Oklahoma football coach Brent Venables responded Monday afternoon to questions and public outcry surrounding wide receiver coach Cale Gundy’s sudden and unexpected resignation.
In a post from the OU Football Twitter account at 2:37 p.m., Venables — who issued a statement Sunday night accepting Gundy’s resignation — explained why he felt compelled to further explain things.
“As painful as it has been dealing with Coach Gundy resigning from the program,” Venables wrote, it doesn’t touch the experience of pain felt by a room full of young men I am charged to protect, lead and love. There are a few things I would like to address.
“Coach Gundy resigned from the program because he knows what he did was wrong. He chose to read aloud to his players, not once but multiple times, a racially charged word that is objectionable to everyone, and does not reflect the attitude and values of our university or our football program. This is not acceptable. Period.
Coach Gundy did the right thing in resigning. He knows our goals for excellence and that coaches have special responsibilities to set an example. He also knows that, while he will always be a part of the OU family, that his words affected many of us and did not represent the principles of our university. Again, his resignation was the right thing to do, and we will move forward positively.”
Venables’ assertion that Gundy read the “objectionable” word multiple times — out loud from a player’s iPad during a position meeting for wide receivers, while the coach and players were discussing football matters — runs counter to how Gundy characterized the situation in his resignation statement late Sunday night.
“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,” Gundy wrote. “The word displayed had nothing to do with football. One particular word that I should never — under any circumstance — have uttered, was displayed on that screen. In the moment, I did not even realize what I was reading, and as soon as I did, I was horrified.
“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.”