What’s the matter with Missouri athletics?

Missouri head coach Kim Anderson talks to his team during a time out in the first half of an NCAA college basketball game against Illinois Wednesday, Dec. 23, 2015, in St. Louis. (AP Photo/Jeff Roberson)

The two most prominent sports programs at Missouri are in disarray.

A year after going 5-7 overall and 1-7 in the SEC, the Tigers’ football team went 4-8 and 2-6 this season.

The basketball team is even worse. Missouri asked its coach, Kim Anderson, to resign after he went 26-67 over three years, including 7-23 this season.

The Kansas City Star summarizes just how much the program stinks:

Anderson’s MU teams went … 8-46 in the Southeastern Conference, never won a road game and suffered home losses this season to North Carolina Central and Eastern Illinois and Lipscomb — losses for which the Tigers never could atone and that became part of an intensifying apathy that kept fans away in droves.

But, let’s be honest, Anderson stepped into an almost impossible situation:

The Kansas City Star’s Vahe Gregorian explains what went wrong with Anderson:

Symmetrically encapsulating the flux that Anderson stepped into, some of it hidden from him before he took the job that he could never have refused, the dismissal was announced by the sixth A.D. (including three interim ones) to whom Anderson reported. … The issues ranged from being handcuffed in roster management by severe Academic Progress Rate deficiencies to becoming at loggerheads with the compliance department on a variety of matters of interpretation. It also showed in the disciplining and departures of players either inherited or not vetted adequately in the weeks after Anderson was hired in late April 2014. Thirteen players would either be dismissed or leave the program after Anderson took over, a number that certainly reflects poorly on some of Anderson’s own judgments and decisions but also speaks to the culture he was trying to rectify: Even into his second season, Anderson still had players on the team who either wouldn’t participate in school or came to practice stoned or otherwise disruptive despite repeated disciplinary actions against them.

Gabe DeArmond blames former athletic director Mike Alden for the mess:

Alden was the man that stood at the podium and claimed that he had scoured the country and decided the best man for the job was a man who had been a candidate thrice rejected in the previous 16 years. Even better, Mizzou paid a search firm $75,000 to hire a guy 75 miles away who everyone in America knew would have dropped everything to ride his bike from Warrensburg to Columbia to take the job.

One could easily make the argument that Missouri has the worst athletic department of any Power 5 school.

Before this season, CBS Sports ranked Missouri as the 162nd best college basketball program in the country. Of Power 5 programs, only Boston College and Georgia Tech were ranked worse, and Georgia Tech put itself on the NCAA Tournament bubble for a while.

Last year, AOL’s Rich Cirminiello ranked the worst Power 5 football/basketball schools, and Missouri ended up fourth behind Wake Forest, Rutgers and Boston College. But Wake Forest likely would be moved off that list now that they’re a likely NCAA Tournament team this season.

Rutgers and Boston College are, indeed, pretty terrible. Rutgers went 2-10 in football and are 14-17 in basketball this school year. While Boston College went a solid 7-6 in football and 9-22 in basketball.

But neither school can match Missouri’s penchant for scandal.

First, in 2013:

(Basketball star) Ricky Clemons pleaded guilty to an assault charge and a misdemeanor count of false imprisonment. The Tigers suspended Clemons for the upcoming season. A Missouri judge let Clemons serve a 60-day jail sentence at a halfway house. … Eighteen days into that sentence, Clemons was at an Independence Day celebration at the university president’s house. Clemons was riding an ATV when it crashed and seriously injured him. After leaving the hospital, Clemons had his halfway-house arrangement revoked and a judge sent him to serve the rest of the sentence in jail. Missouri’s athletic director kicked Clemons off the team. … Recordings of Clemons’ jail phone conversations became public. Clemons claimed he got paid money and gossiped about coaches and the athletic department.

In 2015, ESPN reported:

The University of Missouri did not investigate or tell law enforcement officials about an alleged rape, possibly by one or more members of its football team, despite administrators finding out about the alleged 2010 incident more than a year ago, an “Outside the Lines” investigation has found. The alleged victim, a member of the swim team, committed suicide in 2011.

Also in 2015, ESPN reported that the school had the second-highest number of alleged sexual assaults.

And who can forget this happened that same year:

The University of Missouri system’s president, Tim Wolfe, and the chancellor of the flagship campus, R. Bowen Loftin, announced on Monday that they were resigning their posts in the face of growing protests by African-American students, the threat of a walkout by faculty and a strike by football players who said the administrators had done too little to combat racism on campus.

Last but not least, in November 2016:

A former University of Missouri tutor has blown the whistle on alleged academic fraud within the school’s athletic department. Three months after closing an investigation into improprieties within the men’s basketball program, Mizzou announced Tuesday evening that it is under investigation again for potential NCAA rules violations.

What do you think? Does Missouri have the worst athletic department of any Power 5 school?

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