COLUMBIA — Missouri junior quarterback Maty Mauk is suspended the remainder of the season, the program announced Sunday afternoon in a news release.
The suspension is for "disciplinary reasons," according to the release. "Per department protocol, further details of the disciplinary action will not be discussed."
Missouri reinstated Mauk this past week after he missed the previous four games for a suspension the program announced Sept. 29. Wednesday, on the Southeastern Conference coaches teleconference, coach Gary Pinkel said Mauk was back with the Tigers and planned to apologize to his teammates. Receiver J’Mon Moore said Mauk told his teammates he would be the leader he was supposed to and wanted to have a clean plate.
"He's real excited to be back," Pinkel said on the teleconference.
Mauk's return was brief. The quarterback's junior campaign appears over after guiding the Tigers to a 3-1 record against a soft early-season schedule. The Columbia Police Department had no record of any arrests for Mauk. But Pinkel said Sunday during his weekly press conference — moved up a day to accommodate Missouri’s game this Thursday against Mississippi State — that quarterbacks are held to a “whole different standard than everyone on the team.”
“This coaching staff has Maty’s interest in mind, and his health, everything like that,” center Evan Boehm said. “It’s not just we’re getting rid of Maty Mauk. We’re trying to help Maty out as a human being and not just a player.”
Freshman Drew Lock has started at quarterback in Mauk's absence. After a promising first start, Lock has struggled in the last three games — all losses in which Missouri failed to score a touchdown.
Lock is again listed as the starter on the depth chart for this week, which Missouri announced Sunday. Sophomore Eddie Printz and redshirt freshman Marvin Zanders are listed as backups. Mauk is not listed on the depth chart. He is not on the roster in this week’s game notes, either. But Pinkel said Mauk’s status will be revisited at season’s end — meaning the quarterback isn’t dismissed from the program entirely.
Still, Mauk’s latest suspension offers some bizarre stability for the team. Lock is the quarterback going forward now. There is no uncertainty about when or if Mauk will return this season and how much he would play if he did.
“No one really got a stable feel on what was happening,” Lock said Sunday. “The rest of the season is all mine, and I’m going to have to win the game for us.”
Mauk's father, Mike Mauk, told the Missourian on Tuesday: "Not being able to be with the guys has been difficult for him." His teammates said they hadn’t heard from him since the news broke Sunday, when they found out about the suspension.
“You wonder what’s going through his mind,” Moore said of Mauk, whose father is dealing with colorectal cancer. “Especially with his dad. Anything could be going through his head. You want to be there for him. You want him to be around. … This team makes you feel better.”
Mike Mauk was not available for comment after Sunday's announcement. Maty Mauk's brother, Ben Mauk, declined comment.
The last time Maty Mauk spoke publicly was after the Tigers' 21-13 loss at Kentucky on Sept. 26.
Moore said there is “definitely” a sense of concern surrounding the quarterback right now.
“I haven’t talked to him,” Moore said. “I’m pretty sure nobody else has talked to him.”
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