ESPNW blew the cover off email exchanges between the softball programs at Missouri State and Missouri in which both coaches, Holly Hesse of the Bears and Ehren Earleywine of the Tigers, have since apologized for their behavior.
Here’s the quick back story.
Following the Tigers 6-0 win on April 23rd, Lisa Simmons, Missouri’s director of operations, reached out to coach Hesse about scheduling a game in 2016.
Hesse responds that her and her staff will decline scheduling further games with Missouri based on three reasons.
1) Ehren was overheard saying to his team after our game this year
that they should have run ruled us because we were no better than a
“5A High School Team”. His total disrespect for our program and
our players is unacceptable.
2) It is widely known that Ehren consistently disregards the NCAA
recruiting rules. In our view, winning only has meaning if it is done
fairly and within the rules.
3) While at Killian Stadium in April your team spit sunflower seeds
in the dugout and on the turf despite the sign that says “No sunflower seeds.” Again, a sign of total disrespect for the rules, our program and facility.
Hesse adds the lack of mutual respect makes it impossible to continue the series.
When Simmons forwards the email to Earleywine he writes that he will handle a response and replies personally to Hesse a week later on May 20th.
Earleywine defends his character against the accusations of questionable recruiting tactics and then attacks Hesse’s character and says the real reason she doesn’t want to play is because she’s tired of having her team beat so badly by his.
He then asks Hesse, “Why don’t you do the right thing and show these impressionable young ladies how to face a challenge instead of running from one?”
Earleywine released a statement apologizing for his behavior:
“I am sincerely sorry for the unprofessional comments I made. I understand that is not the right way to represent the University of Missouri, and serving as a role model and a positive example for our students is very important. I apologize to Coach Hesse, the Missouri State softball program and our fans for the way I reacted and know this was not the proper way to handle the situation.”
Missouri State released a statement on behalf of Hesse:
“I regret that an email exchange in which I was involved has created negative attention for our University and our program. As a mentor and leader of young women, I understand how my comments were interpreted as disrespectful, and I am a strong advocate of respecting one’s opponents and the sport of softball at all levels. I accept coach Earleywine’s apology for his part of the exchange, and I hope that we can move past this incident as professionals and colleagues.”
According to the article, neither administration was aware of the email exchange and Mizzou A.D. Mark Rhoades has since reached out to Missouri State A.D. Kyle Moats.
Read the emails exchanged between Simmons and Hesse.
Read Earleywine’s response.
Now, for my take on the situation. I think this is actually quite funny and really nothing more than two competitive coaches looking out for their program and in Earleywine’s case, his reputation.
I don’t believe any disciplinary action will be taken or needs to be taken against either coach. This appears to be an email exchange that finally reached a boiling point after things may have been simmering for some time.