Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Surprise! College Football Is A Dirty Business!

Mike Gundy.

Do you remember that name? If you're a college football fan, then I'm sure you do. If you're not a fan, then you probably remember "Come after me! I'm a man! I'm 40! I'm not a kid. Write something about me, or our coaches. Don't write about a kid that does everything right, that's heart's broken and then say the coaches said he was scared. That ain't true!"

Still need your memory jogged? Picture a head coach in an orange shirt and a blue visor screaming it from behind a podium at a reporter in the crowd. Yeah, that's Mike Gundy.

At the time of his tirade supposedly in defense of benched quarterback Bobby Reid it appeared that Coach Gundy was just sticking up for one of his players. A news article had appeared just before the Texas Tech game questioning Reid's toughness, and after the Oklahoma game Gundy decided to let the press have it. Unfortunately, it now seems that Gundy, or someone on his staff, felt that Reid wasn't very tough and they floated those feelings into the press. It's also become apparent that at the time of the tirade Gundy wasn't Reid's biggest fan, and that his fervent defense possibly wasn't genuine. Instead, he may have been attacking the reporter as a way to deflect any questions as to exactly who was making the comments about Reid being soft.

Reid says he was caught off guard. Here was a coach who'd been burying him and now he was going to war for him? It didn't add up. "At first, everything [Gundy] was saying sounded real and true," Rajika says. "But I'm a believer where there is smoke, there's fire."

In other words, Bobby and Rajika Reid felt info in Carlson's column came indirectly from Gundy or his staff. ("I'd have a hard time agreeing with that," Gundy says.)

In other words, they felt Gundy's rant was fake.

"Honestly, the way I took it, I felt like it was all a front," Reid says. "That it was all a big show. It didn't feel genuine."

It is sad to think that a Division 1 college football head coach would make disparaging remarks to a member of the press about his players, but it does happen(See Urban Meyer, post-Capital One Bowl loss quotes). Even worse is that one would vehemently defend a kid just because they thought it would save their own ass.

However, college football is big business, and pretending that shady deals don't happen all of the time is ridiculous. Coaches say things to players, parents, other coaches and media people all of the time that aren't exactly true, or are true at the time but won't hold up over the course of the next few months.

"Sure, you'll be able to start right away."

Fast forward a few months, and it becomes "sorry kid, you're not progressing like we wanted, but if you switch positions you could see more playing time."

The college football landscape is littered with examples of broken promises and half-truths. Sadly, it's just part of the game. Yelling them doesn't make them any more or less believable. It just gets them onto YouTube that much faster.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Sure, Gundy may not have been 100% behind Reid as a QB but he backed him as a person. It's a fact that Reid didn't perform in big games and it's no wonder that Gundy finally went with Robinson. I think it's obvious that Gundy stuck with Reid as long as he could, but there came a point that he couldn't overlook Reid's lack of production or intensity in big games. Let's face it, Reid gave up in the big games where OState got down. I'm tired of hearing Bobby and his momma whining about how Gundy somehow did the wrong thing. If Reid had stepped up and been a "man" he would still be #1 qb at OState. nuff said.