Oklahoma assistant Cale Gundy resigns after saying ‘shameful’ word in film session

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Oklahoma wide receivers coach Cale Gundy, the longest-tenured football assistant in the Big 12 Conference, resigned Sunday night after reading aloud a “shameful and hurtful” word off a player’s iPad during a recent film session. The 50-year-old Gundy, who has coached with the Sooners since 1999, described the events that led to his resignation in a statement on Twitter.

“Last week, during a film session, I instructed my players to take notes,” he wrote. “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.”

Gundy, the younger brother of Oklahoma State Coach Mike Gundy, said he “was horrified” when he realized the word he had read.

“What I said was not malicious; it wasn’t even intentional,” Gundy continued. “Still, I am mature enough to know that the word I said was shameful and hurtful, no matter my intentions.”

Gundy played quarterback at Oklahoma from 1990 to 1993 and served as a graduate assistant on coach Gary Gibbs’s Sooners staff in 1994 before coaching quarterbacks and running backs at the University of Alabama at Birmingham from 1995 to 1998. He returned to Oklahoma in 1999 as the running backs coach for first-year coach Bob Stoops. In 2017, Gundy was promoted to co-offensive coordinator under former Sooners coach Lincoln Riley, who left for Southern California last year.

“I take responsibility for my mistake,” Gundy wrote before announcing that he was stepping down immediately. “I apologize. … This team — its coaches, players, administration, and fans — do not deserve to be distracted by off-the-field matters while working to continue the tradition of excellence that makes me so proud to be a Sooner.”

Oklahoma Coach Brent Venables, who was hired to replace Riley in December, accepted Gundy’s resignation “with sadness” on Sunday.

“He’s dedicated more than half of his life to Oklahoma Football and has served our program and university well,” Venables said in a statement. “We’re thankful for that commitment. 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.”

Venables announced that L’Damian Washington, an offensive analyst for the Sooners, will become interim wide receivers coach.

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