Long-time coach for the Oklahoma Sooners abruptly resigned his post just days before the 2022 season kickoff against the University of Texas at El Paso due to something he read at a film session.
Assistant head coach Cale Gundy had been with the program since 1999 and released a statement on Twitter apologizing for the “shameful and hurtful” word he read off of a player’s iPad during a film session.
“I owe it to Sooner Nation to be transparent about what led to this decision: Last week, during a film session, I instructed my players to take notes. I noticed a player was distracted and picked up his iPad and read aloud the words that were written on his screen. The words displayed had nothing to do with football,” Gundy wrote.
“One particular word that I should never – under any circumstance – have uttered was displayed on the screen,” he continued. “In the moment, I did not even realize what I was reading and, as soon as I did, I was horrified.”
Sooner Nation, thank you. pic.twitter.com/BYBOjObGna
— Cale Gundy (@OU_CoachGundy) August 8, 2022
“I want to be very clear: the words I read aloud from that screen were not my words. What I said was not malicious; it wasn’t even intentional. Still, I am more mature enough to know that the word I said was shameful and hurtful,” he said.
Although he did not repeat the offensive word in his statements, several reports indicate he likely used the “N” word.
Oklahoma Coach Brent Venables confirmed his resignation and noted that program participants are “all accountable for our actions and the resulting outcomes.”
“It’s with sadness that I accept coach Gundy’s resignation,” Venables told Fox News. “He’s dedicated more than half his life to Oklahoma football and has served our program and university well. We’re thankful for that commitment.”
In a separate statement released on Twitter, Venables wrote that he used the “racially charged word” multiple times and that “his resignation was the right thing to do, and we will move forward positively.”
Monday statement from head football coach Brent Venables: pic.twitter.com/grSwj3YlPC
— Oklahoma Football (@OU_Football) August 8, 2022
Former Oklahoma University running back Joe Mixon leapt to Gundy’s defense with a lengthy, heartfelt letter posted to Twitter.
“Coach Gundy is everything OU and any institution would want in a coach, teacher, and mentor,” he wrote, attributing his success at OU and in life to the long-time coach he looks at as a father figure.
“Most importantly Coach Gundy is not, and I repeat is not a racist in any way nor has a racist bone in his body, mind or soul.” the Cincinnati Bengals running back continued.
— ⚡️Primetime!!!⚡️ (@Joe_MainMixon) August 8, 2022
“I know this about Coach, if he was admonishing a student athlete for any reason, it was because he was trying to help that athlete be a better person, player, teammate, and student athlete of OU,” he said. “I know for a fact, that if he used any derogatory or inappropriate words, it was because they were written and not his own thoughts. I have never seen him say, think or utter an[y] racist words, slang, or sayings.”
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