With the COVID-19 pandemic shutting down all sporting events nationwide, few are as frustrated as Oklahoma State head coach Mike Gundy who made some controversial comments regarding the safety of student-athletes in a recent teleconference with reporters.
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. 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. -- Mike Gundy
The comments went viral on Twitter for many reasons, but the most blatant is the seeming lack of regard for the safety of his student-athletes. He even says at the end of his statement that's because they need to "run money through the state of Oklahoma" all but saying that the money matters more to him than the health of his players. Gundy also said that he was planning to begin football activities again on May 1st.
Contrast that with Mario Cristobal's statement to the media when the pandemic canceled their spring football plans: "Obviously making sure that we are aware of all the developments that are going on and making sure that player safety and everything else that goes with it is at the forefront of our decisions. So now we'll make sure and get with the administration, gather all the information necessary to take the next steps necessary to ensure that our student-athletes are taken care of. And that their health..is at the forefront of our decisions so that's what I'll like to do. "
Since Gundy's outlandish remarks the school has responsibly stopped his plans to move forward on May 1st, but that didn't stop the internet from seeing the insane plan of action.
Many players nationwide have reacted to his lack of empathy including many from Oregon who see what we're all seeing: Why would they risk not only their health but the health of their families when they aren't allowed to be paid?
Players are just dollar signs huh?🤦🏾♂️ https://t.co/zkAxlkAbs2— Jordon Scott (@Fat_Mac34) April 8, 2020
Give us REAL money then https://t.co/cCAiWGGacT— CEO (@saampsonniu) April 9, 2020
Been that. All the money they make off us lmao. They begging to have us back https://t.co/kyZlbrJc5D— Jevovo🛸 (@HollywoodVon) April 8, 2020
Oklahoma State gave Mike Gundy a contract extension in January 2019 that extended him through 2023 and paid him $5.125 million in 2020.
That's $5.125 million more than thousands of division one college football players receive when it's their bodies on the line to fill the NCAA's pockets. No wonder he's in such a rush to get back on the field.
Some state senates such as Oregon and California have passed bills that could allow for student-athletes to receive compensation in the form of sponsorship deals as soon as 2023.