Oklahoma State University head football coach Mike Gundy blamed a culture of liberalism for players transferring more often now than they used to, according to Deadspin.
Gundy was asked his thoughts about why players switched schools more often in the current era, and he launched into a thorough condemnation of millennials and "Generation Z."
"I'm a firm believer in the snowflake," Gundy said.
Here's Gundy's answer in full:
"I think we live in a world where people are non-committal. We allow liberalism to say, “Hey, I can really just do what I want and I don’t have to be really tough and fight through it.” You see that with young people because it’s an option they’re given. We weren’t given that option when we were growing up. In the world today, there’s a lot of entitlement. I’m a firm believer in the snowflake. I think it’s setting there. And I’m not talking about Thabo. Thabo and I have had multiple good talks. I’m talking about every millennial young person. Generation Z, I think is what they call ’em. It’s the world we live in because if they say, “Well, it’s a little bit hard,” we say, “Okay, well, let’s go try something else.” vs. “Hey, let’s bear down and let’s fight and do this.” So you see a lot of that nowadays, and that doesn’t have anything to do with Thabo or McCleskey or anybody that’s been on the portal here. That’s just general in society even if you’re working down here at Walmart. Your boss gets after you and tells you that you’re not doing a good job, you may go home and cry and tell your mom, but your mom may say it’s okay. That’s just kind of the facts of life, the world we live in today. Don’t get me on politics."
This writer's perspective
There is some merit to Gundy's apparent larger point about the work ethic and perspective of the current generation versus that of previous generations. Applying that to all college football players who decide to switch from one school to another, however, doesn't hold up. Especially from someone in Gundy's position.
College football players have five years to complete four seasons of eligibility. Within that strictly-limited time frame, they attempt to maximize their opportunity, particularly if they have aspirations of playing professional football.
Sometimes, the initial decision a 17/18-year old kid makes about where to go to college turns out to be the wrong one -- often for reasons not related to "liberalism" or being a "snowflake." Sometimes, it's because a millionaire football coach (who can change schools whenever he wants) came into the kid's home and sold him a dream that didn't exist once he got to campus.
So, players transfer, because there are a lot of schools and because there is little to be gained from wasting years of eligibility in a bad situation just to be considered "tough" in the eyes of older people.
What makes Gundy's take worse is that he made sure to point out that his generalization didn't apply to the players who had recently transferred out of his program, Thabo Mwaniki and Jalen McCleskey. I imagine that it also wouldn't apply to any good players who want to transfer to Oklahoma State. But Gundy is always good for soundbite.