting. ‘love,” Venables’ statement read.
Gundy announced his resignation on Sunday night, saying he noticed a player, who was supposed to take notes during a movie screening, was distracted. So he took the player’s iPad and read the words on the screen, including the unspecified term.
“The sad reality is that someone in my position can cause harm without ever meaning to,” Gundy wrote in a statement posted to his Twitter account. “In these circumstances, a man of character accepts responsibility. I take responsibility for this mistake. I apologize.”
Gundy said that at the time he “didn’t even realize” what he was reading and, as soon as he did, “I was horrified”.
“I want to be very clear: the words I read aloud on that screen were not my words. What I said was not malicious, it wasn’t even intentional,” wrote Gundy. “Still, I’m mature enough to know that the word I spoke was shameful and hurtful, regardless of my intentions.”
Venables reiterated on Monday that Gundy’s resignation was necessary.
“He also knows that while he will always be part of the OU family, his words affected many of us and did not represent the principles of our university,” Venables said. “Again, his resignation was the right thing to do, and we will move forward positively.”