(Photo by Gary Pinkel/@GaryPinkel on Twitter)
On Monday morning at a Board of Curator’s meeting, UM System President Tim Wolfe announced his resignation. This comes on the heels of a week long hunger strike by MU grad student Jonathan Butler, and about 40 hours after the Missouri football team refusing to practice or play until Wolfe was removed.
“I am resigning as president of University of Missouri system today.
My motivation in making this decision comes from love. I love MU, Columbia where I grew up in the state of Missouri.
I have thought and prayed about this decision. It’s the right thing to do. The response to this announcement I’m sure ranges from joy from some to anger and that’s why we’re here today.”
Up until Saturday night there was no real indication that Wolfe would consider resigning, but once the football team began their boycott this became a national story. That growing pressure must have made him crack sometime shortly after the boycott began.
Governor Jay Nixon weighed in on Wolfe’s resignation:
JUST IN: Missouri Governor Jay Nixon reacts to resignation of University System President Tim Wolfe @ksdknews
Dave Matter of the St. Louis Post Dispatch confirmed that now that Wolfe is no longer the UM President, the team will resume football related activities.
Mizzou players confirm Saturday’s game vs. BYU is on. Team will practice Tuesday. (Monday is normally an off day)
This shows how powerful a unified team can be. Kudos to Gary Pinkel for keeping his team together through this very unusual circumstance. By getting behind his team, they expedited a process that they felt strongly about.
Whether or not anyone agrees with the stance they took, it’s beside the point. Had Pinkel handled this any differently, this season could have been a complete loss cause and he could have lost any trust from current and future players. A misstep in this case could have ended his career early, instead he could very well turn this into a powerful bonding moment for his struggling team.
Missouri has lost four games in a row. They have three games left: BYU, Tennessee, and Arkansas. Las Vegas has BYU a 4.5 favorite on Saturday and they’ll most likely be the underdog in the final two. They need two more wins to get to a bowl game and salvage something out of this season.
I would say that is more of a possibility now than before. This team is clearly together, and they’ve put all their trust in their head coach. That could pay dividends in the final stretch of the season.
But we all know that this was bigger than football. A young man was willing to starve himself for change. Now he will eat and his life is now saved. This was a big story as it was, but credit the football team for taking this story to the next level and put it on a national platform with their boycott.
Tensions on campus are still high on campus, and a lot of people disagree with Wolfe’s decision to resign today. It’s unlikely that the entire MU campus will ever be in agreement on issues on campus, but one things for certain: the Missouri football team is.
It’s good to have football back, that is something the entire Missouri student body can rally around together.