Oklahoma State University football coach Mike Gundy apologized Saturday for remarks he made earlier last week about the coronavirus pandemic that were widely panned as tone deaf.
In a conference call Tuesday that lasted an hour and opened with a 20-minute monologue, Gundy stated, "In my opinion, if we have to bring our players back, test them. They're all in good shape. They're all 18, 19, 20, 21 and 22-year-olds. They're healthy. A lot of them can fight it off with their natural body, the antibodies and the build that they have."
He went on to say, "There's some people that are asymptomatic. If that's true, then we sequester them. And people say that's crazy. No, it's not crazy because we need to continue and budget and run money through the state of Oklahoma."
With the United States on pace to become the world leader in COVID-19-related deaths, Gundy also advocated for a May 1 return to work for his staff, with student-athletes to follow.
"I have been made aware that comments from my press conference have offended some," Gundy said in a prepared statement Saturday, as reported by ESPN. "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 has also issued a statement, which says, "We will adhere to the advice of public health experts who are making informed decisions in the best interest of the citizens of our nation and state based on sound scientific data,'' the university statement said. "We will also abide by the federal and state mandates as well as Big 12 guidelines. We will not compromise the health and well-being of our campus community. This virus is deadly and we will do our part at Oklahoma State to help blunt the spread.''