I Support Mike Gundy

If you haven’t heard Mike Gundy’s reaction to this article on NewsOK.com, here it is:

I’m glad he said this for several reasons. Not only is he right in what he says, but he has helped to expose certain media members as a group of rank-and-file whiners. If you need an example, check out what Dennis Dodd of CBS Sportsline had to say:

Mike Gundy needs to be reprimanded, definitely suspended, probably fined and maybe fired.

Okie State’s third-year coach verbally attacked a woman, a journalist and degraded his profession after Saturday’s win over Texas Tech. Jenni Carlson, a columnist for the Daily Oklahoman, wrote a fair and balanced column Saturday regarding quarterback Bobby Reid. Typical of his coaching style, Gundy had replaced Reid as starter before the Sept. 13 game against Troy without explanation. As is her job in that situation, Carlson tried to explain why Reid lost his job in her column.

Try reading it and then tell me what is unfair, or personal.

Is it the job of a journalist to call a player a momma’s boy when he has had ZERO public outbursts of any kind? It is the job of a journalist to accuse him of being a panicked sissy? It was nothing more than a smear campaign Mr. Dodd! Please, I ask you to explain to me how a journalist should make the statements in that article with no back up whatsoever. And please, do not give me that “Gundy closed off the media!” garbage you tried to feed us in this article, that is no excuse for what is nothing more than cheap tabloid journalism.

But, Mr. Dodd isn’t the only one jumping behind this hack piece. The President of the Football Writers Association of America, Mike Griffith, had this to say:

“I consider Coach Gundy’s behavior completely inappropriate. It shows a lack of respect for the media and doesn’t speak well for the university and the fans that he represents. Coach Gundy’s actions have brought national attention and further scrutiny to the situation that could have been handled in a more private and appropriate matter.”

Next, we have a quote from The Association for Women in Sports Media:

The Association for Women in Sports Media issued a statement Monday night saying Gundy handled the situation in an “unprofessional manner” and that while he has a right to express his opinion, “his decision to air his objections in the form of a personal attack shows a lack of respect for all journalists.”

Both of these quotes can from the AP story via ESPN.com.

Is it me or are these members of the media stating that they should live by a double standard. One of their own blasted a guy who appears to have done nothing wrong, and all they care about is how disrespectful he was for doing to them what they’ve done to other people for years. Yes, Mike Gundy is a public figure, and should be held accountable. But journalists are public figures too, which is something they can’t seem to figure out. If you make it your business to jump over the slightest misstep in a press conference or public outing, you should be aware that what you say and do is also open for public debate as well, which is what happened on Saturday afternoon.

What about the players? Well, some would argue that they are on scholarship paid by tax payers. While ignoring what is wrong with that statement itself, I would like to point out to them that how many students come to school on full rides as well. Does a physics major deserve to have his/her name plastered all over the paper for depending on their parents? For me, the answer is no.

The only reason to criticize a player is for their on the field performance; plain and simple. What happened in that article ended up having nothing to do with real on the field play. I understand that you have a right to your opinion. I’m practicing my right to free speech here as well. But, there is a fine line between and opinion piece and a smear piece on a guy who has done nothing wrong in the public domain. You opened yourself up to critcism when you openly bad-mouthed a player in that kind of fashion.

Could Gundy have done a better job of saying what he felt needed to be said? Yes, he would even agree with you on that. But, you have to wonder why they would bother arguing semantics of this debate after the article mentioned above said what it said.

I should point out that I have always had a great amount of respect for broadcasters and journalists. Maybe that would explain why it bothers me so much when I see somebody like this journalist act the way she did. It’s just another example in a long list of poor journalism that leads such a great industry further down in the mud.


2 Responses to “I Support Mike Gundy”

  1. Al C. Hemist Says:

    Tide Druid,

    Good stuff. I am always amazed at how unified journalists are when one of their own gets called on the carpet. I read the article by Jenni Carlson. It was just a bad article that read more like a message board posting than a column. Gundy, in my opinion, went a little overboard, but I can understand his anger. What baffles me is the whole cloack of infallibility that the media wraps around themselves. Dodd says it was her opinion, but not every opinion of every sportswriter is actually worthy of print or praise. Sometimes the media writes stupid stuff, and they should be able to take the criticism when they do.

  2. Patrick Smith Says:

    If Gundy’s words had been spoken by Bobby Knight, we’d all be cheering for him.

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