It's an "all sports" version of the Links today...let's see how many sports we can nail down...
Men's Basketball! JT Tiller named Big 12 Defensive Player of the Year by the Austin American-Statesman's Kirk Bohls! It's a little early for such an award, but hey...who's complaining? And if there were a Big 12 Energy Player of the Year (and why isn't there?), the award would be Keith Ramsey's to lose.
Football! It's Combine time!
Swimming & Diving! Mizzou rocks at the Missouri Grand Prix!
Competitively, football has put together back-to-back 10-win seasons for the first time ever, and a good win over Northwestern in the Alamo Bowl propelled the Tigers to a No. 16 final ranking. Soccer had a great year, finishing the season ranked in the top 10 in the country. Men's basketball has just risen into the top-10 of the Coaches' poll, Wrestling is currently ranked fifth, Gymnastics is currently ranked 13th, Softball is currently ranked 17th, Men's Swimming & Diving is ranked 24th, Men's Track & Field is 25th, and the Baseball team will begin its 118th season this weekend as the 10th-ranked team in the Baseball America poll.
The financial challenges we face, though, are quite real. Sport has generally been seen as somewhat "recession-proof." Those times have changed. As we prepare for the future, those challenges force us to evaluate how we maintain such high quality academic, social and competitive results with a shrinking economy. We are seeing signs of this throughout all of professional and amateur sport, and Mizzou is not immune from those challenges. We are working to ensure our program continues to improve with the same expectations that we have for our entire University through sound fiscal management. The next 18-24 months will be challenging, but in the end, we'll be stronger as a University for attacking these issues in a proactive, professional manner.