The details surrounding Missouri quarterback Maty Mauk’s third suspension in four months came into clearer focus Tuesday in the wake of a video that appeared on social media one night earlier.
A 9-second video was posted on Twitter by a user who mentioned Mauk by name. In the video, a person who resembles Mauk appears to snort a white powder off a table. (Here is the video in question, viewer discretion is advised.)
Mauk’s father, Mike, told The Star in a text Tuesday that his son was surprised by the video’s release. While Mike Mauk did not specifically say his son appeared in the video, he said it was “old.”
“He has been working so hard to prepare for the Spring,” Mike Mauk wrote. “He was doing really well. He really likes the new coaching staff. This is an old video that I don’t why it just came out.”
Nobody connected with Mauk or the Missouri athletic department, which was aware of the video and investigating it, denied that he was the person depicted in the video. Along with Mike Mauk, several of the quarterback’s teammates who offered messages of support Tuesday also said the video wasn’t recent, with one saying it was two years old.
Mauk was first suspended Sept. 29 following a failed drug test, multiple sources confirmed to The Star. At the time, former MU coach Gary Pinkel said the four-game suspension was for a violation of team rules.
After Mauk, a 6-foot, 200-pound redshirt junior from Kenton, Ohio, was reinstated Oct. 25, he was suspended for the remainder of the season Nov. 1. That suspension came after Mauk was involved in a confrontation at a Columbia bar only hours after he apologized to his teammates for the initial suspension.
Sources indicated to The Star that Pinkel probably wouldn’t have allowed Mauk back on the team, but Barry Odom, who was hired Dec. 3 to replace Pinkel, reinstated Mauk in December.
Missouri athletic director Mack Rhoades and Odom, who was the team’s defensive coordinator last season, issued a joint statement Monday night: “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.”
Several teammates defended Mauk on Tuesday. Evan Boehm, an offensive lineman whose Mizzou career ended last season, said Mauk deserved a second chance.
“Maty’s a good kid and he definitely has changed,” Boehm said from the Senior Bowl in Mobile, Ala. “It’s not fun to see stuff like that surface on the Internet and Twitter.”
Kentrell Brothers, a Mizzou linebacker also at the Senior Bowl, also offered support for his former teammate.
“Right now he’s struggling and I hope he can get better,” he said. “That’s not something to play with.”
Linebacker Michael Scherer, who will be a senior next season, posted on Twitter that the video was old and that Mauk has been “doing everything he can to be a better person.”
Sophomore-to-be wide receiver Keyon Dilosa posted this: “That video is from 2 years ago. Everyone has made a mistake before somebody just felt like it’d be cool to ruin his life.... He’s been clean.”
It’s been a difficult year for Mauk. His father, Mike, who is the football coach at Springfield Glendale High, 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, is 17-5 as Missouri’s starting quarterback. He went 3-1 in 2013, helping the Tigers win the SEC East title.
As a full-time starter in 2014, Mauk again led Missouri to a SEC East championship and a second consecutive appearance in the conference title game. In 2015, Missouri started 3-1 with Mauk as quarterback. The Tigers opened conference play with a 21-13 loss at Kentucky in what turned out to be Mauk’s final game last season.
Mauk ranks fourth at Missouri with 42 career touchdowns, sixth in quarterback rating at 123.9, eighth in passing yards at 4,373 and ninth in total offense with 5,120 yards.
The Star’s Terez A. Paylor contributed to this report