As sports fans, we toe a line every single day. The characteristics we most heartily celebrate in the field of play are mostly ones we would abhor in day-to-day life. Hockey enforcer. Hard-hitting linebacker. Basketball slasher who is unafraid to throw his body around. We celebrate their exploits, and we hope we don't feel stupid about it later when we find out that the athletes have the same, far less positive traits away from sports.
In three years of representing the University of Missouri, Mike Dixon proved himself fearless, aggressive, and a bit of an asshole. And we celebrated him for it. Every good team needs a little bit of attitude, a little bit of cold-blooded fearlessness. But if allegations are true -- and it very, very much bears mentioning (and repeating) that, though his career as a Missouri Tiger is over, he has never actually been charged with a crime -- then he has at times shown these same characteristics off the court, and not in a "he got into a fight" sort of way either. Both Dixon and Mizzou now move on with their collective lives, and we hope that there are no more allegations in the future.
In a nutshell, this stinks. Obviously. As Missouri fans, we have been lucky. We don't have to deal with this too often. The Derrick Washington saga began to unfold over two years ago, but that's been about it in terms of recent history. Washington was dealt with swiftly and with no mercy, and eventually Dixon was treated in the same manner. No matter the outcome for Missouri basketball, all we can do is hope that justice is served in one sense or another, whatever that actually means in this case.
As for the basketball team itself? It falls about 18th in the current priority list, but to the extent that we must talk about it, we must say that it hurts. Thus far in 2012-13, Mizzou has proven to be an interesting, deep, athletic team, but one that needs one more ball-handler and one more strong 3-point shooter. Dixon was supposed to be both of those things. Now the pressure falls on players like Jabari Brown (a five-star transfer who will soon be making his debut and has been said to have both of these qualities), Negus Webster-Chan and Keion Bell. Mizzou is a more flawed team without Dixon, but the quality of the basketball team doesn't really matter all that much right now, does it?