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Mack Rhoades introduces Steve Bieser, confirms that Title IX softball investigation is still ongoing

But it might be done before the next softball season starts!

First things first: What about Softball?

While introducing new Mizzou baseball coach Steve Bieser, Mack Rhoades answered a couple of questions about the (stiiiilllllll) ongoing Ehren Earleywine investigation. He confirmed that this was a Title IX investigation and pretty much out of his hands at the moment.

KC Star: Mack Rhoades on Ehren Earleywine investigation: ‘We’re still waiting’

He added, "At this point, it is (out of our hands) — and it has been for a while. We’ll wait to see what the investigation says. For me to predict what it will say or the outcome, I have no idea."

The Trib: Rhoades offers no clarity on Earleywine's future as investigation nears three-month mark

Earleywine was not suspended at any point during the athletic department or Title IX investigations. He’s currently conducting his normal offseason duties, including recruiting.

"We didn’t feel that" a suspension "was necessary, and we weren’t putting our student-athletes at risk" by allowing Earleywine to continue coaching, Rhoades said.

Rhoades acknowledged that the "window is closing" for players who might wish to transfer depending on the outcome of the investigation.

"It puts everybody in a hard position," Rhoades said.

Post-Dispatch: Waiting game continues for Mizzou softball

Meanwhile, Missouri players wait in limbo, unsure if their head coach will be back next season. Several have expressed frustration via social media with the university's indecision on the matter. Some way want to transfer depending on the outcome, but their window to find a new school closes by the day. Rhoades acknowledged that on Friday.

(Not really a fan of the word "indecision" there because I don't think the issue is that they can't decide -- more that Title IX investigations simply take fordamnever*, and there's no way for the athletic department to rush them. Regardless, completely understandable that they'd be super annoyed. We're annoyed, and it doesn't even directly affect us.)

* That, and even when it's finished, it's going to take a while to come to an agreed set of legalese and whatnot, whether you're keeping or firing him. And I still figure they're keeping him.

A mighty "touché" to you, Sami Fagan.

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Anyway, let's talk Bieser @MizzouBaseball Press Conference Quotes

"Why Coach Bieser? I think it starts with integrity. He's a man of an incredible integrity. You talk to so many people who've intersected with him and the impact he has had on them. His time playing professional baseball, time at St. John Vianney High School and Southeast Missouri State University. His integrity is unbelievable. We believe philosophically that you can't be great on the field unless you're great off the field. I think Coach Bieser certainly shares that philosophy. The one thing that we continue to hear over and over again about him as a coach is that he got the student-athletes to do things that they thought they couldn't ever do. They became better in all facets of life. His ability to identify and develop talent was certainly a part of it too. He's a proven winner. That certainly speaks volumes. He's certainly going to do that here."

Post-Dispatch: MU's Bieser: 'I'm not intimidated by the SEC'

• Mizzou vetted 15-18 initial candidates for the job, Rhoades said, and held in-person interviews with six candidates. The list was cut to two finalists. Rhoades said Bieser was the only person offered the job, which is what every AD says when a coach is hired.

Indeed it is, Snarky Dave Matter. Missouri Introduces Bieser as Baseball Coach

"When I talk about competing in the SEC, I have ultimate confidence that this program is going to rise to the top, it’s going to be a prominent program in the SEC and I’ve never jumped into anything without the mindset that the final prize out there can’t be accomplished," Bieser said. "This is a place, this is a group of guys, and we’re going to start building it right now but this is a program that’s going to find itself in the College World Series."

The Trib: Steve Bieser introduced at Missouri baseball coach

Upon being announced Thursday as the replacement for Tim Jamieson, Bieser received a five-year contract worth $300,000 annually. Athletic Director Mack Rhoades said that he worked with former Missouri Coach Gene McArtor; Tim Hickman, the executive associate athletic director; Wren Baker, the deputy director of athletics: and Brian White, the senior associate athletics director for development, in the coaching search.

What about Tony?

WholeHogSports: Vitello 'pretty damn happy' staying at Arkansas

"Once I walked out of that (meeting) I knew I wasn't a viable candidate," Vitello said of meeting with Missouri.

"I'd love to look like the most loyal Razorback of all-time and I say I turned them down, but I was never offered the job...and at no point was I ever all-in on saying yes if it was offered."