Chuba Hubbard’s Apology Shows Where Power Structure Still Remains, Analyst Says

Head coach Mike Gundy of the Oklahoma State Cowboys encourages his team
Brian Bahr / Getty Images

Oklahoma State running back Chuba Hubbard apologized for his Twitter post criticizing head coach Mike Gundy on Monday, and Gabriel Baumgaertner of The Guardian thinks that apology shows where the power still lies in college football. The analyst wrote on Tuesday that he thought that for a moment, the power structure in the sport was about to be shaken to the core. Then six hours later, the dynamics were back to where they have always been.

After a photo surfaced of Gundy wearing an OAN T-shirt, Hubbard posted on social media that he wouldn’t be a part of the Oklahoma State program “until things change.” After several teammates voiced their support for the running back, who rushed for over 2,000 yards and 21 touchdowns in 2019, a team meeting was held. After that meeting, Hubbard posted a video of himself and Gundy.

The message from both was that they had a frank discussion and would work together to change things in the future. Baumgaertner was among several analysts who noticed Hubbard apologized for his tweet. Gundy didn’t apologize for anything but did say he recognized a “sensitive situation.”

Baumgaertner pointed out the OAN T-shirt was just the latest controversial thing Gundy’s been embroiled in. Earlier this spring, the head coach said in a conference call that he believed his players should have returned to campus because people aged 18-22 rarely get seriously ill from the “Chinese virus.” He added the school needed the players back because “we need to run money through the state of Oklahoma.”

It was on this conference call that Gundy first brought up OAN. He called the network “refreshing” because, in his view, it doesn’t offer commentary. Baumgaertner said it took him no time at all to find several videos from OAN offering commentary, including one where an anchor calls the Black Lives Matter movement “a farce.”

Baumgaertner said he doesn’t think Hubbard’s anger was really over the shirt. He believes the player was likely fed up with his coach’s antics. After Hubbard tweeted his outrage, his teammates reportedly said there needed to be “major change.”

The analyst said that while it looked for a moment like there might be a change in leadership at the program, it now looks like things are the same as they ever were. He believes the players are gaining some ground when it comes to gaining power, but the base structure of the sport still lies with the head coach and the athletic department.