Curators call for greater oversight of Missouri athletic departments

Friday, May 5, 2006

MU athletic director Mike Alden again went before the board members.

ST. LOUIS -- A pair of University of Missouri system curators on Thursday called for greater oversight of campus athletics amid continuing fallout over the botched resignation of former University of Missouri-Columbia men's basketball coach Quin Snyder.

"We, as board members -- whether we like it or not -- will have to be more active in the athletic departments," said curator David Wasinger of suburban St. Louis.

After a routine briefing by University of Missouri-Columbia athletic director Mike Alden and his colleagues from the Missouri system's other campuses in Rolla, Kansas City and St. Louis, Wasinger asked the nine other curators to form a task force to assess the "health" of intercollegiate athletics.

The task force's role should included an examination of the balance between athletics and academics, Wasinger said.

Curator John M. Carnahan III, of Springfield, joined Wasinger in support of the motion during the meeting at the University of Missouri-St. Louis. The full board is expected to consider the request Friday.

Alden welcomes scrutiny

Alden, who last faced the curators five weeks ago, when they met in secret to consider firing him, said he welcomed the added scrutiny. He emerged from that closed meeting with his job intact and hours later hired Alabama-Birmingham coach Mike Anderson to replace Snyder.

"Whatever our system and the leadership feels is best for the University of Missouri, that's what we should do," he said.

Wasinger made it clear he was still upset over Alden's handling of the mid-February resignation of Snyder in the middle of his seventh season as the Tiger men's basketball coach.

Snyder, who received a $574,000 buyout, said he was forced out by Alden with six games to go, receiving the news from Gary Link, a Tiger broadcaster and Alden assistant.

Alden has denied that account and subsequently apologized for his handling of the affair. Two university investigations stopped short of verifying Snyder's charge.

"I've been on this board for nearly a year, and this is the first time I've heard from the athletic department, other than going from crisis to crisis," Wasinger said. "I'm struggling with what our role is with regard to athletics."

Wasinger and Carnahan had previously suggested that Alden and his peers at the other three campuses report directly to University of Missouri system President Elson Floyd rather than their respective chancellors.

That suggestion -- which a majority of curators do not favor -- was not discussed Thursday.

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