A report surfaced at the end of March indicating Oklahoma State coach Mike Gundy nearly took the job at Tennessee in December. Gundy even told Jeremy Fowler of CBSSports.com, “At some point, that’s where we thought we were going to go.” In the end, Gundy decided to stay and Tennessee hired Butch Jones but that hasn’t stopped questions about it.
Why did Gundy reveal details about something that didn’t happen? Here’s what he told a group of local reporters in Oklahoma.
“What I have tried to do is just be as up front and honest as possible. And the truth of the matter is what I said (in the CBS piece). And that’s really the easiest way for me to handle it, because there is nothing really else to say.
“I can’t make something up. I just basically will say, ‘This is what happens and this is the way it is and go on down the road.”
Reports and rumors had linked Gundy to the coaching searches not only at Tennessee but Arkansas as well. He was asked if either school made an official job offer.
“I really would rather not comment, for respect out of both schools. There are conversations that go on with those situations that are private …
“But I think what I would say is I was treated very well by both schools. They were very up front and honest, and (we had) very positive discussions that actually can help us here.”
One of the reasons Gundy reportedly considered leaving Oklahoma State was over tougher non-conference schedules. According to Fowler, Gundy believed the tougher schedules didn’t maximize the team’s chances of winning a national title.