Mike Gundy has been the head football coach at Oklahoma State for over Ten Years now, and in that time he has had a competitive program that regularly flirts with the top of the BCS, and now, the college playoff. His epic rant ten years ago when he famously said, "I'm a man. I'm 40," has torn up the airwaves ever since. His point was valid then, and it is valid now. College athletes must be reported with a different standard, and they must be given room to breathe where professional athletes typically are not.

The source of the rant

The rant began over questions about one of his players at Oklahoma State.

From the outside of the sports world looking in, one might assume that that player was under police investigation or had done something awful to warrant such scrutiny. The player was simply struggling on the field, and Gundy was asked many questions about it after a report had been published. He reacted to what he believed was an injustice on the part of the reporter, and we were given one of the most classic sound bites in the history of sports.

People remember it to this day

The mantra can be heard anywhere in the sports media on any given day, and it is used as a punchline for someone who gives hot takes about sports. The message of Mike Gundy's rant is much bigger than anger, and it goes far beyond the walls of his office at Oklahoma State.

The message of Mike Gundy's challenging tone goes to what we think we are allowed to say about college athletes because they are in the public eye.

College athletes are kids

We use the word to denote anyone who is younger than us, and college athletes are still growing and developing. The college football player you see on Saturday who is bigger than you, taller than you, and stronger than you is still a kid.

They should not be torn apart in the media because you did not like their play. They are not prepared for that sort of hatred, and they are not compensated to absorb your hatred. We must leave college athletes alone, and that is the crux of Mike Gundy's message. He is a man. He is almost 50, and he is prepared for you to hate literally every single thing he does.

He gets paid well enough for that; his players do not. We must hold ourselves to a higher standard when reporting on amateur athletes. They are fighting to live out a childhood dream, and the majority of them will never come close to playing in the NFL, NBA, or MLB. We must treat them with respect, allow them to grow, and go to their coaches for sound bites.