Oklahoma State football coach Mike Gundy has captured headlines in the past two days for his more than passionate comments in regards to Jenni Carlson’s column in The Oklahoman.   Essentially, Carlson let loose on Cowboy’s quarterback Bobby Reid alluding to him acting like a baby and playing scared.

By nature, newspaper columns call for opinion — but Carlson might want to take a trip back to communications law class and be sure she fully understands the definition of defamation. 

Reporting on rumors and using words like appeared and apparently throughout the piece doesn’t help Carlson’s case very much.  The point is to state your opinion based on facts…not on whether you agree with Reid being fed chicken by his mother (or perhaps focus on his play rather than his personal life).  

While Carlson has spent the better part of yesterday asking questions and wasted space in today’s paper by continually saying that she doesn’t know what Grundy thinks is wrong with her column, I think someone should send her an e-mail with the video clip from the news conference.

Grundy says specifically that Carlson’s comments on Reid threatening to transfer and Reid being scared were both fallacies. Based on Grundy’s reaction, Carlson didn’t have much merit when she said, “Reid is the most talented quarterback in Payne County, but he hasn’t proven that he’s the toughest. If you listen to the rumblings and the rumors, Cowboy coaches simply grew weary of it.” What coach said this?

Carlson can pose a question and raise an issue, but calling out Reid based on watching him eat a meal and equating that to his play on the field is just ridiculous.  She’s taking what she saw and spinning it to match the rumors that she’d heard.

While attacking Carlson in the news conference wasn’t much better than what Carlson wrote, I’m still with Grundy on this one. As he said in the conference, “You don’t kick a person when he’s down,” especially just because it makes the rumor you want to report more interesting, and it matches what you want to write.  If you stand by what you wrote in your column, then use some attribution. All this could have been avoided, and we wouldn’t have Grundy spinning things the other way, if the reporting was done a little better. – Angela Loiacono