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Mike Gundy has no interest in getting softer in the new era of college football.
College sports have changed drastically over the past few years. NIL is now the name of the game, and players have more freedom of movement than ever before.
Players are regularly ditching programs for larger paydays elsewhere. Oklahoma State saw an exodus of its own last year, and no exits were bigger than quarterback Spencer Sanders.
Mike Gundy sounds off ahead of the 2023 season.
“People say, man, the media was on you and the fans were on you and all this. I don’t give a sh*t about that. That doesn’t bother me. What bothered me was not knowing the final destination. It was the uncertainty and volatility of the team. I’ve never dealt with that,” Gundy told The Athletic when discussing all the departures from his roster last season.
The Oklahoma State football coach also made it clear he has zero interest in playing roles of agent and GM to negotiate NIL deals to keep young men from leaving.
“I can’t deal with a line outside my office of people coming in here negotiating for money. I can’t do that. I have not once said, ‘OK, what is somebody offering you? We’ll match that.’ Not one time. I’m not gonna do it. I can’t win that battle, and I don’t even know if it’s true.
Gundy has no fear of playing the role of tough cop.
Mike Gundy also let it be known during his profile in The Athletic he believes brutal honesty is the best policy when it comes to setting expectations.
“What I’ve told them is this: This is what we do. This is who we are. We’re gonna coach. If you want to be coddled, don’t come to school here. We’re disciplined. We’re structured. We don’t scream or cuss at you. We don’t beat you down. We’re not doing any of that. But we’re also not gonna sit there and let you do the wrong thing and say it’s OK because we’re scared of you going into the portal,” the legendary college football coach explained when breaking down his outlook for new players. If players don’t like it, they can leave.
“If you don’t want it to be that way, I don’t want you to go here. You need to go somewhere else. No hard feelings. This place is not for everybody, and everybody’s not for me,” Gundy added.”
Mike Gundy remains a content machine.
You can say a lot of things about Mike Gundy. The one thing you can’t say is that he’s boring. The man is an absolute quote machine.
Many coaches are bending over backwards in order to keep players on the roster with bags of NIL money being thrown around.
Mike Gundy is out here saying he doesn’t give a damn what his critics think and he’s not negotiating a single NIL deal. It’s a very refreshing outlook.
The Cowboys started the season 5-0 before finishing the regular season 7-5. The team eventually lost a bowl game to Wisconsin. Yet, Gundy isn’t interested in apologizing or sucking up to the media. He’s going to do what he wants to do.
Will 2023 be another disappointing season in Stillwater? That remains to be seen, but it will be incredibly entertaining if this is the energy Gundy already has in June.