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Donations down, MU interims talking a big game: Mack Rhoades' job is tricky right now

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Here are today's Mizzou Links.

Mizzou Tigers pennant Busy weekend!

Women's basketball moves to 21-6

MUtigers.com: @MizzouWBB Earns Convincing 69-55 Victory at Auburn

The Trib: Strong defensive effort helps power MU women in win over Auburn
The Trib: With knee feeling better, MU's McDowell elevates her play
Post-Dispatch: Mizzou updates: Cunningham leads Tigers to road win

Wrestling advances in National Duals

MUtigers.com: Miklus’ Late Takedown Helps No. 6 @MizzouWrestling Defeat Nebraska in NWCA National Duals

The Missourian: Cox sets Missouri record with 100th win as Tigers wrestling defeats Nebraska

Softball sweeps Citrus Classic

MUtigers.com: #13 @MizzouSoftball Earns Two More Wins Saturday at Citrus Classic
MUtigers.com: #13 @MizzouSoftball Leaves Citrus Classic With Perfect 6-0 Record

PowerMizzou: Softball ready for another run

Baseball only splits with Seton Hall

MUtigers.com: #15 @MizzouBaseball Uses Benes’ Bomb, Houck’s Arm In 4-1 Win
MUtigers.com: No. 15 @MizzouBaseball Drops Game Two of Twin Bill to Seton Hall
MUtigers.com: No. 15 @MizzouBaseball Drops Finale to Seton Hall, 9-1

Swimming & Diving men and women finish fifth at SECs

MUtigers.com: @MizzouSwimDive Earns Fifth-Place Finishes at SEC Championships

Tigers prove they can hang with best - Columbia Daily Tribune | Columbia Missouri: Sports

Gymnastics posts a super-high score

MUtigers.com: No. 19 @MizzouGym Tallies Highest Score Since 2010 with 196.650 Against No. 2 Florida

Tennis keeps rolling (against mostly bad teams)

MUtigers.com: @MizzouTennis Earns Two Shutouts in Doubleheader Sweep
MUtigers.com: @MizzouTennis Improves to 12-1 with Wins over Furman and USC-Upstate

Mizzou Tigers pennant November and its effects

The Trib: University of Missouri tries to ensure no more boycotts

The polarized reaction to the Concerned Student 1950 protest that toppled University of Missouri System President Tim Wolfe — with an assist from the football team and former Coach Gary Pinkel — has threatened the financial health of the university from reduced state funding and private donations.

The discontent with the football team has expressed itself in other forms, as well. A state lawmaker introduced, but quickly withdrew, a bill that would strip scholarships from players who refuse to participate. On Wednesday, interim Chancellor Hank Foley told the Joint Committee on Education that if there is another team boycott "there will be a very different response."

The Trib: University of Missouri athletic department tries to bounce back from donation downturn

The Missouri football team delivered a second straight SEC East title in 2014, and happy MU fans opened their checkbooks. They donated more than $685,000 to the athletic department in December 2014. [...]

After the controversial boycott, donations plummeted. The athletic department recorded only $191,000 in cash donations in December.

That difference of $494,000, a 68.7 percent decline, was partially made up when January receipts increased $264,000 compared to January 2015. But for the three complete months since the players announced their boycott on Nov. 7, cash contributions to the athletic department were down 24.3 percent compared to last year.

Now, that 24.3% number is a little bit deflated because of, as the Trib article later mentions, a total of $147K that was donated in honor of John Kadlec after he passed away in October 2014. But it still went down, partially because Mizzou went 5-7 and partially because of November protests.

Mizzou's in an interesting spot right now, both perilous and temporary. From an athletics level, things can mostly turn around with another good football season or a basketball rebirth. Especially with Gary Pinkel now retired, I assume any bad feelings directed at the football program in particular won't last very long, and this will soon go back to being a "wins make things all better" thing, at least as long as there aren't further protests.

And regarding further protests ... Hank Foley needs to be careful. He appears to have convinced himself that he needs to talk tough to make the legislature happy -- he's prboably right, though I'm not particularly convinced anything is going to make the legislature happy, and they're making Foley and Mike Middleton go through an elaborate song-and-dance before wrecking Mizzou's funding (further) regardless -- but he's also putting Mack Rhoades in a tough spot.

Rhoades, for what it's worth, offered a perfect clarification: "For us, this is about creating an environment where our student-athletes never feel that they have to go to that measure." That's a very good, very important way of framing it. It's also not what Foley said.

Basically every major athletic official at a given university is paid way, way too much. But Mack Rhoades may be earning his ridiculous salary in his first year on the job. I wouldn't take that job for the world.

Mizzou Tigers pennant The APR is an added annoyance at the moment

The Trib: Anderson challenged trying to manage Missouri's Academic Progress Rate

Mizzou Tigers pennant On a completely different note ... Uncle Verne!

CBS Sports: Verne Lundquist to receive Sports Emmy Lifetime Achievement Award