Was Coach's Angry Tirade out of Bounds?

A college football coach berates a reporter for article critical of player.

ByABC News via logo
September 25, 2007, 8:07 AM

Sept. 25, 2007 — -- A coach lambasting the media for its coverage of his team is nothing out of the ordinary, but some say one college coach's recent outburst was out of bounds.

Oklahoma State University coach Mike Gundy's public tirade, aimed at a local sports reporter, stood out as exceptionally angry.

At a press conference following the team's 49-45 win over Texas Tech, Gundy lashed out at Oklahoman sports writer Jenni Carlson, at one point screaming to the crowd that the article and the editor who ran it were "garbage."

Carlson's article was critical of 21-year-old quarterback Bobby Reid, and mocked his postgame behavior. "It would've been normal postgame activity but for one thing. His mother was feeding him chicken," she wrote.

Carlson also reported that Reid was pulled from the starting lineup because he lacked the drive. "Does he have the fire in his belly? Or does he want to be coddled, babied, perhaps even fed chicken?" Carlson wrote.

Gundy said that it wasn't true that Reid was scratched as a starter, and defended the player as someone who does the right thing.

"Three-fourths of this is inaccurate,'' Gundy yelled, holding up Carlson's column. "It's fiction. And this article embarrasses me to be involved in athletics."

Gundy, 40, said it was unfair to pick on Reid, who is just a "kid," and said, "This article had to have been written by a person that doesn't have a child."

Other sports reporters have pointed out that Reid, as a Division I athlete, should be prepared to face public scrutiny. Carlson said she was just doing her job.

"I firmly believe that my reporting is solid, my sources are solid, my observations are solid, so I stand firmly on the facts of the column," she said.

She did, however, admit to being taken aback by Gundy's highly personal rant.

"It was unbelievable that this was happening," Carlson said. "I just was really not suspecting that there was gonna be this sort of outrage."

Other sports writers and coaches have taken both sides of the issue, but the majority of letters and e-mails sent to the newspaper's offices support Gundy.

Gundy declined to speak to "Good Morning America."