Maty Mauk came to Columbia as one of the most decorated quarterbacks in American history. Now he’s fighting just to stay on the team.
It came late Monday night, like a bang you hear just after laying down for bed. You thought you fixed the banging noise coming from the furnace, the same one that’s been making noise since about early November. You thought it was fixed, but then you realize that not only is it not fixed, but there’s a lot more answers we need to have before we can lay back down again.
Mizzou junior quarterback Maty Mauk is at the center of what is the newest social media blitz that shows the Tigers’ star allegedly doing lines of–something–off a table.
What’s prevailed at this point though, is the sentiment from the team, that what’s shown in the video is part of his past. When did it happen? We’re unsure as of press time, but the biggest issue that now looms is what does the University of Missouri do in response to this negative sideshow?
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Tiger head coach Barry Odom had made clear after he was hired that what’s gone on in Mauk’s past isn’t going to be held against him. He however, was not counting on a video of this nature coming out and threatening the integrity of his new tenure as football coach.
The amount of Tweets and Vines going around is a secondary problem to the image that Mizzou’s major donors and supporters are now shown. Do they want to put money into a program that is showing things like this? You can argue that drugs in college is a generational and more common thing now, but good luck explaining that to those of moral integrity that see something like this as a major problem.
Players have all shown the support that is the common with the former Gary Pinkel family-style unit; heartfelt and emotional rants from star players like Harold Brantley, who went as far as to say, “If you speak ill of Maty Mauk, don’t speak to me.”
This kind of resolve can have major reinforcement of team unification, but it may not be a decision that is up to them if the powers that be rule otherwise.
All of this as the University of Missouri is set to make its State of the University address at 1:30pm CT Wednesday, followed by a U.M. Board of Curators meeting at 3:30 (h/t Andrew Kaufman of ABC17 News). The timing of the incident could not have been worse for the quarterback who has now seemingly done everything right in order to rectify his suspension, assuming that incidents like this are what he was suspended for.
So what will happen? Either the University or the athletic department are going to have to take a stance on this, and it’s going to have to be sooner than later if they’re trying to keep their long-time alumni friends happy.
What shouldn’t happen though is this; getting rid of him. The fact that Mauk was associated with cocaine is as about as surprising as Quin Snyder being associated with it. For those of you that want to get rid of Mauk because you believe that he’s not that good of a quarterback anyway, I would argue that his alleged drug use may have been at least part of the cause of his poor play on the field.
If he’s improved his life, and this is all a thing of the past, then why won’t his product on the field improve as well?
There’s going to be a lot of tough questions and soul searching for Odom and new Director of Athletics Mack Rhodes. Can they save a positive image on this and come out looking like a team that stuck with a player in a tough time, or has the threshold been crossed with regard to the image? Only the future of a young man, his family and the football program of a major SEC University are on the line here.