Mike Gundy apologizes for coronavirus comments

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Mike Gundy spent an hour on Tuesday telling the world how he felt about coronavirus and our nation's response to it. So it's hard to see what a press-released apology four days later is going to do for anyone, but one arrived on Saturday regardless.

"I have been made aware that comments from my press conference have offended some," Gundy said in a statement. "It was never my intention to offend anyone, and I apologize. My first priority is and will always be the student-athletes and doing what is best for the program and the university."

Oklahoma State attempted its own clean up hours later, and for the rest of the week everyone from Chip Kelly to Coach K either intentionally or unintentionally rebuked Gundy's comments.

The oddest thing about Gundy's insistence that everyone return to work May 1 was that the plan was a complete non-starter before the coach even said it. The Big 12 has preemptively ceased all in-person operations through May 31.

As I wrote Tuesday, the most objectionable part of Gundy's comments was the section where players can play without fans in the stands or students on campus because it was that important to "run money through the state of Oklahoma." That quote quickly became a landmark moment in "saying the quiet part loud" about big-time college sports, which the system's opponents quickly seized upon.

Though Gundy surely didn't mean to come across as callous as he sounded, he certainly gave that impression.

Gundy was on his own island on that front, too. Coach after coach and AD after AD have said over the past month that college football will not be played without students on campus and fans in the stands, most prominently Ohio State's Gene Smith on Friday.

"That one I've thought about a little bit," Smith said. "I struggle with that concept. When I first heard [games without fans] I said, 'OK, that could work.' But if we don't have fans in the stands we've determined it's not safe for them in a gathering environment. Why would it be safe for the players?

"Think about that, if students aren't on campus that means the institution has made a decision it's not safe for those students to be here on campus. Why would it be safe for student-athletes? I keep hearing and it's like, 'How does that work? It doesn't make sense.'"

As always, stay tuned to The Scoop for the latest.