The NCAA accepted Missouri basketball’s self-imposed sanctions over infractions involving the program during 2011 under Frank Haith, but did add one year of probation though August of next year. The NCAA’s infraction committee could have come down harder on Mizzou and that would have made life more difficult for head coach Kim Anderson. Consider this a minor victory for Anderson.
Any infraction is hard to consider a victory, but Anderson was blindsided when the news first broke that just over $11,000 in improper benefits were given to players and a recruit by two boosters. It happened during Frank Haith’s tenure, although it should be noted that Haith was not implicated in the investigation.
The news came at a time when not on the basketball program but the whole athletic department was coming under fire. Anderson has held a steady hand through all of this, despite compiling a record of just 19-44 in his first two seasons. Anderson will be working with his third Athletic Director, once a search firm makes a new hire, which could happen as early as next week.
In January, the school hoped to blunt NCAA punishment by announcing it was vacating its 23 wins from 2013-14, banning itself from the postseason last season and stripping itself of one scholarship last season and a second scholarship no later than 2017-18.
Without the scholarships, a mass exodus of former players from the program and a roster stacked with nine freshman and sophomores, it will already be an uphill climb for Anderson. The fact that the NCAA didn’t pile onto the self-imposed penalties gives Anderson a win. It’s a start.