Mizzou Athletics vs. "The System"

Jamie Squire

Mizzou Athletics has taken initiative to battle the negative image a new book called "The System" is trying to cast upon the University and its athletic tutoring program.

A new book named "The System: The Glory and Scandal of Big-Time College Football" will be released September 17 and highlights the inner workings of Division I college football, revealing some shocking truths to some of the behind-the-scenes activity that goes on in the athletic departments of various universities around the country. The University of Missouri was fortunate enough to grace the pages of this book, and it seems that the Mizzou Athletic department is not happy with the picture the authors paint of it. Mizzou released a statement on the book this afternoon after having received an advanced copy of the chapter that included Missouri, and had this to say about it:

The University of Missouri Department of Intercollegiate Athletics has acquired an advance copy of the chapter of an upcoming book "The System" which covers various aspects of college athletics. A chapter related to Mizzou most prominently focuses on the experience of two former tutors in Mizzou's Total Person Program (TPP), and one former student-athlete, who was dismissed from the football program on September 1st, 2010.

Mizzou Athletics administration was not contacted by the book's authors, and we wanted to take this opportunity to provide some perspective on our website.

The allegations made toward the environment of our academic support program in this chapter were unfortunate. Although the authors isolate this small example from a much larger group which currently includes 520 student-athletes and approximately 150 tutors who do outstanding work in a professional and safe environment, we believe this was not and is not reflective of the culture of the academic program.

The book discusses some sexual activity that apparently took place between female tutors and some members of the men's teams here at Mizzou, and talks about the dismissal of Derrick Washington from the football team in 2010. I'm not sure what exactly goes on in these tutoring sessions, but I'd be extremely surprised to find out that what goes on in the tutoring sessions is anything abnormal in relation to what happens in universities throughout the rest of the country.

While Mizzou claims it was never contacted from the authors Jeff Benedict and Armen Keteyian, about this book, there seems to be some disagreement from the authors themselves about this.

@RossDellenger
Re: The System. MU officials still claim they were not contacted by the book's authors. Authors say otherwise.
9/12/13 5:50 PM

@Dave_Matter
Mizzou officials were not contacted by the book's authors to discuss the Washington situation/tutoring system, MU says
9/12/13 5:49 PM

So I guess we will just have to wait and see what comes of all of this. I doubt any kind of discipline will be coming from the NCAA, but I'm sure tarnishing the image of what's been otherwise a relatively clean athletic program over the last few years is something nobody wants. This all comes at a time when other universities (Oklahoma State and Alabama specifically) are facing much more serious accusations. Unless this turns up some other issues about Mizzou that go beyond the things highlighted in the chapter of that book, I don't think this will be a story for very long.

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