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Oklahoma State football coach Mike Gundy’s contract reduced by $1 million, one year after internal investigation

  • July 03, 2020

STILLWATER, Okla. — Oklahoma State football coach Mike Gundy’s contract was altered following an internal review of the program, athletic director Mike Holder confirmed Friday morning.

Gundy’s contract was reduced by $1 million and one year, going from a five-year rollover contract to just a four-year rollover deal. His buyout was also reduced.

Holder said Gundy suggested the changes.

“I commend him for that,” Holder said. “I think it really demonstrates his commitment to be a better coach. And he wanted to make a statement that assured all the players that this wasn’t just about talk. This is more about action, and that’s the first step.”

Holder also said Gundy’s guarantee dropped to 50 percent of his remaining contract, which would reduce the school’s portion of his buyout by 25 percent. And Gundy’s financial responsibility for terminating the contract was reduced from $5 million to $4 million. 

Among other changes, Holder said a force majeure — protection if the contract cannot be performed due to causes outside of control, such as the COVID-19 pandemic — was added to the contract.

“I want to re-emphasize that every one of those was offered up by Mike Gundy,” Holder said.

Holder and OSU president Burns Hargis both released statements of support for Gundy late Thursday night following the investigation, which Holder said began June 16.

On June 15, a picture emerged on social media of Gundy wearing a One America News Network T-shirt. OAN is a far-right, pro-Donald Trump cable news network rated by Media Bias/Fact Check as being “not a credible news source.” The photo angered his players, and star running back Chuba Hubbard tweeted that he would not participate in team activities until changes were made. Several current and former players showed support for Hubbard.

Later that night, Gundy and Hubbard delivered a video together, but Gundy did not apologize. Gundy posted an apology video the next day. He also said he was a “dumbass” in an interview with ESPN for wearing the T-shirt.

Holder said Friday that at the time of Hubbard’s tweet, he was unaware of the OAN Network.

“I had no idea what that network was,” Holder said. “I still don’t. I just know it’s controversial. You know, I’m not on Twitter, and so I needed to have people inform me about it. 

“It was probably sometime Tuesday when I realized that upset a lot of people. Let’s find out why. The thing that was upsetting for me wasn’t the T-shirt. It was the reaction of our players and just the reaction in general. That set in motion our journey to seek the truth.”

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