Tuesday, June 18, 2013
Lunt: Mike Gundy lifted transfer restrictions
By David Ubben
Wes Lunt finally opened up about his decision to transfer. The reasons aren't too complex, but he also dropped some rather major news in an interview with Channel 1450, an Illinois radio station:
Former Oklahoma State quarterback Wes Lunt says Cowboys coach Mike Gundy had lifted restrictions that blocked Lunt from transferring to 37 schools -- including three of his top five before he made his final decision on Illinois. ... Gundy called Lunt's high school coach, Rochester (Ill.)'s Derek Leonard, to notify him of the decision, but Lunt said he'd already lost contact with coaches at other schools in his top five and decided to stick with Louisville and Illinois. Lunt announced plans to transfer to Illinois on Monday.
Very, very surprising. Mike Gundy's next media availability is going to be fascinating, and the questions have changed a bit. He's declined numerous interview requests, including one from ESPN.com, on the Lunt issue. I've got no idea what would make Gundy change his mind on the issue, but it was clear what made Lunt change his mind on why Oklahoma State wasn't the place for him.
"It kind of happened during the season when I didn't go back in again. I wanted to play it out through spring ball, because I just loved it there," Lunt said. "I didn't want to leave. After spring ball and talking to Coach Gundy, it was just the right thing to do for me."
A bit ironic that Oklahoma State's decision to make a true freshman their starting quarterback ended up shortening his career at OSU. You can't predict injuries, and giving Lunt the reins was probably the right call, but it's obvious that when he didn't get them back after recovering from a head injury against Kansas State, he wasn't pleased.
That's fair, but I'd say it's clear Lunt wasn't willing to sit on the bench (barring a Clint Chelf injury) for a season away from home. That's his call. I'm sure Gundy and Co. weren't thrilled at that news, but you can't really blame him.
Lunt doesn't sound very vindictive about Gundy's restrictions, but it's also clear that the move irked him a bit, even though I'd say there's a great shot he might have still ended up at Illinois even if Gundy hadn't applied any restrictions to begin with.
"It was difficult. I didn't understand the process, so when they were blocked, I knew I could appeal but it was going to take awhile," Lunt said. "It was frustrating. I understand the Big 12 . That's obvious. The others, it was a little frustrating, but that's part of it and I understand it. It's all good."
Interesting stuff. By the time Gundy lifted the restrictions, Lunt had lost contact with the coaches he'd had previous relationships with, so Gundy's gesture, while the right one, didn't seem to have much of an effect.