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Former Oklahoma Sooners Coach Bob Stoops Reacts To Cale Gundy’s Resignation: “There Is No Good Side”

Former Oklahoma Sooners head coach Bob Stoops, who lead the team to a National Championship in 2000-2001, reacted to Cale Gundy's resignation.

Former Oklahoma Sooners head coach Bob Stoops, who lead the team to a National Championship in 2000-2001, reacted to Cale Gundy’s resignation.

Bob Stoops via Tulsaworld YouTube

Gundy resigned on August 7th writing sharing a statement to Twitter, “I owe it to Sooner Nation to be transparent about what led to this decision: 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.”

“The words displayed had nothing to do with football,” he continued. “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.”

Cale Gundy via The Oklahoman YouTube

RELATED: Oklahoma Sooners Coach Cale Gundy Resigns After Reading Aloud A Word He “Should Never—Under Any Circumstance—Have Uttered”

He then detailed, “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. Still, I am mature enough to know that the word I said was shameful and hurtful, no matter my intentions.”

“The unfortunate reality is that someone in my position can cause harm without ever meaning to do so,” Gundy added. “In that circumstance, a man of character accepts accountability. I take responsibility for my mistake. I apologize.”

Cale Gundy Twitter

His resignation would be accepted by Oklahoma Sooners head coach Brent Venables who shared a statement to the official Oklahoma Football Twitter account.

It reads, “It’s with sadness that I accept Coach Gundy’s resignation. He’s dedicated more than half of his life to Oklahoma Football and has served our program and university well. We’re thankful for that commitment. We also acknowledge that in stepping aside he’s place the program and welfare of our student-athletes first. In coaching and in life, we’re all accountable for our actions and the resulting outcomes.”

“The culture we’re building in our program is based on mutual respect,” Venables stated. “Our staff is here to develop successful student-athletes, but also young men of character. As the leaders of this program, it’s essential that we hold ourselves to the highest standards as we model for our players the type of men we want them to become.”

He then announced, “L’Damian Washington, who has been serving as an offensive analyst for our program, will coach our wide receivers on an interim basis.”

Oklahoma Football Twitter

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In a second statement, Venables said, “As painful as it has been dealing with Coach Gundy resigning from the program, 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,” Venables stated. “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 football program. This is not acceptable. Period.”

Brent Venables via News 9 YouTube

He continued, “Coach Gundy did the right in resigning. He knows our goals for excellence and that coaches have special responsibilities to set an example. He 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 concluded.

Oklahoma Football Twitter

Stoops initially reacted to the resignation on Twitter writing, “It’s with great sadness that I’m reading this. I’ve worked along side Cale for 23 years and know him to be a man of character and a person that loves and cares for his players as well as OU.”

Stoops concluded, “Thank you Cale for all the hard work you poured into our program, it will be remembered!”

Bob Stoops Twitter

Speaking with The REF, Stoops provided a lengthier reaction. When asked what his emotions have been like over the past 48 hours, he responded, “Yea, hard to talk about. Really, just torn apart. It just hurts. It’s tough. Our whole close-knit football family. It’s just an unfortunate and terrible situation, but you’ve got to try and move forward.”

When informed that some people are picking sides, Stoops replied, “I intentionally tried not to listen. You can’t have a side. There is no good side. There’s no right or wrong side. It’s a very unfortunate situation.”

“Whatever side someone’s trying to be on you need to take a considerable amount of time and understand all the parties involved and what they’re dealing with and their side. You’re not doing it justice if you don’t put yourself in the other side’s shoes and what they have to deal with.”

Bob Stoops via Tulsaworld YouTube

“You know, Cale, I love him to death, of course. We’ve been together for all this time and all the blood, sweat, and tears he’s put into this program. No one’s done more. He’s been incredible,” he asserted.

“We all know in every occupation you might be in one wrong moment or incident you can have severe consequences. Every occupation out there,” he observed.  “And sadly in a moment whether it be poor judgment or awareness he created an incident that led to these consequences.”

“And that being said, that one moment doesn’t define Cale as a person or his character and heart,” Stoops noted. “We know Cale’s character and heart are always been for his players and for OU; been nothing but the best. He should always be appreciated for his hard work here. And should always be a part of the OU family. And I believe that. And I believe he will be, hopefully. He may not. I know everybody wants that.”

Oklahoma Coach Bob Stoops Photo Credit: frankieleon, CC BY 2.0 <https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0>, via Wikimedia Commons

“You have to look at Coach Venables’ position,” Stoops said. “I mean I’ve been in this position. Number one, he and those players, they’re the only ones that were in the building and those players in the room. They know what the context was, how it was said, and how many times it was said. Everyone else out there with an opinion doesn’t know that. They know that in the building and that matters.”

“Brent didn’t create the situation, but he’s charged with leading the program forward, and I know what that’s like. Developing a team identity, a team culture of 140 players, coaches, support staff. That isn’t easy. And if he feels that this incident doesn’t align with that culture or diminishes from it, and feels that this is the best path forward for the program then we have to trust his judgment. That’s the bottom line. He’s the one that has to go see those players and that team and that program every single day and no one else does,” Stoops declared.

“And I’ll say this, he may be a first year coach, but that guy’s been around for over 25 years, three Hall of Fame coaches between Snyder, myself, and Dabo Swinney. So he knows what kind of program he wants and the culture he wants. You’ve got to trust him with that,” Stoops elaborated.

Bob Stoops via Bob Stoops YouTube

“And then, you know, the player’s behalf. He sure as hell isn’t the first player, and I guarantee you, and you know this Teddy you’ve been in meetings, he won’t be the last player not paying attention in a meeting room. Or writing and saying rotten words. That’s going to happen in the locker room. It’s going to happen in a meeting room,” Stoops relayed. “It’s our job as coaches as professionals to in a positive way help those players improve in that room.”

He then advised, “So, the very best way for everybody, all these parties, everybody involved to move forward even the fanbase to move forward is to have a degree of understanding for everything for all parties and to let it go and move forward because it isn’t going to change. It is what it is. It’s unfortunate. It’s sad. It kills me.”

“But again there is no good position on this. You just have to move forward. And again have an understanding for all involved,” he concluded.

Fort Worth, Texas (May 10, 2006) – Sgt. Deo Harrypersaud, crew chief of the Blue Angels #7 plane, discuss safety with University of Oklahoma Head Football coach Bob Stoops prior to his flight with the U.S. Navy’s flight demonstration team, the Blue Angels. U.S. Navy photo by Chief Photographer’s Mate Eric A. Clement (RELEASED)

Stoops also addressed Gundy’s resignation on his YouTube channel reiterating that the situation is “really unfortunate, really sad.”

However, he did make it clear that he believes the whole situation was handled poorly. Stoops explained, “This situation that he’s a part of was really handled in a poor way. I think everyone knows in life, in certain circumstances you have some bad awareness or judgment in whatever job you’re in and it can have severe consequences if it’s not handled right.”

Stoops also made it clear that the he believes situation was created by Gundy, “He created the situation and the consequences. It’s sad. Hate it. Even though it happened it doesn’t change his heart and the character that he has. He loves OU. He loves his players as much as any coach I’ve been next to. He cares about them.”

What do you make of Stoops’ reaction to Gundy’s resignation from the Oklahoma Sooners?

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