Mizzou Prez Audibles Himself Right Outta Office
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Social currents in the USA indicate that outsiders are trending these days.
But there are positions where professionalism probably should trump populism, and presidency is one of them.
It appears to be a prime reason why the University of Missouri's Tim Wolfe called his own number to avert a crisis.
Dude cashed it in after realizing he'd painted himself into a corner:
Now he says it's time to listen.
Frankly, it's always time to listen. The academic environment is good like that, but it's something this former exec from the business world figured he was empowered to ignore.
There's been racial restlessness on campus for some time. Student and faculty action was ongoing already, but the harsh reality is that this issue didn't come to a head until the football team got involved.
Setting aside beliefs and opinions, the practical implications put everyone in an untenable real-world position. Among them:
- It's been reported that not all the players and coaches were on board with the move, but in the name of team harmony, what else could they have done but float on the waves of prevailing sentiment?
- What else could Pinkel and his staff do but support the players who wanted to strike? If coaches opposed the action, good luck with recruiting for the next few years, at the very least.
- And most down-and-dirty of all, Missouri stood to lose $1million if the Tigers failed to honor their commitment to play BYU in Kansas City this Saturday.
Thus, once again in North America, sport is the tail that wags the dog.
As a matter of principle, teams choosing to strike over non-athletic issues sets a disturbing precedent. Where's the line drawn, then? And yes, that's a rhetorical question.
The overlying point is that all this was totally avoidable. All the university needed was a president who, preferably, was steeped in academic culture and knew how to respond to such incidents before they blew up into crises.
That's a cautionary tale, to be sure. But at this stage, who's really paying attention to it?