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Dru Smith’s eligibility may lie in Evansville’s hands

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Here are today’s Mizzou Links.

Evansville may be holding up Dru Smith

Mizzou basketball is one week away (what?!), and we’re still waiting on solid word about the eligibility of one Dru Smith. The Evansville transfer still isn’t eligible this year, despite having a somewhat strong case to get a waiver cleared by the NCAA.

However, if Ben Frederickson’s latest piece for the Post Dispatch lends any answers, we may know why the elder Smith hasn’t been cleared yet.

The NCAA denied Mizzou’s initial attempt to secure a waiver for Dru Smith. A source close to the player confirmed Monday that Evansville did not cooperate with the waiver request. An Evansville spokesman declined to comment on the program’s stance. It was unclear Monday if Mizzou can challenge the NCCA ruling.

The piece continues on by naming several examples of players in situations similar to Dru’s and pointing out how both schools worked together to make sure the players involved weren’t punished for things outside of their control.

If what Frederickson reports is true — which is a weighty assumption, but he’s a good reporter — the Evansville athletic department should be ashamed of itself. Yes, it’s frustrating when your best players transfer for seemingly greener pastures. But that’s part of the business of college sports — the coaches and players develop relationships. When you decide to ship one off, you risk losing the players he brought with him. That is, unless you want to start paying players for their services and locking them into contracts... but we all know the NCAA has no intention to do the former.

Barry Odom lost the fight, but may be winning the war

Yes, Saturday’s loss against Kentucky still stings, and yes, a change in leadership may be coming if the Tigers aren’t able to show some sort of progress over the next few weeks.

However, it seems as if Odom was successful on some off-the-field fronts this weekend. PowerMizzou ran a story on Arkansas transfer wide receiver Jonathan Nance, who visited the Tigers this past weekend. It sounds like things went well, as Nance gushed about the visit ($$.)

Undoubtedly, though, Mizzou’s biggest visitor on the weekend was Clemson transfer quarterback Kelly Bryant. PowerMizzou also has some information on that visit scattered throughout the message boards ($$.) The Columbia Tribune detailed how that visit may have been helped by people outside the program.

Eight fraternities hung bedsheets in Greek Town or on College Avenue before Saturday’s game against Kentucky. Delta Sigma Phi’s banner featured a well-drawn painting of Bryant in a MU jersey, and Beta Theta Pi’s read, “Choose the right Tigers,” under a crossed-out Clemson logo.

This isn’t anything unique to Missouri, but recruits do often talk about, “showing love.” Maybe Missouri football isn’t the success it should be right now, but if Kelly Bryant sees that fans are invested and want to see him play, who knows what kind of effect it could have? It can’t hurt, by any means.

Yesterday at Rock M

More Links:

  • Mizzou Volleyball continues its climb up the polls after adding to their win streak.

Andre Fuentes was also named SEC Co-Freshman of the Week.

  • Congrats to Ian Kinsler on getting his first ring!
  • Mizzou Women’s Golf finished 7th at a tournament in Texas this past weekend, ahead of several other programs placed highly in the women’s golf team rankings.
  • Coach Greg Rhodenbaugh of the men and women’s swim teams was placed on leave yesterday as the athletic department investigates allegations of, “team management issues.”