Longtime Oklahoma wide receivers coach Cale Gundy resigned on Sunday night in the wake of what he described as an incident during a team film session.
Gundy, who has been with the program since 1999, said in a lengthy statement that he accidentally read “one particular word that I should never — under any circumstance — have uttered" during a film session last week.
“Last week, during a film session, I instructed my players to take notes,” Gundy said in a statement, in part. “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. 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.
“I want to be very clear: The words that 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.”
It’s unknown what word Gundy is talking about specifically, or whose iPad he said he picked up. Other details surrounding the alleged incident are not yet known, though Oklahoma coach Brent Venables confirmed Monday that the word in question was "racially charged."
Gundy said that, while he didn’t mean to say the word, he recognizes that he has to “take responsibility” and still resign.
“It’s with sadness that I accept Coach Gundy’s resignation,” Venables said in a statement on Sunday. “He’s dedicated more than half of his life to Oklahoma football and has served our program and university well. We also acknowledge that in stepping aside he's placed the program and the 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. 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."
Venables issued another statement on Monday afternoon, and said that Gundy actually used the word "multiple times."
“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 our football program,” Venables said Monday in a statement, in part. “This is not acceptable. Period. Coach Gundy did the right thing by resigning.”
Gundy, the younger brother of Oklahoma State coach Mike Gundy, has been with Oklahoma since 1999, and has worked as both a running backs coach and wide receivers coach. Before becoming a coach, Gundy was a record-setting quarterback for the Sooners from 1990 to 1993. He returned to Norman as part of Bob Stoops' first staff in 1999 and has been on staff for all 14 of Oklahoma's Big 12 titles and its 2000 national championship.
Gundy coached alongside Venables at OU from 1999 to 2011 under Stoops before being retained on Venables' new staff. Venables is entering his first season as Oklahoma's head coach, succeeding Lincoln Riley.
The Sooners are set to open their season on Sept. 3 against UTEP.