T. Boone Pickens did not have a good week last week as he dealt with backlash for comments he made on Oklahoma president David Boren and Oklahoma State football coach Mike Gundy.
“I don’t have any conversations with Gundy,” he said. Is there a rift? “I don’t know, but Mike doesn’t handle people relationships very well. And he gets mad about things. I’ve heard he’s written some notes about me that weren’t very complimentary.”
It was the first clear sign that, as Oklahoma State was just 2-5 in their last seven games, there is once again a rift between Pickens and Gundy.
On Saturday, Oklahoma State exorcised some of the demons that have haunted them the last couple of weeks with a big win over Texas.
After the game, John E. Hoover with The Franchise asked Gundy about those comments, and as expected, Gundy wasn’t pleased.
“Everybody knows about it. Right?” Gundy said. “You get it walking around in the street. I mean, the players know about it.”
Gundy has a point. If you want to talk about handling personal relationships, maybe don’t blindside a guy with a public attack.
“If you’re doing something that’s hurting us in the big picture, well then I don’t like that. Because that means it makes it worse on these guys who bust their ass,” Gundy said.
“I just have to do my job. I can’t do anything about it. And you know what? At some point, if somebody feels it ain’t good enough, then hell, somebody else can come in here and try it.”
And there it is. Gundy has flirted with other jobs before, and who can blame him? The school’s most influential booster continually, and very publicly, takes shots at him despite him being the winning coach in the school’s history. All while Boone publicly supports other, lesser accomplished, coaches both in and outside the program.
For his part, Boone released a statement on Twitter before the game in what will, most likely, be the closest thing Gundy will ever get to an apology.
“For more than a decade I have worked to make all aspects of Oklahoma State University better, academically and in its athletics. And we have made great strides in both. I am proud of what we have accomplished, and what more we can accomplish.
But let me clear the air on some recent comments regarding coach Mike Gundy. I’m 88 years old. My competitive spirits have not diminished. When I made my first major gift, I expected that we would become competitive, and that we would one day win a national championship. If nothing else, age has made me more focused and anxious to achieve that goal.
Mike Gundy has accomplished a lot at Oklahoma State. I recommended him for the head coaching position. I was one of his – and the schools – staunchest defenders during the Sports Illustrated attack on our university. But the reality is I have a full-time job at BP Capital. I have not placed a call to Mike Gundy in years. Its his program to run, not mine.
Coach Gundy and I are united in the belief that the school is bigger than both of us. I wish Coach Gundy well. I am proud of our football team. I remain the school’s number one fan. I do not intend to talk about our relationship publicly going forward.
Cowboy fans, let’s fill up the stadium on Saturday and beat the Longhorns.”