Supporters of college athletics often talk about its almost magical abilities to enhance a university’s image.
But it turns out that the seamy side of college athletics also can really sully a school’s reputation.
Just ask the University of Missouri.
Very bad news for MU and its athletic department rolled in all week long, culminating with two more embarrassments Friday — a star football receiver was kicked off the team and an independent report was issued finding fault with MU’s investigation of a sexual assault case involving a female student swimmer who committed suicide.
The incidents should put pressure on MU officials such as system president Tim Wolfe, athletic director Mike Alden, football coach Gary Pinkel and basketball coach Frank Haith to clean up these messes.
The University of Missouri is too fine of a school to become a sad, national joke because of what’s happening in the athletic department.
• On Friday, an independent counsel’s report concluded that MU mishandled the alleged sexual assault of swimmer Sasha Menu Courey.
The report makes the university look bad, because it did not follow federal Title IX rules for the reporting and investigation of sexual assault.
This was a sad case that,as The Star reported
, had plenty of twists and turns in it, ultimately ending with Menu Courey’s suicide.
She had alleged she was raped by at least one football player in 2010
Wolfe, to his credit, seems prepared to make sure MU does a better job in the future protecting the women entrusted to its care by parents around Missouri and the nation.
• Football starDorial Green-Beckham was kicked off the team
Friday after being in the news more for what he did tonot
get arrested this time around.
Columbia police released a report that included simply head-shaking statements by people involved in the case, especially his girl friend.
She had exchanged messages with women who had thought about pressing charges afterGreen-Beckham allegedly broke into their apartment
Eventually, no one would decide to cooperate in any prosecution, including the girl friend, who reportedly had been dragged by her neck by the wide receiver.
Pinkel appropriately removed Green-Beckham from the team Friday.
• Basketball player Zach Price waskicked off the team by Haith this week
, for good reasons.
Price had been arrested twice in recent days, on domestic assault and assault charges.
In one of the case, a former teammate — Earnest Ross — even got a protection order against Price.
At many other schools, this would be a wake-up call, a sign that something was wrong within a team or an athletic department.
At the University of Missouri this week, the Price story was relegated to the sidelines, as even more shameful episodes of woe took its place.