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Oklahoma’s Brent Venables praises team amid Cale Gundy drama: ‘I have to go through the mud sometimes’

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Oklahoma football coach Brent Venables praised his team for their focus despite the resignation of longtime assistant Cale Gundy earlier this month.

Gundy quit after reading a ‘racist word’ aloud on a gamer’s iPad ‘multiple times’ while trying to make an example of that gamer being distracted during a movie session. Venables backed Gundy’s decision to quit amid appeals from former students to keep the coach.

Venables, who replaced Lincoln Riley as the Sooners’ head coach, told ESPN the players “handled everything well.”

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Oklahoma Sooners running backs coach Cale Gundy walks the field before kickoff in their game against the Louisiana Tech Bulldogs at Gaylord Family Oklahoma Memorial Stadium on August 30, 2014 in Norman, Oklahoma.
(Jackson Laizure/Getty Images)

“All things considered, they handled everything well and didn’t allow it to become a distraction. Sometimes you have to go through mud. You have to have scars. You have to go through some things, and that’s how you You’re not going to get better and better through ease and comfort in anything,” he said.

Gundy announced his resignation on August 7 after reading what he called a “shameful” and “hurtful” word. Gundy had been with the program since 1999. He said in his initial statement that he was “horrified” by what he had done. He was on the Sooners staff for all of their 14 conference titles and the national championship season in 2000 under Bob Stoops.

Oklahoma Sooners offensive coordinator Cale Gundy greets quarterback Spencer Rattler, #7, before a game against the West Virginia Mountaineers at Gaylord Family Oklahoma Memorial Stadium on September 25, 2021 in Norman, Oklahoma.

Oklahoma Sooners offensive coordinator Cale Gundy greets quarterback Spencer Rattler, #7, before a game against the West Virginia Mountaineers at Gaylord Family Oklahoma Memorial Stadium on September 25, 2021 in Norman, Oklahoma.
(Brian Bahr/Getty Images)

BOB STOOPS SPEAK ABOUT CALE GUNDY’S RESIGNATION FROM OKLAHOMA: ‘UNHAPPY AND TERRIBLE SITUATION’

Venables said he met with members of the team’s management about Gundy, but said it was the former assistant coach’s decision to quit. He said he didn’t want young college athletes “to bear the blame” for the problem at hand.

Adrian Peterson and Joe Mixon were among alumni who expressed their support for Gundy after the coach’s resignation.

“There’s a whole slew of us involved when these kinds of things happen, a whole team of us, and ultimately it was Cale who quit, and it was his decision, the good decision,” added Venables. “He didn’t want to be a distraction and knew what happened wasn’t good. The timing was terrible. But as a team we tackled it the next day and got down to business.”

Oklahoma Sooners head coach Brent Venables is interviewed during Big 12 Media Day at AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas on July 14, 2022.

Oklahoma Sooners head coach Brent Venables is interviewed during Big 12 Media Day at AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas on July 14, 2022.
(Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports)

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Oklahoma was ranked No. 9 in the preseason AP top 25. The team starts the year against UTEP at home on September 3.

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