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Holder Commends Players’ Courage for Speaking Out, Says ‘Adults’ Still in Control

Holder says we need more people courageous enough to speak out in society.



Chuba Hubbard had a lot of support when he took a stand against Mike Gundy last month, but that stand also came with a good chunk of backlash.

Some encouraged Hubbard’s courage to stand for what he believed in, while others argued that Gundy should wear whatever t-shirt he wants and that this outcry shouldn’t have been done so publicly. On Friday, OSU athletic director Mike Holder praised Hubbard’s valor (as well as that of other athletes who spoke out).

“I think it should be commended,” Holder said. “All the players should be commended for having enough courage to speak out. We need more of that in society not less. That doesn’t mean the players are in control. There’s a reason that the adults are in the leadership positions.

“There’s a quote that I really love. It’s ‘If youth knew, if age could.’ That’s really what coaching is all about. Me, at 71 years of age, obviously I don’t have the physical skills to do what I could at 18 or 20, but hopefully I’ve learned some things along my life’s journey that make me a lot smarter than I was at 18 or 20 years old. I think coaching is a two-way street. It has to be a communication between the coach and the player, and when that line of communication is there, it allows a relationship to be built. It builds trust. It builds respect, and ultimately it can lead to love. When you have love, you can accomplish anything, motivate anybody just about.”

For OSU’s sake, Holder’s ability to encourage the players to use their voices while also promoting positive channels of communication will bode well for the Cowboys this fall and moving forward. It will also hopefully go a long way in bringing the fan base back together on some issues that split it apart a few weeks ago.

“I love Chuba speaking out,” Holder said. “I think he admitted that, probably, he might have been better served to go ahead and have a private conversation with Coach Gundy. In the future, he probably would do that. But I would say in this case, it really resulted in nothing but positives for our players, our coaches, Coach Gundy. I think the best is yet to come.

“I think it’s been a net-positive for everyone. I certainly have a lot of respect and admire the courage of Chuba being willing to speak out.”

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