STILLWATER, Okla. — A contractor claims he lost more than $30,000 when Oklahoma State University football coach Mike Gundy fired him because the man wore a University of Oklahoma T-shirt to work at the Gundys’ home.
Brent Loveland, a carpenter in Choctaw, filed a lawsuit against Mike and Kristen Gundy in Payne County District Court Thursday. He is seeking damages totaling more than $10,000.
Loveland’s lawsuit says when he showed up for work last spring wearing an OU baseball shirt, the Cowboys’ coach responded with profanity and kicked him off the job. Through his attorney, Gundy on Friday denied the worker's claims.
“Mike asked, ‘How dare you come into my house and offend my wife,’” the suit states.
When Loveland asked what he was talking about, “’Mike responded, ‘That f---ing shirt you have on,’” the suit says.
"Mike called plaintiff a 'stupid idiot' for wearing the shirt on "OSU soil,'" the suit says.
Gundy told him to pack his things and leave, the suit claims.
Loveland apologized and offered to turn the shirt inside out, but Gundy refused and insisted Loveland “‘pack his s--t’” and leave, the suit says.
“During the confrontation, Mike let loose a string of cursing that would make a sailor blush,” according to the lawsuit.
Loveland’s lawsuit contends he “dressed in the dark” at 4 a.m. to go to the Stillwater job and didn’t realize he had grabbed a shirt promoting OSU’s Bedlam rival.
“As it turns out, his random choice in the dark that morning of what shirt to wear was unfortunate,” Loveland’s lawsuit said.
The Gundys hired Loveland after seeing his carpentry work at Mike Gundy’s parents’ home in Midwest City, the suit states. Loveland’s attorney Edward White said today Gundy and Loveland had a verbal contract that would have earned Loveland more than $80,000 had he been allowed to perform the 13 weeks of work they discussed for the main floor of the couple’s Stillwater home.
There also was potential for Loveland to earn more by working on the couple’s basement, the suit claims.
They did not discuss proper work attire or school affiliation, the suit says.
Loveland figures he is out at least $30,000 because he turned down other jobs to work at the Gundys’ home, White said.
“This was a big job for which he had blocked out a significant period of time and didn’t have other jobs lined up, so he was out of work for quite a while,” White said.
“I’m an OSU guy, so this is not a vendetta. This is simply a gentleman who’s a small business owner, he depends on his work for his livelihood and he didn’t get paid for a job where we think he was unreasonably terminated,” White said.
Though Loveland was to have started the work in March, the case wasn’t ready to file in court until this week, White said.
Loveland declined to comment.
Gavin Lang, coordinator of media relations for OSU football, said Friday Gundy could not comment for this article because he was on the practice field Friday morning.
OSU spokeswoman Carrie Hulsey-Greene referred the NewsPress to attorney Willie Baker for comment. Baker's office said Baker issued the following statement: "On behalf of Coach Gundy, while I cannot discuss the specifics of pending litigation, I deny the allegations being made and welcome the opportunity to fully resolve the matter."