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Now Gundy Issues Apology for any Comments that May have Offended Anyone

Mike Gundy issued an apology on Saturday for any comments that he made in Tuesday's teleconference.

STILLWATER -- Oklahoma State head football coach Mike Gundy issued a brief apology on Saturday afternoon for any comments that he may have made on Tuesday during a near one-hour teleconference with multiple members of the media. The apology on Saturday could bring to a close several days where various leaders on campus reportedly ranging from members of the Oklahoma State University Board of Regents to President Burns Hargis to athletics director Mike Holder. 

“I have been made aware that comments from my press conference have offended some," Gundy released in his statement. "It was never my intention to offend anyone and I apologize. My first priority is and will always be the student-athletes and doing what is best for the program and the university.”

Multiple sources informed Pokes Report that there was at least one meeting held following the Gundy teleconference and there was plenty of discussion. Tuesday evening the University issued a  statement following some of the media reaction of Gundy's comments. 

Official OSU Statement in response to comments made by Head Coach Mike Gundy today:

Everyone wants to return to some degree of normalcy as soon as possible. As for Oklahoma State University, we will adhere to the advice of public health experts who are making informed decisions in the best interest of the citizens of our nation and state based on sound scientific data. We will also abide by the federal and state mandates as well as Big 12 guidelines. We will not compromise the health and well-being of our campus community. This virus is deadly and we will do our part at Oklahoma State to help blunt the spread.

Following Gundy's news conference, local sources like Pokes Report, The Tulsa World, The Oklahoman and wrote and published stories that detailed Gundy's thoughts and concerns about the COVID-19 pandemic, which he did open up by calling the "Chinese virus". Those stories also talked of how Gundy was spending his time (farming and handling virtual football responsibilities with his team) during the quarantine and social distancing. There were also stories on Gundy's desire to get back to football and for a plan to be in place for that. 

ESPN also published a story quickly from Heather Dinich, who asked a question on the teleconference. That story was not inflammatory. 

There were some social media posts of certain comments that seemed to ignite some national media. USA Today columnist Dan Wolken and Sports Illustrated columnist Pat Forde wrote scathing stories on Gundy's comments, but they were limited to the comments on social media. Those comments like this one primarily dealt with the topic of getting back to football and getting student-athletes on campus. They also cited the need to stimulate the economy and implied football's financial importance to the overall economy and athletic department budget.

"The NCAA, the Presidents of the universities, the Power Five conference commissioners, the athletic directors need to be meeting right now and we need to start coming up with answers," the Oklahoma State head coach said inside the near hour long teleconference that included a 20 minute monologue to start off. "In my opinion, we need to bring our players back. They are 18, 19, 20, 21, and 22-years old and they are healthy and they have the ability to fight this virus off. If that is true, then we sequester them, and continue because we need to run money through the state of Oklahoma."   

Other quotes that were criticized in the national stories and by some other media outlets included.

"We need the tuition money and the fee money that feeds the economy in in Stillwater and Payne County," Gundy said in answering the need for football to get back. "I'm not saying that (football without a full campus of students and full stadium of fans) is what I want but it is what we are doing. There is a large percentage of classes year round (before the coronavirus) that are on-line and distance learning.

"What I am doing is trying to find answers for the situation we're in now," Gundy said. "The question is can you test your players back in? Can you sequester them over here while they are training? Sure, you can. The NCAA has a rule that you can't have an athletic dorm only ... That rule needs to go out the window because we've never had a situation like this."

To be fair, later in the week, ESPN reported on their morning show, Get Up, that there were reports that Ohio State University was gearing up for a return to preparing for football in June. Former Ohio State and NFL player and now ESPN analyst Bobby Carpenter of the show reported that he was told that by sources at The Ohio State University. 

Co-host Laura Rutledge reported that some conferences (including the SEC) were talking about playing football whether other conferences and areas of the country would be able to do that or not. 

There was a lot of talk in the morning on ESPN about college football from when to where to why.

There was a lot of talk in the morning on ESPN about college football from when to where to why.

Coaches and athletic directors all week have had teleconferences or used the internet to have virtual press conferences and have discussed about the possibilities of football. Many have different opinions on when it might start, but most project there will be a football season. 

Get Up host and ESPN veteran commentator Mike Greenberg even said this about the monetary aspects of all the discussion with football and when it could start.

"There is an enormous amount of money at stake and no one should consider that isn't a consideration," Greenberg said. "There is nothing wrong with it being a consideration."

Lots of opinions out there right now with regards to college football, when it might kick start and why it needs to take place.