Inviting Former Players Back

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Jul 26, 2005
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Broken Arrow, OK
#1
https://www.tulsaworld.com/sports/c...cle_41d23447-80b0-538e-8d45-1a30a4cb45cc.html
I've always envied the way OU's former players came back to campus and stayed connected to the program. And wondered why we never saw O'Neil, Dokes, Corker, Dykes, Mayes, Pettigrew, etc at games. Don't get me wrong, I think Guerin Emig is a gooner through and through and enjoys writing stuff to bring the Cowboy program down, but his article today made me sick if it is true that Gundy and the Athletics Department are truly doing such a horrible job of staying connected to former athletes. There should be at least 100 tickets set aside each game for former players and their immediate family each game, all located together so players can reconnect -- priority given to players who haven't been back in a while, were All-Americans, played professionally, etc. Announce their names between quarters or halftime, set up autograph booths, invite them into the locker room to talk to current players. Something has to be done to make this better. It's great exposure for the program.
 
Oct 7, 2015
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St. Elmo, CO
#2
Agreed. It's not that hard for Gundy to assign one of the assistants in the AD to send out greetings for him. It's not like he has to write our Hallmark cards and take them to the post office.

Keep these alumni close and have them meet with our recruits. Perhaps if Gundy did that, we'd have better recruiting classes and not constantly get our recruiting arses handed to us by the likes of Baylor and TCU.

Just look at where we are recruiting wise: http://insider.espn.com/college-sports/football/recruiting/classrankings

Gundy could use all of the help he could get and having these great players hanging out at BPS would certainly fire up not only recruits, but fans as well.

It's kind of a no-brainer when you think of it and why hasn't someone mentioned it long before this is beyond me.

Come on, Coach. We are all wanting you to be even more successful.
 
Jun 16, 2020
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Atlanta
#3
Agreed. It's not that hard for Gundy to assign one of the assistants in the AD to send out greetings for him. It's not like he has to write our Hallmark cards and take them to the post office.

Keep these alumni close and have them meet with our recruits. Perhaps if Gundy did that, we'd have better recruiting classes and not constantly get our recruiting arses handed to us by the likes of Baylor and TCU.

Just look at where we are recruiting wise: http://insider.espn.com/college-sports/football/recruiting/classrankings

Gundy could use all of the help he could get and having these great players hanging out at BPS would certainly fire up not only recruits, but fans as well.

It's kind of a no-brainer when you think of it and why hasn't someone mentioned it long before this is beyond me.

Come on, Coach. We are all wanting you to be even more successful.
not only that imagine the relationships that could be formed with the current players. Providing experience and mentorship on and off the field. We have some real opportunities for growth with the program. I hope we take advantage.
 
Oct 7, 2015
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St. Elmo, CO
#4
In a related note: Why hasn't AD Holder done the same for all OSU sports. I mean, he's head of the department. He should have some leadership in this endeavor too.

I get contacted by the A&S College and the OSU Alumni Association almost on a weekly basis. Why is the OSU Athletic Department not reaching out like these two mentioned associations?

Come on, Holder. Put some people on this STAT, will ya.
 
Oct 1, 2006
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#5
Before all of this public discussion on Mike Gundy began, I had a conversation with someone in the program when we missed out on another athlete whose family member went to OSU. Those that follow recruiting will probably remember that this has been a common occurrence. The person I was talking with talked about the lack of investment in relationships from Coach Gundy. That article is very telling and echoes what a lot of us hear from other former players. Getting alums engaged in the program is easy. Those guys are already bought in. Like Tatum said, he bleeds orange. We know Thurman does as well.

Mike Boynton has done a great job with making it an open door policy for alums because "it's their program". The connection that Coach Boynton has made with our former players has helped him recruit players that train with Victor Williams, Melvin Sanders, Joe Adkins and others. Players don't leave the athletic community once they retire. In fact, most of the time they get even more invested.

I don't know if it's Gundy being lackadaisical or too egotistical to think about the strength in having a strong alumni base, but it has to change. We must invest in our alums because history shows that alums will re-invest in their school.
 
Oct 7, 2015
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St. Elmo, CO
#6
I'm a Gundy fan for most of the time, but I get frustrated by his lack of recruiting and his seeming to curl up in the fetal position whenever we play ou.

Perhaps he's burned out. He says he's not and I want to believe that, but after this last episode, if we don't see some fire and purpose, I'm all for saying, "Thanks" and going after a coach that recruits and coaches fearlessly.
Damn the long term commitment and stability stuff and playing 4 weaka**ed, non-conference teams each year to pad the winning totals.

We've plateaued and lost the momentum we gathered in 2011.
Just look at those recruiting finishes. It's pathetic compared to a Baylor coming in with a hot coach, then losing him only to get a new coach and still get our recruiting butts kicked.

It's having those marquee players that bring marquee results, Cowboys.
 
Oct 22, 2008
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Austin, Tx
#7
Before all of this public discussion on Mike Gundy began, I had a conversation with someone in the program when we missed out on another athlete whose family member went to OSU. Those that follow recruiting will probably remember that this has been a common occurrence. The person I was talking with talked about the lack of investment in relationships from Coach Gundy. That article is very telling and echoes what a lot of us hear from other former players. Getting alums engaged in the program is easy. Those guys are already bought in. Like Tatum said, he bleeds orange. We know Thurman does as well.

Mike Boynton has done a great job with making it an open door policy for alums because "it's their program". The connection that Coach Boynton has made with our former players has helped him recruit players that train with Victor Williams, Melvin Sanders, Joe Adkins and others. Players don't leave the athletic community once they retire. In fact, most of the time they get even more invested.

I don't know if it's Gundy being lackadaisical or too egotistical to think about the strength in having a strong alumni base, but it has to change. We must invest in our alums because history shows that alums will re-invest in their school.
This makes a lot of sense. As long as Gundy has been connected to OSU, I imagine a ton of these former players we're wondering about either played with him or were coached by him. Those that weren't' probably didn't miss him by a year or two, so they have friends who played with him or were coached by him. Maybe Gundy is not popular with former teammates and players? Or it's the same aloofness the players were talking about last month.
 

Fly

Wrangler
Jan 10, 2020
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Edmond
#8
The reality is that our football program doesn’t have a rich tradition. Guys like Thurman Thomas, Barry Sanders, Weeden have all been back for various games and occasions. I’m sure other players have been back from time to time. Just because they don’t hang out on the sidelines 4 or 5 times a year doesn’t mean Gundy isn’t connected.
 

Jostate

Bluecolla's sock
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Jun 24, 2005
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#9
When we field a team of 3 star guys the response from Gundy has been they fit the "Cowboy Culture". He's got some work ahead of him to sell the fans and the recruits that there really is something to Cowboy Culture in view of recent events.
 
Oct 1, 2006
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#10
The reality is that our football program doesn’t have a rich tradition. Guys like Thurman Thomas, Barry Sanders, Weeden have all been back for various games and occasions. I’m sure other players have been back from time to time. Just because they don’t hang out on the sidelines 4 or 5 times a year doesn’t mean Gundy isn’t connected.
Did you miss the part when Thurman Thomas said he has had one conversation with Mike since he graduated? A hall of fame running back has talked to the long-time head coach and his former teammate one time since 1987. Think of the treatment the other guys get. All you have to do is listen to what the guys are saying. It’s not hard.
 

Boomer.....

Territorial Marshal
Feb 15, 2007
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#11
OU has former players involved in recruiting, the Spring Game, Pro Day, etc. It's got to be humbling to see former and current NFL stars acknowledging you, a high school kid. Hell, there was a congratulatory message from Adrian Peterson at the end of our new #1 QB who committed on the 4th.
 

Fly

Wrangler
Jan 10, 2020
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Edmond
#12
The relationship with ex players and program goes both ways. If Thurman wanted to be more a part of the program all he has to do is reach out. It’s not Mike Gundy’s job to kiss Thurman’s butt or any other alumni. The athletic dept. should be do a much better job of communicating with ex players.
 

Jostate

Bluecolla's sock
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Jun 24, 2005
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#14
The relationship with ex players and program goes both ways. If Thurman wanted to be more a part of the program all he has to do is reach out. It’s not Mike Gundy’s job to kiss Thurman’s butt or any other alumni. The athletic dept. should be do a much better job of communicating with ex players.
That's the same thing everyone says about Gundy and the local media. Gundy couldn't find the high road if you put it in his GPS.
 
Feb 15, 2017
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Texas
#15
Not building relationships with players is probably a big reason why we didn't see them chime in and support him when he was being called a racist . . . . Not because they thought he was, but they don't know him on a personal basis.
 
Feb 15, 2017
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Texas
#16
Ironic, these former players being pissed that "Hargis and Holder didn't come interview me" but in the next line say "I don't know Gundy, never talk to him, never built a relationship with him."

The interviews by Holder were not "what can OSU do better" but focused on if there was any facts to the accusation that Gundy was racist.


That said, I do wish we had a stronger presence of the former Cowboys in the program.
 

OSUMIKE17

Property of The Oklahoman and NewsOk.com
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Apr 11, 2009
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Tulsa
#17
The football program has asked players to come back every single year for a while now. Gundy has made a point to talk about it during multiple press conferences.

Now, has he personally met with each and every player that has come back during this time? Probably not. And there’s no doubt that is something he can try to improve on.

But I don’t think anyone should take an article about three or four hand-picked critical opinions and assume that is the sole experience of every single football alum that comes back to visit.
 
Feb 24, 2020
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oklahoma
#18
Oklahoma State Football does a horrible job selling its program. Gundy and OSU try to sell recruits on this so called "cowboy culture", which to me is another term for family atmosphere. In reality, Gundy isn't really selling anything special. Every D1 program preaches a family style atmosphere. Some schools show it better than others, but the mass majority of D1 schools have a solid family atmosphere, culture whatever you want to call it.

We also do a piss poor job or marketing our players whether past or present as well as the program in general. Gavin Lang, who's in charge of football struggles to put together a decent campaign for our players when we're up for major awards, and I don't know why. You see some of these school do a great job telling the story of their players, telling the story of their programs. Just look at the social accounts from other schools across the country. I can tell OSU softball does tremendous job telling the story of their program as well as their athletes as do tennis, soccer, wrestling, and especially baseball.

When it comes to recruiting...truth is Gundy is lazy as hell. He doesn't really stick his teeth and grind for recruits. Recruiting is hard and takes work, something Gundy doesn't seem willing to do. The get the best players, you have work your ass off and get them. Gundy has mention many times it's too hard to recruit to Stillwater, 4-5 star players aren't interested or don't want to come here. It's a grind to get their signature, and truth is you'll have to recruit them all the way to signing day. Gundy would rather recruit against the Ivy league, FCS, or group of 5 schools b/c well the competition is easier.

One could say recruiting is a "young man's game" and you could be right. On the other hand, Mack Brown who's 68, has a top 3-5 recruiting class at UNC. He's a hell of job "selling" the program as well as building relationship with recruits in a short time. Recruiting has always been a strength as well managing his relationship with boosters. He's already got a couple facility upgrades, and he's keep all the top talent from leaving out of state. Mack Brown enjoys the recruiting side, enjoys building relationships....Gundy on the other hand....well IMO it doesn't seem like he enjoys recruiting.
 
Feb 24, 2020
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oklahoma
#19
Not to derail the topic, but I wouldn't get too caught up in the "TCU and Baylor out recruit us" party. After the top 25 classes, #26-45 are pretty much a wash.
26-45 doesnt matter?? ...yeah I call BS if that's true how come we're 1-5 against baylor since 2014? We're also 3-3 against TCU since 2014 as well so keep on making excuses for Gundy and his recruiting. Our recruiting is mediocre and needs improvement.
 

Jostate

Bluecolla's sock
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Jun 24, 2005
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#20
....Gundy on the other hand....well IMO it doesn't seem like he enjoys recruiting.
Gundy doesn't enjoy recruiting, hates interacting with the media and doesn't like sucking up to big donors. I like Gundy and hope he rallies through this, but one of these days it would be nice to get someone who doesn't dislike over half of his job.