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Mike Gundy's Pandemic Plan Is Ridiculous

Forget the experts, Mike Gundy has a plan to bring college football back. And it's just as absurd as you might think.

I would like stock tips from Noted Expert Mike Gundy. Also, some cooking recipes. Could he offer best practices to our educators? How about weighing in on the Middle East?

I’m dying to be enlightened. Really.

Clearly, Noted Expert Mike Gundy knows far more than just football. Not that he’s been great in that regard lately—his Oklahoma State teams were 15–11 the past two seasons, 8–10 in the Big 12—especially given his $5 million a year salary. But it is now abundantly obvious that labeling him a mere football coach is too limiting. He is a Renaissance man, a visionary capable of seeing solutions where others see problems, a savant so cleverly disguised as a mullet-haired meathead.

Take, for example, the wisdom Noted Expert Mike Gundy dispensed upon the masses Tuesday in a media teleconference. When the only topic that matters in today’s world came up—the global COVID-19 pandemic—he flexed his intellectual prowess. He showcased his grasp of public health, economics, the workings of higher education, college athletics in general and other topics.

"The NCAA, the presidents of the universities, the Power 5 conference commissioners, the athletic directors need to be meeting right now and we need to start coming up with answers," Noted Expert Mike Gundy said. "In my opinion, if we have to bring our players back, test them. They're all in good shape. They're all 18, 19, 20, 21 and 22-year-olds. They're healthy. A lot of them can fight it off with their natural body, the antibodies and the build that they have. There's some people that are asymptomatic. If that's true, then we sequester them. And people say that's crazy. No, it's not crazy because we need to continue and budget and run money through the state of Oklahoma."


Noted Expert Mike Gundy isn’t just talking the talk here. He is an omniscient observer with a plan. He wants to have his staff and support personnel, roughly 100 people, back to work in the Oklahoma State football facility May 1. Then the players after that.

“It might get backed up two weeks,” Noted Expert Mike Gundy allowed.

This may all come as a bit jarring to the simpletons who run Oklahoma State University, the Big 12 Conference, the town of Stillwater, the state of Oklahoma, the United States of America and the World Health Organization. Among others. But it’s not their fault they lack the foresight of the Great Rattlesnake Hunter.

Who needs Anthony Fauci when we have Gundy? Why all the worry about whether football practice can start on time in August, when the Cowboys are planning to be getting after it in May? What’s with all this conjecture about a shorter season or a delayed start when Noted Expert Mike Gundy is here to deliver football unto the masses right smack dab on time?

Like some other football coaches—including a Mr. Dabo Swinney, in Clemson, S.C.—the man in the visor has all the coronavirus answers. Just ask him.

The Oklahoma State administration weeks ago transitioned to online classes for the remainder of the spring semester, which runs through May 8. They moved graduation from May 9th to December. If they had consulted with Noted Expert Mike Gundy, these May plans might well have been salvaged. (But then again, final exams and graduations are so trivial when compared to the urgency of having the football facility fully staffed.)

The Big 12 shut down all athletics through May 31—something else that runs counter to Noted Expert Mike Gundy’s plan for spring 2020. Perhaps, when commissioner Bob Bowlsby grasps the Gundy vision, he and the rest of the league will come around and change their calendar accordingly.

And this crazy idea that universities should actually have to be open for on-campus learning in order to have on-campus football practices and games? Noted Expert Mike Gundy says no, that doesn’t have to be the case. What do academics have to do with college football, people?

The effects of the Noted Expert Mike Gundy plan can ripple out accordingly, a wave of wisdom washing over the populace. For instance, health professionals should be heartened to learn from the coach that tests soon will be available in such abundance that swabbing a bunch of football players daily to make sure they can block and tackle is basically a done deal. Plus, there is word on the Gundy News Wire that healthy young people can fight off the virus, no problem.

Just like that, the world’s population 22 years and younger receives a Get Out of Quarantine Free card. Now get back in that weight room, son. What could go wrong?

Worries about them transmitting the virus to others are clearly overblown. Besides, Noted Expert Mike Gundy has a plan for that—sequester the players on campus, so they can only do exactly what they were brought to Oklahoma State to do—play football and drive the local economy and deliver the populace out of pandemic depression.

“Everybody needs to see football,” he said. “Even if you watch it on TV it’s going to make people feel better. We’re trying to find a way to pay everybody’s salary and keep the economy going.”

Now, some smart aleck is probably going to point out that sending players back onto campus en masse to train weeks ahead of even the most optimistic of projections might make for bad optics when, ahem, the players are unpaid labor. Some of those players, when informed that their guinea-pig presence is necessary to “keep the economy going,” might be sassy enough to ask for a cut of the revenue. They might even think they are being described as a work force, as opposed to student-athletes competing for the love of the game.

His statements could be considered ignorant. Or dangerous. Or both. But Noted Expert Mike Gundy knows better. Actually, he knows best.

He’s going back to work May 1, ready to take the rest of college football with him. Tell Fauci and other infectious disease nerds to take notes from a real expert. He’s a college football coach, after all, and with that job comes not only incredible wealth but also the fealty of everyone else in his orbit.

It can breed belief in a man that he knows everything about everything. It can send a man whistling past the graveyard, which in this instance is not a euphemism.