Quarterback Maty Mauk is no longer a Missouri Tiger. He was dismissed from the MU football team Thursday after meeting with new coach Barry Odom.
“I met with Maty Mauk this morning and informed him of my decision to permanently dismiss him from the football program,” Odom said in a release from the athletic department that announced Mauk’s dismissal. “When I met with Maty back in December, I wanted to give him an opportunity for a fresh start, but I also made it very clear what our expectations would be moving forward. After gathering information and speaking with a number of individuals this week, it is clear Maty has failed to live up to those expectations by violating team rules in recent weeks.
“As for the video appearing on social media this week, it is concerning, but we believe it is from a long time ago. However, Maty’s failure to live up to expectations in recent weeks was the reason for this decision.
“We believe it is in his best interest to focus on his personal life and his academic career at this time. We remain committed to helping him work through the challenges and earn his degree. Our hope is that he will grow from this and we wish him the very best in his future endeavors.”
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Mauk — a 6-foot, 200-pound redshirt junior from Kenton, Ohio — was suspended indefinitely Monday for the third time in four months after the school announced it was investigating a video on social media. The nine-second video in question was posted that night on Twitter by a user who mentioned Mauk’s by name. In the video, Mauk is seen snorting white powder off a coffee table. (The video has since been removed from Twitter.)
Mauk’s father, Mike, told The Star that the video is 2 years old, but its release prompted the MU athletic department to investigate Maty Mauk’s recent activity.
Maty Mauk posted a photo of a hand-written letter on Twitter on Thursday afternoon. It read: “It is with a heavy heart that I come to term with the fact I will be not a part of this great University of Missouri Athletic organization. There are no words to describe my disappointment. While I cannot provide you with specifics about my future, there is one thing I am very sure of — How incredibly thankful I am for the overwhelming support I have felt from the Athletic Department, the coaches, academics, my teammates, and most of all from the fans. I will and cannot tell you how much this support has meant to me and how thankful I am. Please know that my intent was never to bring any harm to the University or football program. I will continue to make myself the best I can be. I wish the Mizzou football program the best.”
After being hired in December, Odom reinstated Mauk, who was suspended twice for drug- or alcohol-related violations of team rules last season, with the understanding there would be zero-tolerance policy moving forward, a source familiar with the situation told The Star.
Shortly after the video surfaced Monday night, Tigers athletic director Mack Rhoades and Odom issued a joint statement that read: “We are currently gathering information regarding the video in question. This is an issue we take very seriously and one that will not be tolerated within our program. We will take appropriate action once we have all the facts. In the interim, Maty Mauk has been indefinitely suspended from the Mizzou football program.”
After gathering facts and meeting with Mauk, he was dismissed from the team Thursday. It’s unclear how or if the decision will affect his standing as a student, but Mauk is believed to be on track to graduate in the spring. He has one year of eligibility remaining and could play right away this fall at another FBS program as a graduate transfer or by transferring to a lower-division school.
Mauk was suspended for four games Sept. 29 after an unspecified violation of team rules. Multiple sources confirmed to The Star that the initial suspension stemmed from a failed drug test.
He was reinstated from that suspension on Oct. 25, one day after a 10-3 loss at Vanderbilt as Missouri entered its bye week. Days later, former Tigers coach Gary Pinkel suspended Mauk for the remainder of the season after he was involved in a confrontation at a Columbia bar only hours after apologizing to his teammates for the initial suspension.
Despite Mauk’s suspension for the final eight games of the season, Odom, who was hired Dec. 3 to replace Pinkel, reinstated Mauk.
Mauk’s father, Springfield Glendale High School coach Mike Mauk, was diagnosed last summer with colorectal cancer and underwent surgery one day before MU announced the first suspension.
Mauk, who started four games as a redshirt freshman in 2013 when starter James Franklin suffered a separated shoulder, went 17-5 as Missouri’s starting quarterback.
He posted a 3-1 record in 2013, helping keep the Tigers on track for the first of back-to-back SEC East titles after Franklin’s injury, a month fans dubbed “Mauktober.”
Mauk led Missouri to an 11-3 record as the full-time starter in 2014, but he was subject to increasing criticism for ineffective play. Nonetheless, Mauk guided the Tigers back to the SEC Championship Game that season, which was capped with a win against Minnesota in the Citrus Bowl. Missouri started 3-1 under Mauk last season, opening conference play with a 21-13 loss at Kentucky in what turned out to be Mauk’s final game at Missouri.
Mauk came to Columbia after setting national high school records for passing yards (18,932), touchdown passes (219), completions (1,353) and total offense (22,681). Mauk, a Rivals three-star recruit, chose Missouri over scholarship offers from Notre Dame, Michigan, Vanderbilt and Illinois among others.
He leaves having completed 346 of 657 passes — 52.7 percent — for 4,373 yards with 42 touchdowns and 19 interceptions. Mauk ranks fourth in Missouri history in touchdowns thrown, sixth in quarterback rating, eighth in passing yards and ninth in total offense with 5,120 yards.
Mauk’s dismissal leaves Missouri with only two scholarship quarterbacks on the roster, Drew Lock and Marvin Zanders.
Lock, a Lee’s Summit graduate who will be a sophomore next fall, started the final eight games last season. He appeared in all 12 games, completing 129 of 263 passes — 49 percent — for 1,332 with four touchdowns and eight interceptions.
Zanders was the co-backup quarterback for those two months along with Eddie Printz, who has decided to transfer after graduating in May. Zanders’ only appearance came in a Wildcat goal-line package Nov. 5 against Mississippi State. He’s yet to attempt a pass in college.
Micah Wilson from Lincoln Christian in Tulsa changed his commitment from Boise State to Missouri last week and is expected to sign Wednesday on national signing day.
The Star’s Terez A. Paylor contributed to this report