So what do Two Embattled Academic Flagships – Univ Missouri a/k/a “Mizzou”…. and UNC-CH have in common?
#1 – ME! I matriculated at both in the late 60s / early 70s and have maintained a connection with both.
#2 – Both institutions have stumbled, fumbled and bumbled their ways to being “national punchlines” for overall administrative incompetence both athletically and academically.
How closely have you followed the rapid descent and implosion of The University of Missouri ? Probably as closely as the general public 1,500 miles from The Old Well have followed UNC’s fumbles and stumbles the past six years. In other words, not all that closely.
College Alumni prefer to imagine “they and theirs” are at the epicenter of “all that really matters”. Multiply that mindset by several 100 schools and you have a solar system with several 100 sacred “epicenters”.
Everyone’s alma mater’s campus has “THE prettiest bell tower” and “THE most memory-stirring alma mater song”. Betcha didn’t know, but there are only 5-6 different alma mater “tunes”?
Certainly there are specifics differences in the “OMG! THEY DID WHATs?” with both UNC and Missouri’s institutional trainwrecks, If one did a flyover – like Governors do in helicopters after a hurricane – the devastation on the ground in both Chapel Hill and Columbia would be similar. … Notify FEMA, both of these need to be declared disaster areas ASAP.
Which institutional trainwreck has been The Worst? Historians can sort thru the bloated carcasses and detritus that administrative incompetence can wrought.
Mizzou’s FB QB – Maty Mauk – has compiled a “lengthy rap sheet” over the past twelve months that only UNC’s notorious PJ Hairston could appreciate.
One difference of significance…. The Univ of Missouri is literally several 100 miles from any “rival school”. Kansas is/was their “hated rival” but that has dissipated considerably with the conference realignments. Even before, the MU and KU campuses are over 160 miles apart. Rival alumni/fans only overlap in Kansas City so the “pure unadulterated 24/7 cul-de-sac HATE” does not reach the intensity of the situation with UNC’s Holocaust Deniers having to deal with the ABC Lynch Mob every frickin’ day and vicey versy.
Columbia MO is “a college town” but not 150% so as is Chapel Hill. The Town / Gown Thing is NOT as all-pervasive. Residents of Columbia can actually declare their personal political persuasions without risking damage to life and limb by roving bands of radical marauders sanctioned by a municipal politburo. …. that said – Chapel Hillians HAVE to be sooo jealous that Mizzou spawned Michael Sam rather than UNC.
Mizzou has been BOTH a STEM Land Grant AND a Liberal Arts University. Imagine a combo of UNCCH and NCSU curriculai…. Law School, Med School, Vet School, Ag School, Engineering, you name it…. all in one. That form of “true academic diversity” created a much more “diverse” socio-academic environment for all concerned.
…. Alas, ALL of the above is likely to change as Mizzou has now been taken over by extremely radical ethno-centrists. Alumni are cutting ties in droves…. and enrollment is plummeting. “Common sense” at Mizzou has become as rare as a Rock Chalk Jayhawk bumper sticker.
OK… I’ve never heard the term “The Missouri Way”. UNC is hardly the only school that touts it’s mythical “Way” but Mizzou has never been one of them. Mizzou alumni have, until recently, always been “proud” as all alumni should be
… but that “false pride” never became a recognized mental illness with its own lapel ribbon.
I have been convinced for quite some time that certain Cosmic Upheavals over the past 10-12 years happened solely to provide ME with delicious on-going column fodder …. Duke Lacrosse – John & Reille – TGU – The Obama Regime – Chancellor Chihuahua – et al.
After all, this website IS “The Epicenter” chronicling “all that really matters”.
Missouri Sports Turmoil Continues
Former Missouri defensive lineman Lucas Vincent sent out a tweet Thursday that made local media appreciate the empathy and fans look back on one of the worst periods for Mizzou in recent history.
Around Missouri’s athletic facilities, almost all news lately has been bad news.
The run has made Mizzou the pity of about every other major program.
Tallying up all the recent missteps, misfortune and mistakes around Columbia’s two major sports programs takes more effort than anyone around either program would like.
- Thursday: New football coach Barry Odom dismissed quarterback Maty Mauk for violating team rules. He had been one of the program’s most beloved players on the way to consecutive SEC East titles in 2013 and 2014.
- Wednesday night: The men’s basketball team lost 88-54 at No. 20 Kentucky. The loss, Missouri’s fifth consecutive, dropped Kim Anderson’s overall record to 17-35. He’s also just 4-21 in SEC play. Before last season, Mizzou hadn’t suffered a single-digit-win season since 1966-67, the year before it hired program legend Norm Stewart. Before this season, two of the team’s three top scorers from last year transferred.
- Wednesday afternoon: Defensive line coach Chris Wilson, hours after an interview with him was posted on the football team’s website, left Odom’s staff to join the Philadelphia Eagles. Wilson had been hired 39 days earlier.
- Wednesday morning: Local media acquired a five-page letter from ex-Missouri system president Tim Wolfe to his supporters, which aired much of the dirty laundry surrounding last fall’s racial unrest on campus and the football team’s strike. In it, he said ex-coach Gary Pinkel “missed an important opportunity to teach his players a valuable lesson” and warned of a financial catastrophe as a result of the November controversy.
- Also Wednesday morning: QB Eddie Printz, who has two years of eligibility remaining, announces plans to graduate and transfer.
- Tuesday: Mauk was suspended for the third time in six months after a video spread on social media of him snorting a white powder. The video was believed to be old, but it spawned Odom to more closely examine Mauk’s other recent behavior.
- Jan 21, 2016: Star freshman defensive tackle Terry Beckner, the No. 1 recruit in Missouri in 2015, was arrested on suspicion of marijuana possession and suspended indefinitely.
- Jan. 14, 2016: Missouri admitted major violations in its basketball program and vacated all 23 wins from the 2013-14 season under Frank Haith. It also banned itself (muffle your laughter, please) from this year’s postseason.
- Jan 12, 2016: Basketball suffers the worst home loss in program history to Arkansas. Ex-coach Mike Anderson, who took the Tigers to the Elite Eight in 2009, routs his former team 94-61 at Mizzou Arena.
- Nov. 27, 2015: Missouri loses 28-3 at Arkansas to close the football season on a six-game losing streak in SEC play and fall to 5-7 after two consecutive SEC East titles.
- Nov. 15, 2015: Beckner suffers a torn ACL in an emotional win over BYU.
- Nov. 13, 2015: Pinkel, the program’s all-time leader in wins, announces he will resign at season’s end for health reasons. He also announced he had been diagnosed with non-Hodgkin lymphoma cancer of the blood six months earlier.
- Nov. 9, 2015: Wolfe resigns.
- Nov. 7, 2015: Missouri’s football team boycotts all football activities in support of Concerned Student 1950, a campus group protesting racial injustice on campus, joining calls for Wolfe’s resignation.
It has been one of the most unbelievable runs in the two major sports in recent memory, one that introduces questions of where, exactly, Murphy’s Law was authored. It also launched this website, which now keeps track of how long it has been since Missouri produced news that embarrassed the school.
The pervasive fatalism surrounding Missouri sports is well-chronicled and well-earned. Tyus Edney, the Flea Kicker and the Fifth Down all have their place in college sports lore.
But even the most pessimistic Missouri fan has to wonder why and how the last three months have grasped the fears that hover in Mizzou fans’ subconscious and made them reality.
Missouri is arguably the most successful basketball program to never reach a Final Four, and in the BCS era, it was one of the most successful and consistent football programs to never play in a major bowl game. (But… MU did play in both The Orange and Sugar Bowls in the 60s.)
New athletic director Mack Rhoades took over in March 2015 and has encountered little more than headaches since. He already had to replace one of his coaches in the revenue sports — promoting Odom, the defensive coordinator, to replace Pinkel — and, considering Anderson’s failures, it’s likely he’ll have to make another hire soon.
Mixed reaction greeted Anderson’s hiring, but the program was just one year removed from a stretch of five consecutive trips to the NCAA Tournament. Expectations were high, and Anderson has come nowhere near reaching the bar, much less clearing it.
Ex-coach Frank Haith took a job at Tulsa four days after the program received a verbal notice of inquiry on violations within the program. He welcomed transfers and invited turnover, leaving Anderson with a less-than-sustainable roster to operate with, but the results have been indefensible.
Odom’s hire has inspired excitement, but he’s still an inexperienced, first-time head coach who shook up Pinkel’s staff, electing not to retain defensive line coach Craig Kuligowski, easily the Pinkel’s most accomplished assistant. Kuligowski ended up finding a new home on Mark Richt’s staff at Miami.
The football team’s hole looks simpler to escape, but within the SEC East, traditional powers Florida, Tennessee and Georgia threaten to return to prominence.
Still, there’s one piece of good news for Mizzou: It can’t get any worse … right?
Which is what UNCers said after “the parking tickets” revelation. OUCH!
Interested in The Latest re: The UNC System ?? ….. GO HERE (LINK)