Sources say Tennessee, Arkansas have talked with Gundy
BY JIMMIE TRAMEL World Sports Writer
Tuesday, December 04, 2012
12/04/12 at 5:16 AM
STILLWATER - Mike Gundy will face a Southeastern Conference team next season. The question is whether he will face more than one SEC team.
Oklahoma State is scheduled to open next season against SEC opponent Mississippi State in Houston.
Meanwhile, two SEC schools with coaching vacancies - Tennessee and Arkansas - reportedly have engaged in a courtship with the OSU head coach.
A Rivals.com site (Volquest) devoted to Tennessee athletics reported that Tennessee's chancellor and athletic director spent time Sunday with Gundy in Stillwater. Sources also indicated that Gundy has talked with Arkansas officials.
Will Gundy, a former OSU quarterback and the winningest coach in program history, return for a ninth season as head coach? Or will he be lured away from his alma mater?
Gundy isn't saying, at least publicly. And neither are OSU officials.
Athletic director Mike Holder, who is out of town, didn't respond to Gundy-related questions that were emailed to him Monday by the Tulsa World.
One of the questions: If Gundy has an offer on the table, would OSU make concessions to keep the coach?
It has been reported that Gundy - who signed a contract extension after last season that runs through 2019 - wants more control over his program, including scheduling and other matters. He wants to play light nonconference schedules, but the Cowboys are playing the aforementioned Mississippi State game in 2013 and CBSSports.com reported that a 2014 game against Florida State in Arlington, Texas, is a possibility.
A Tulsa World request to talk to OSU president Burns Hargis about the Gundy situation was declined by a university spokesperson.
So, everything remains open to speculation while Gundy and suitors weigh options.
Any school that offers Gundy a head coaching position would have to be willing to pay a $3 million buyout. (A source indicated Tennessee officials went through the protocol of informing OSU of an intent to contact Gundy, while Arkansas did not.)
And Gundy, if it comes down to this, would need to determine if the issues that led to him being open to listening to other potential employers are worth leaving his "New York Yankees job" and a new home that he built on a Stillwater ranch.
Gundy elevated his stock in 2011, when he led OSU to a school-record 12 wins and the Cowboys' first Big 12 championship and first BCS bowl appearance.
Represented by agent Jimmy Sexton, Gundy was rewarded with a new contract, but multiple sources indicate the negotiations turned thorny and wounds have not healed.
After losing two first-round draft picks to the NFL, OSU went 7-5 this season despite using three quarterbacks. The Cowboys shared third place in the Big 12, but closed the regular season with losses at Oklahoma and Baylor.
Heart of Dallas Bowl
OSU (7-5) vs. Purdue (6-6)
11 a.m. Jan. 1
At Cotton Bowl
Radio: KFAQ am1170
Original Print Headline: Sources: Courting of Gundy continues
Jimmie Tramel 918-581-8389