Sundvold, two others told to call off search

Friday, March 24, 2006

Three committee members are told they are no longer needed to find a new coach.

KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- Three members of a committee looking for a new men's basketball coach at Missouri reportedly have been told their services are no longer needed.

Gary Link, Jon Sundvold and senior associate Mario Moccia were told that they will not be part of future meetings to discuss who will replace Quin Snyder, The Kansas City Star reported on its Web site Thursday. Both Link and Sundvold confirmed to The Star that the trio were no longer on the committee.

Athletic director Mike Alden, deputy chancellor Mike Middleton and consultant Bob Beaudine are the remaining members of the search team.

"I think the search committee has done a really good job with this," Alden said Thursday. "But as far as the process is concerned and what we're doing, once again I'm not going to talk about that."

Link, a special assistant to Alden and a color commentator for radio broadcasts of Missouri basketball, was in the center of a controversy surrounding Snyder's resignation on Feb. 10. His talks with Snyder about his future as Missouri coach seemed to precipitate Snyder's decision to quit, several weeks before the end of his seventh season.

Sundvold, who runs a capital management business in Columbia, said it was obvious the search committee was really just a screening committee.

"I guess the definition of our committee was the same as last time," Sundvold said, "a screening committee that put the list together, and then Mike can go make that decision."

When Missouri hired Snyder, Sundvold was one of the search committee members who favored hiring Bill Self, now the Kansas head coach. Alden hired Snyder.

This time, Link and Sundvold -- both former basketball stars at Missouri -- favored considering former Cincinnati coach Bob Huggins, who on Thursday was introduced as the new coach at Kansas State. Sundvold indicated that Moccia also wanted Huggins considered for the job.

But Alden and Missouri chancellor Brady Deaton declined to consider Huggins or former Utah coach Rick Majerus. Sundvold was told by Deaton that neither he nor Alden were comfortable with NCAA or off-court problems both those coaches had in the past.

Link told The Star it's not that he and Sundvold want to want to win at any cost.

"We want to win at a high level. And certainly if we would have had an opportunity to visit with coach Huggins, we would have made that perfectly clear," Link said. "We're proud of our institution. We want academics. We want players to graduate. We want good players, and they have to do it the right way. If he would have said, 'Your standards are too high. I can't do it,' we would have shaken hands and stood up and walked out.

"But we never got the opportunity to do that, which is what makes it the most frustrating."

Missouri has been given permission to speak with UAB basketball coach Mike Anderson about its head coaching job. Missouri also has asked for permission to speak with Iowa coach Steve Alford, but he has said he has no immediate plans to interview for other coaching jobs.

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