Oklahoma Assistant Coach Cale Gundy Resigns After Using 'Hurtful' Word: 'I Take Responsibility'

·3 min read
cale gundy
cale gundy

Brian Bahr/Getty Cale Gundy

The Oklahoma Sooners' longtime wide receiver coach Cale Gundy has resigned, explaining that he chose to step away after an incident during a team film session.

Gundy, who has been with the team since 1999, announced his decision in a statement on Twitter.

"I owe it to Sooner Nation to be transparent about what led to this decision," Gundy, 50, wrote. "Last week, during a film session, I instructed my players to take notes. 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."

Gundy admitted that "one particular word" he repeated aloud during the film session was unacceptable.

"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."

The longtime assistant coach told Sooners fans that although the words he read aloud were not his own, he is "mature enough to know that the word" was "shameful and hurtful." Gundy added: "The unfortunate reality is that someone in my position can cause harm without ever meaning to do so. In that circumstance, a man of character accepts accountability."

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Following his official announcement and public apology, Gundy thanked the players and coaches who have shown him support in this decision. "While considering this decision, I have been overwhelmed by the love and support of those who know me, my character, and my love for this program. I truly appreciate the support my players and coaches have shown. That support means more to me than I can express."

cale gundy
cale gundy

Sue Ogrocki/AP/Shutterstock

"Coaching this football team truly has been my life's passion," Gundy wrote. "But I leave confident that the team will continue to prosper and I leave with the tremendous love for the University of Oklahoma and its athletics department."

PEOPLE has reached out to Gundy and the University of Oklahoma for comment.

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Sooners head coach Brent Venables issued a statement regarding Gundy's resignation via Oklahoma Football's Twitter account. "It's with sadness that I accept Coach Gundy's resignation. He's dedicated more than half his life to Oklahoma Football and has served our program and university well," Venables said.

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The Oklahoma head coach continued, "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."