After growing public sentiment and vocal dissatisfaction from members of the MU Board of Curators, the University of Missouri has decided to conduct an independent investigation into the events leading up to Quin Snyder’s resignation as the school’s head basketball coach.
MU President Elson Floyd has asked publisher Dalton Wright and attorney Jean Paul Bradshaw to lead the investigation. Wright publishes the newspaper, Lebanon Daily Record and Bradshaw, who is a former U.S. Attorney for the Western District of Missouri, currently practices law out of Kansas City. Both men graduated from the University of Missouri.
Last week MU Chancellor Brady Deaton released the findings of his investigation into claims that, on February 9, Athletic Director Mike Alden sent special assistant and MU broadcaster Gary Link to tell Snyder that he could either resign or be fired. The next day, Snyder told his team and Alden that he would resign. At a press meeting just hours before his visit from Link, Snyder he wouldn’t quit.
In his final news conference on February 14, Snyder said that a member of the athletic department, believed to be Link, visited him and told him of the ultimatum. Snyder went on to say that he was also told by that person that the decision had the approval of Floyd, Deaton and a member of the MU Board of Curators, Don Walsworth. Soon after, all three men denied any knowledge of the decision prior to Snyder’s resignation.
Alden’s side of the story is different. He said that he sent Link to chat with Snyder on February 9 to gauge the coach’s mood after his team suffered a 90-64 road loss to Baylor, two days earlier. It was MU’s sixth-straight defeat. While he still contends that he didn’t send Link to tell Snyder he would be fired if he didn’t quit, Alden said, in his pre-recorded radio show aired on KFRU in Columbia Monday, that he wanted Link to find if continuing to coach the team was something Snyder “wants to continue to do”.
Deaton looked into the situation, and on Thursday he released his findings. He believed that, despite differing stories, neither Alden nor Snyder were being untruthful in their accounts of February 9. Rather, according to Deaton, the controversy arose out of miscommunication. He said that “individual perceptions differ” in recounting what happened. He also said he believed that everyone involved was just trying to do what was right for the university.
The next day five of the nine curators indicated an interest in an independent investigation. That included Board of Curators President Angela Bennett. She had problems with the “ambiguity” of Deaton’s findings.
In a press release on Monday, Deaton indicated that he would assist the independent investigation in any way he could.