COLUMBIA, Mo. – There are students on the campus of the University of Missouri in Columbia who believe the sanctions handed down against their university on Thursday go too far.
The university is appealing the punishment.
The NCAA is putting the university on probation for three years and eliminating postseason play for the upcoming baseball, softball, and football teams because of a cheating scandal. There are also scholarship and recruiting limitations.
“Bowl games and postseason football are kind of big draws for current students and prospective students here,” said Mizzou student Michaela Thomson.
The NCAA determined a tutor took tests and completed classwork for 12 Mizzou athletes between the summer of 2015 and the summer of 2016. The investigation determined the tutor felt pressure to see the athletes pass their classes. An extensive public records request by FOX 2 found no evidence of pressure in the form of emails.
It’s not just students who are upset. State Sen. Caleb Rowden, Majority Leader in the Missouri Senate, released a statement that read, in part:
“The decision by the NCAA against Mizzou today is disheartening at best and incompetent at worst. The NCAA’s own report refuted any systematic issue or involvement and said Mizzou handled the situation as they should have. This decision tells other college programs that doing the right thing should be the last resort and will undoubtedly cause many to lose what little faith they had left in the NCAA.”
Former Mizzou Tiger and current Minnesota Vikings player Kentrell Brothers tweeted, “Imma just say this.. she was my tutor and barely helped me so im confused. Literally had to switch tutors.”
Some students said the NCAA is punishing current athletes who were not involved with the tutor. They hope the university is successful with its appeal.
“The NCAA picks and choses who they want to be successful,” said Mizzou student Will Riddle. “I don’t think it’s very fair.”