Cale Gundy screwed up. Big-time. There is absolutely no doubt about this. Only fools would argue otherwise.
When Gundy read out loud the n-word to shame some Oklahoma receiver who wasnt attending to in class, Gundys fate was sealed. Its the unpardonable sin in polite American society. There is absolutely no return from such transgression.
But should it be considered a bridge too much? Should Gundys fit of anger, a momentary lapse of judgment after 23 years without known similar behavior, cost him his job and endanger his career?
Before both sides get angry and lob flamethrowers at someone asking a question, lets cut right to reality.
Oklahoma’s footballs decision created by yearling head coach Brent Venables and grizzled athletic director Joe Castiglione had not been strictly some high-standing principle. Section of this is pragmatism.
If Gundys message to senior high school players was compromised, his value to the university will be gutted. Also it very well might have been compromised.
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Perhaps this is big news to virgin ears, but Texas A&M and Alabama, Texas and Oklahoma, each of them play nasty on the recruiting trail. The Marquess of Queensberry Rules are out the window.
Gundy had been paid $610,000. About $10,000 of this was to positively impact teenagers. The others was to recruit and produce playmakers, and when that wasnt likely to happen, theres nothing left to speak about.
But leaving pragmatism and likely to the main side, what ought to be the penalty for this type of high crime?
Public shaming and banishment will be the accepted punishments of the 21st century.
However the Reverend Clarence Hill Jr. includes a different idea. He asks why forgiveness and reconciliation cant function as phone cards of race relations.
Full disclosure: Hill is my pastor at Normans Antioch Community Church, and he doesnt spring these radical ideas only at opportune times. They’re displayed generally in most of his sermons, which are big on empathy and gentleness and compassion.
Hill is in national demand with business and civic and church leaders as a facilitator to raised race relations, using his Dream Clock series, on what every race can better understand others.
And Hill includes a simple question for Oklahoma. How come Cale Gundy being tossed aside?
Hill asks why we’ve a society in which a Division I football team cant put Gundy and the affected players around a table, have open and frank conversations, for many weeks if you need to.
Why couldnt they solve this issue in another of those expensive rooms in the football area, and arrived at terms together like men, Hill said in a Facebook post Monday night.
Hill said even though Gundy had some slight intent to hurt the son, which frankly captures the spirit of what appears to have happened, and apologizes sincerely, there must be a way to reconciliation.
Hill was raised in St. Louis and says he often was called the n-word in elementary school. His family eventually moved to Iowa, and Hill was a non-scholarship basketball player on Johnny Orrs 1993-94 Iowa State team.
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Still, Hill doesnt follow sports much. Hes not considering the Cale Gundy story via an athletic prism. His sights are somewhat greater than even the press box that looks down on Owen Field.
Yall, weve surely got to get forgiveness and reconciliation back society, Hill said. Another option is division. If our society hits too large of a bump in the street, where someone thinks their children are threatened, plus they start believing that other pores and skin or that other group may be the problem, its not only going to be considered a couple of words or perhaps a couple of firings.
You can find people at this time stirring themselves up within their own conversation.
The term is abhorrent. The term is unacceptable. But people make mistakes. The infallible aren’t in our midst.
Wouldnt, Hill asked, it be considered a greater story to state, we got the players together, sat Cale Gundy down, brought Brent Venables in everyone knows hes high-character and we just talked it through, like teams, like brothers, like friends, and we worked it out?
To circumvent the racial and ethnic tensions that afflict the world, we are in need of more communication. Not less.
The Cale Gundy story teaches us to help keep our mouths shut. Dont say a word which means you wont find trouble.
But that doesnt solve anything. Only through conversations learning one another can we arrived at better understanding.
Hill says if Gundy isn’t contrite, or theres a history of dubious behavior, then fine. Fire him at that moment.
But is anyone testifying that that has been the case?
Anybody who has available it by way of a hard moment in a relationship would say, Dont fire the person after 25 years. Dont force him to resign, Hill said. Visit a table somewhere and figure it out.
They are said to be tough football players. You dont want em to be tough in your muscle and thin in your soul. Help everybody push through this thing, if its likely.
A worthy idea. An audio principle.
Needless to say, college football isn’t a spiritual endeavor. College football will not soar above the temporal.
College football is pragmatic. College football is survival of the fittest, and its own possible Cale Gundy could no more get the job done he was paid to accomplish.
This short article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Cale Gundy leaving Oklahoma was obvious consequence, but should it be?