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Jeremiah Tilmon arrested for MIP, and no, Mizzou Media isn’t excited or fake-outraged about it

Here are today’s Mizzou Links.

If you woke up yesterday morning thinking, “I wonder if people actually get arrested for an MIP, or if they simply get cited in some way and move on with their lives,” then congratulations for getting your answer: they get arrested! Or at least, they do if they’re incoming Mizzou freshmen by the name of Jeremiah Tilmon.

Tilmon was pulled over at 1:42 a.m. on Tiger Avenue south of Hospital Drive for a lane violation, MU Police Maj. Brian Weimer said. Tilmon passed a field sobriety test but was still booked, per the department's "zero-tolerance" policy. Tilmon was processed at MU Police Department before being released on a summons.

Word from Cuonzo Martin is that this is being handled internally, which ... that’s fine. It’s always silly for an athlete to be caught in a situation like this — as always, never leave your (or someone else’s) place of residence if you’re going to be around something like this — but this is a teeny tiny story. Reporters went through the rounds with quick writeups, and I’d be surprised if even a quick suspension came of this.

Of course, reporters in the area did go through the motions here. And that was a bit too much for some.

A couple of things.

1. I completely understand the sentiment here, but reporting on fraternity misdeeds is a constant. Here’s what I found in the first two pages of googling “missouri fraternities columbiatribune”:

Now, that’s a Columbia paper. This probably doesn’t bleed over as much into the St. Louis and Kansas City papers. That, I’ll grant.

2. Pieces about sports get hits. Getting page views and figuring out how to make money from them is a source of struggle these days. The Trib and others have cut their sports reporting staffs, but when a player gets arrested, it’s going to get written about. It just is. This was a minor issue and received minor reporting, but it’s still going to get reporting.

3. “Reporting” isn’t “outrage,” fake or otherwise. It’s just reporting. If there was any editorializing whatsoever from reporters on Twitter, it was mostly of the “Wait, you can get arrested for an MIP?” or “They actually arrested him for that? Give me a break” varieties.

I understand how there’s going to be a disconnect here. I mean, fans don’t like media to cover anything negative surrounding their team, and when it happens, they claim “BIAS!” and whatnot. That’s just the way these things go, and if fans think that way, then athletes certainly think that way — it’s more personal for them. Obviously.

Still, this disconnect bothered me a bit, and I couldn’t put my finger on why. Then I saw this exchange:

Don’t ask me why, but I was perusing old links from the 2007 season and was reminded of a Trib series called “Cut to the Chase.” Back in the 2007-08 seasons, Dave Matter had constant Q&A exchanges with Chase Daniel. (I couldn’t find many, but here’s the last one.)

With things like that, of course, you have to be careful not to get too close to your subject because you still have to report when they do things wrong. (Matter’s a pro’s pro, so that was of minimal concern there.) Still, I wonder if dwindling access has contributed to this disconnect a decent amount. Reporters are now banned from a lot of things they weren’t banned from 10 years ago. From a player perspective, that makes them more of a foreign entity, and foreign entities can be hostile entities.

(This isn’t a Mizzou-specific complaint. Access has dwindled everywhere. Granted, limiting access and controlling more information certainly hasn’t helped Mizzou on the field the last two seasons...)

But I digress. It’s a frustrating issue, and while there obviously needs to be some sort of professional division between players/coaches and media, it seems like there’s an unnecessary level of hostility involved. Anyway. Tilmon was arrested for something minor, and now we all move on with our lives.

By the way, Mizzou commit Jontay Porter is now ranked 10th in ESPN’s 2018 prospect rankings. And the latest word I’ve heard from the grapevine is that ... maybe he’s not reclassifying? ¯\_(ツ)_/¯ I’ll believe it when I (don’t) see it, but apparently it’s not a 100% likelihood now. Man, I’m ready to know one way or the damn other.

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