Mike and Mike

Written by Kyle Porter
Sept. 8 2012 Tucson AZ USA Oklahoma State Cowboys head coach Mike Gundy talks with players during the first half against the Arizona Wildcats at Arizona Stadium. Mandatory Credit Matt Kartozian US PRESSWIRE

Photo Attribution: US Presswire

This Mike Holder vs. Mike Gundy thing has taken on a life of its own since the Gundy-Tennessee-Arkansas rumors started swirling.

Who better to break it down than your PFB contributors? I asked them what they all had to say and here’s what we came up with.

OKC Dave: I made my points on Twitter last night. I would make only very minor concessions to him. Let him decide if he wants more money to move his family away from the place they’ve been forever to a place where no one cares about Gundy as a person.

OSU has been more than fair to Gundy over the last 25 years, giving him opportunities when he otherwise would have had to wait for them. If he doesn’t want to stay, so be it.

For the record, I hope he stays.

Nolan: From a business standpoint, I have to go with Holder. We just gave Gundy a raise and he’s now the 10th highest paid coach in the country.

I realize we’re going to have to over-pay any good coach to come to Stillwater since we’re not a top 10 program, but he’s getting paid more than guys like Mark Richt, Brian Kelley, and David Shaw, among others. You can make excuses all you want, but there’s no excuse for going 7-5 and asking for a raise when you’re already making the kind of money Gundy does.

From Gundy’s standpoint, if you’re really getting offered $4.5M/year, you can’t really turn it down. I doubt he’ll have the opportunity to make that much money ever again. If he was flirting with other schools every off season just to leverage a fake offer to get a raise, I would be a lot more frustrated.

You can’t expect a raise on a year by year basis especially after a season like this, but $4.5M/year is Stoops money. Also, and I know this is tough to quantify, but it’s not as fun to come to work every day when you hate your boss. From my limited experience with him and from what I’ve heard, Holder (while good at his job) is known to be a pretty big egotistical jerk.

Porter: I understood the flirtation last year. He was in the middle of getting a new deal and his faux playing the field made sense — especially after dropping a 12-1 record off at Boone’s doorstep.

This year though? You can’t do that, and if you think you can, you shouldn’t. I love Gundy, I think he’s one of the best coaches in the country, but you can’t throw this in the face of OSU’s fans every year just because Holder’s a jerk.

I think the weirdest dynamic in all of this is that Gundy makes like 10x more money than his boss. Is there another industry in the world (outside of sports) where this is the case? I think it creates the imbalance of power that we’re seeing. Gundy thinks he’s in charge because he’s getting paid. Holder thinks he’s in charge because Boone told him he was. And they’re both pissed at each other.

I don’t blame Gundy if he goes to UT (that’s a top 12 job) but if he really wanted to stick Holder, he’d wait two years and bounce for Austin. The other UT, the big one.

Of course if we keeping going to the Heart of Dallas Bowl, this is all a moot point.

OKC Dave: Holder thinks he’s in charge because he is.

Any job in college football will have good things about and bad things about it. Having a big ego in the AD office or from large donors is not unique to Stillwater.

Gundy needs to build up a little more goodwill before going back to the well, unless he truly wants to coach somewhere else…and if that is the case, good luck to him.

Amilian: Pride is winning in Stillwater, which means we as fans are losing. When OSU stepped up to pay Gundy after last season, some loyalty to the program is expected. People can make the argument that Holder is a prick, and from what I gather he probably is, but Gundy was well aware of how working with Holder is going to be when he agreed to his extension.

If he wants more control of particular things, make that clear in the contract.

I’d have no problem with Gundy talking to other schools to see if a seven-figure raise was out there, but I don’t think this is about money. Not at all, although he may come out of this with more of it. Holder wants to keep Gundy on a leash, and Gundy is showing him that he’s chosen to be in Stillwater, rather than forced to be.

I will say this, though. The whole “but he said OSU is his New York Yankees job,” thing needs to stop, for a couple reasons. One, your opinions on jobs can change, especially after you’ve been in the position for a number of years. Two, the New York Yankees pay New York Yankees level money.

  • brown1647

    The Yankees continually overpay and under-perform.  Maybe that’s what he meant.

  • pistolsguy

    @lonestarpoke I know, I’m starting to lean #teamholder


    This has nothing to do with money and everything to do with control. And yes, Holder is an ego-maniacal prick from way back, but who knows, maybe Gundy is being a whine little  bitch. The players obviously don’t think he is leaving…word is a text went out to the team about this…so I’m sure they are aware, or have their ideas, about what is going on with this power struggle.

  • BBinKC

    At what point do these shenanigans start affecting recruiting? Especially if this is an annual thing.

  • osuaggie79

    A couple of things that are never going to change:
    1) Bosses sometimes have to be pricks, sometimes they like being a prick, sometimes they just have a natural flair for being a prick, and when the boss is BFF with your largest sugar-daddy (The T-Boone) you just have to deal with it
    2) This AD vs. Head Coach power struggle goes on at every Division I school that has a successful program; Coaches think they’re the key to the success (and they often are) while the AD get all butt-hurt because their contribution doesn’t get recognized (also true quite often)
    3) Gundy just doesn’t strike me as stupid.  He may act that way from time to time but he’s a guy and it’s genetic.  He has to understand that the simple mathematical probability of getting canned over a bad season or two are significantly lower at OSU than anywhere else in the country where he’s not a native son.  Have a long-term record breaking career with buildings named after him is probably better in Stillwater than anywhere else in the country.
    4) Finally, Gundy himself said it a couple of years ago…”Do you understand what making 2 mil/year in Stillwater Oklahoma means?”….the fact that the number is now over 3/year just drills that one home…..

  • Ptown Poke

    AMilian nailed it on every point IMO.  As for the comment that this power struggle goes on at every D1 school with a successful program.. I believe that is incorrect, and at best, a big guess.  Do you think that is happening in Norman? Comparing Joe C. to Holder is like comparing the best athletic director in the country to a golf coach who’s a heck of a fundraiser.  Oh, wait…