Skip to main content

Brent Venables Addresses Cale Gundy, Murphy's Law: 'This Won't Be the Last Crisis'

The Sooners' head coach spoke to the press for the first time since long-time assistant coach Cale Gundy resigned amid controversy on Sunday.

NORMAN — Brent Venables on Wednesday spoke again about Murphy’s Law.

He referenced his take in the spring that at any time, something unforeseen will inevitably go wrong.

“So here it is,” Venables said in a 30-minute press conference in the Memorial Stadium Club suites. "And this won't be the last time there's there's a crisis and issues you got to deal with head on.”

Venables has tried to steel himself for his first real crisis, and it arrived with a thunderclap over the weekend when long-time assistant coach Cale Gundy read aloud to the group some racially charged language in one of his wide receiver’s notes, then agreed to resign on Sunday night.

Three weeks from the start of the season, Venables has an interim wide receivers coach.

“Yeah, from a timing standpoint, that's certainly not ideal,” Venables said. “So it's my job, our job as leaders to help our young people focus and refocus.

“I’ll be honest,” Venables said, “this issue aside, you know, the Oklahoma program with Cale Gundy is stronger than one without him.”

Venables opened by saying all that needed to be said about Gundy had been said in three separate press releases, then took general questions about it for the next 20-plus minutes.

Scroll to Continue

Read More

Venables, who was an assistant coach for 29 years at Kansas State, Oklahoma and Clemson, said he sees now what all the hubbub was about being a head coach.

“Yeah, sure. Yep. 100 percent,” he said. “And certainly, I can find different moments in all three places that I've been that have been some controversy or some adversity. You know, not talking about on the field, you know, losing the game. I'm talking about life.

“And so I've been able to watch, you know, some amazing men respond, and so you learn from all of that. … Certainly, this is one of those — without question. But, one I feel very comfortable and prepared for. Is it fun? Absolutely not. But do you got to be strong, be at your best in these moments? No question about it.”

Venables professes a strong Christian faith, and one of the tenets of Christianity is forgiveness and grace.

As the CEO of a multimillion dollar college football factory, Venables is torn between his personal beliefs and his obligations to doing what’s best for Oklahoma football.

“Think that's a pretty complicated, complex question,” Venables said. “You do some on instinct. You can make a lot of decisions based on what your values are … things that, again, are a part of your foundation. And if it's opposite of those values, you make decisions that way.

“And then forgiveness, you know, again, I think giving grace is a good thing. You know, and there's some things that deserve it more than others. And so everybody's different and how they view things. I grew up at home with domestic abuse, alright? So does the abuser, on multiple times as the abuser in a domestic relationship, deserve grace? When I grew up that way, I don’t think so.

“People handle things like that differently. So, you know, again, as I said already, short term and long term, this is as hard as it gets. You know? This has been incredibly difficult.”