Representative Rick Brattin (R-Harrisonville) thinks public college athletes in Missouri who refuse to play for a reason unrelated to health should have their scholarships revoked. He is offering a bill to that effect in response to the Mizzou football team’s boycott in November.
“If our universities aren’t going to stand up and put their feet to the fire, then we’ll step up and make them put their feet to the fire,” said Brattin. “When the football team is literally holding an entire Missouri university hostage by their actions, that’s when the state of Missouri needs to step in and put a stop to that type of behavior.”
Protesters, including the Tiger football team, demanded the removal of then-president Tim Wolfe for his handling of recent racially-charged incidents on campus.
Brattin said his bill would also fine a coach an unknown amount if they endorse a strike by players.
“We saw a coach give his blessing to students to hold a university hostage and refuse to play until they (university officials) give into their demands,” said Brattin.
“I hope we don’t end up having to pass this,” said Brattin. “I hope the university steps up and does what they should’ve done to begin with and put a stop to this type of behavior and actually enforce rules and regulations that are already there.”
Brattin doesn’t know if his proposal would revoke scholarships temporarily or permanently.
A Mizzou handbook says its athletic programs receive no state funds.
The Mizzou athletic department said it does not comment on pending legislation.