As you’ve undoubtedly read elsewhere, University Of Missouri system president Tim Wolfe and school chancellor R. Bowen Loftin resigned from their posts Monday in the wake of graduate student Jonathan Butler’s hunger strike and the school’s football team threatened walkout in solidarity with Concerned Student 150. Perhaps missing the point, the National Review’s Rich Lowery opined, “If anyone running the university had any guts, the school would have told the team, “Come back and talk to us when you can beat sad-sack Vanderbilt.” Taking a more pragmatic view, SB Nation’s Rodger Sherman counters, “once the football team decided this was a cause worth throwing its weight behind, the game was over.”
Wolfe and Loftin were each reported to make around $450,000 a year. Pinkel just got a pay raise and contract extension that will give him $4 million per year until 2021. You could fire Wolfe and Loftin, hire replacements and do it again twice before hitting the financial burden of paying Pinkel this year. Never mind the next five years or the fact that hiring a new coach would cost as much.
If Mizzou had immediately pulled the scholarships of all the players who threatened to quit — 30-plus in the initial group, plus support on social media and elsewhere from others, with only one anonymous player speaking publicly against the movement — it would’ve had trouble finishing the season.
So add the monetary losses of canceling a game Saturday against BYU, to which Mizzou would’ve owed a million dollars if it had canceled, followed by SEC games at home against Tennessee and on the road at Arkansas.
Then you have to go about replacing those players for the next year. It’s pretty hard to manifest dozens of FBS players from thin air, even for the defending SEC East champions. It would be borderline impossible to do so after telling players they could lose scholarships for having strong opinions. Mizzou would be putting out non-competitive football for years, setting the program back decades and costing the school millions.