Missouri AD denies reports of Snyder rift

Friday, September 12, 2003

KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- University of Missouri Athletics Director Mike Alden said Thursday he was embarrassed and "ticked off" over controversy surrounding the university's basketball program, but disputed reports of a rift between him and coach Quin Snyder.

In a speech before the Tiger Club of Kansas City, Alden said investigations that began after basketball player Ricky Clemons was charged with assaulting his then-girlfriend in January have "consumed" the athletic department for months.

Alden first praised Snyder for building a "very good" basketball program in his 4 1/2 years as coach.

"When we're building a program like that, the last thing we need to do is make mistakes," Alden said. "Certainly, mistakes have been made. For us to deny that would just be malarkey.

"Did it tick me off that mistakes were made?" Alden said "Damn right it did." He said he thought it was natural for a boss to be upset when problems arise in his department, but he denied reports of a feud between him and Snyder, saying the coach had his "total support." "Quin and I together laughed at (those reports)," Alden said. "There is no rift, not at all." Snyder was on the road recruiting Thursday and was not available for comment.

The NCAA also is reviewing issues within the athletic department. Witnesses interviewed by the NCAA have said it is scrutinizing Missouri's recruitment of Clemons. The NCAA won't comment.

Alden said he had no idea when the NCAA review will end, but said "it could be a long time" because the university prized accuracy over speed.

He declined to discuss what the NCAA is investigating.

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