Mike Gundy will continue to be Oklahoma State’s head football coach after an internal review.
Gundy needs to “invest more time in building stronger relationships with his student-athletes,” and the review “uncovered no signs or indication of racism,” OSU athletic director Mike Holder said in a statement Thursday night.
Gundy apologized last month to players and family members — both past and present — for wearing a T-shirt from OAN (One America News) and promised to bring positive changes to the program. His apology came one day after Cowboys running back Chuba Hubbard tweeted he would not participate in anything with OSU until things changed.
“After meeting with Coach Gundy, I am confident that he listened to his student-athletes,” Holder said. “I believe he is genuine in his commitment to strengthening relationships with his players. I believe this to be a win for everyone. I’m looking forward to seeing the impact this will have on our team.”
OAN is a far-right news network, which has been critical of the Black Lives Matter movement following the murder of George Floyd, a black man, by Derek Chauvin, a white police officer in Minneapolis, on May 25.
“I had a great meeting with our team today,” Gundy said at the time. “Our players expressed their feelings as individuals and as team members. They helped me see through their eyes how the T-shirt affected their hearts. Once I learned how that network felt about Black Lives Matter, I was disgusted and knew it was completely unacceptable to me.
“I want to apologize to all members of our team, former players and their families for the pain and discomfort that has been caused over the last two days. Black Lives Matters to me. Our players matter to me. These meetings with our team have been eye-opening and will result in positive changes for Oklahoma State football. I sincerely hope the Oklahoma State family near and far will accept my humble apology as we move forward.”
In a statement Thursday, OSU president V. Burns Hargis said he was confident the “underlying issue was a lack of personal relationships between the head coach and players rather than anything racial.”
“This issue is fixable. After meeting with both Mike Holder and Mike Gundy, I believe they are committed to taking steps to strengthen the relationship, which will improve communications and the program. I appreciate the student-athletes speaking candidly and the efforts of Mike Holder and Chad Weiberg to spend considerable time listening to present and past players. It is time to turn our attention to preparing for this year’s highly anticipated football season.”