OSU basketball: Mike Holder turns to Mike Boynton during Mike Gundy investigation
STILLWATER — Oklahoma State athletic director Mike Holder often turned to men’s basketball coach Mike Boynton the past few weeks.
Holder sought advice. He asked questions.
Throughout an investigation into football coach Mike Gundy, which concluded Gundy showed no indications of racism, Holder turned to the university’s only Black head coach.
“He's just a friend,” Holder said Friday in a Zoom teleconference. “He's always there to talk to me. And when I had questions or I wanted to get someone else's opinion on what was going on, he's someone that I can find it in. I trust and I value his opinion.”
Holder and deputy athletic director Chad Weiberg conducted the investigation, interviewing more than 20 current and former players, most of whom were Black.
But some criticism of the investigation centered on Holder and Weiberg leading the investigation. Boynton defended them on Twitter.
“Any notion that Mike Holder or Chad Weiberg were ill equipped to review this department and its practices is lazy and irresponsible,” Boynton tweeted. “Both are high integrity men who do everything in their power to take care of ALL of our athletes. Criticism is acceptable, recklessness is not.”
Boynton declined comment to The Oklahoman.
Boynton also tweeted that he reviewed the investigation along with several athletes who expressed concerns.
Holder said he turned to Boynton for a different perspective, one that Holder respects.
“His experiences as a person is different than mine,” Holder said. “As I said earlier, I'm 71-year-old white man. I have no I have no comprehension of what It's like to be Black or African American in America today. None. I have empathy for the African Americans, especially those that are athletes that are under my charge.
“And so it's important for me to seek out someone who can give me a better perspective on it. You know that every one of us has bias, implied bias. Nothing we can do about it. It's just a product of how we were raised. So every day you have to remind yourself to try to be objective and only judge people based on what you see in front of you, not by the color of their skin, but by the person standing in front of you. Not the fact it's a female or a male. Everybody deserves a fair shot in this world today.
“I’m interested in Mike Boynton’s perspective as an African American, and someone that I respect because of who he is, what he represents and what he stands for every single day. We need more people like him.”