Now we know. Finally.
The NCAA has handed down its sanctions, and Missouri has accepted them. End of a chapter in MU sports history, for now.
At a news conference Wednesday afternoon, the major administrative players in MU’s basketball scandal sat in a row of solidarity behind a table draped in black.
After months of speculations, accusations, investigations and punishments, university and athletic department leaders conveyed a sense of relief tinged with a certain solemnity. They pledged to move forward into a better future for MU basketball.
Coach Quin Snyder chalked up the mistakes he has made to management problems that were the product more of an exuberant young coaching staff than an intentional effort to recruit unfairly as the NCAA claimed.
But closing the chapter doesn’t resolve all of the questions. Do the sanctions make Missouri a bad example? Has the university’s reputation emerged unscathed?
MU’s faithful cheering on their Tigers are bound to answer that question over time.
Snyder said he was “obviously very sorry,” and that “we owe our fans an explanation.”
Both MU Chancellor Brady Deaton and UM system President Elson Floyd emphasized the tremendous faith and support fans and alumni have given the university.
Both Deaton and Floyd cited the fact that the “For All We Call Mizzou” fund-raising campaign has broken records even as the scandal unfolded in the middle of it.
Deaton said he hoped the whole university community would “dig in deeper, to sort of look at the gut-level commitment that they can bring to adverse circumstances and climb that difficult mountain.”
Missourian reporter S. Scott Rosenberg contributed to this report.