News broke Monday that former Oklahoma State QB Wes Lunt, subject of a summer-long transfer saga, would take his talents to the University of Illinois. Today we learned that before Lunt made that decision, the restrictions Mike Gundy placed on where he could transfer were actually lifted.
According to David Ubben of ESPN.com:
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.
This is kind of peculiar. Cowboys coach Mike Gundy, the world's favorite 40-year-old man, seems to have changed his tune out of nowhere on the issue of Lunt. He had been steadfast throughout the summer on denying Lunt from transferring to certain schools, and it's hard to discern a reason why he would stop.
It's easy to see why Gundy would be bitter about Lunt leaving. He started as a true freshman last season, the first true freshman in school history to ever do so, and threw for 1,108 yards in five games.
But then came the revolving door, and junior Clint Chelf took over the starting gig. Lunt didn't play in any of the team's final four regular season games, and only saw garbage-time duty in the Heart of Dallas Bowl. It was around that time, per Ubben's report, that he began to consider changing schools:
"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."
Gundy has caught serious flak for trying to restrict Lunt's transfer options, forbidding him from speaking to schools in the Pac 12, Big 12 and SEC, along with Southern Mississippi. Of the schools Lunt was interested in, that left just Louisville and Illinois to choose from.
By the time Gundy lifted the restrictions, Lunt was already out of contact with the other schools in his top five. There's a chance he would have ended up at Illinois even without Gundy's draconian blockade— he grew up in Rochester, Ill. and the campus is only a 90-minute drive from his house—but even so, it seems unfair that he didn't get to test the waters sooner.
It's hard to parse through these interviews and know anything for sure. We need to know Mike Gundy's side of the story, and he's been radio silent on all things concerning Wes Lunt.
All we can say after hearing this news, beyond a shadow of a doubt, is that the coach will have some serious questions to answer at his next press conference.
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