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Jim Sterk: “We’re going to have to manage our expenses better”

Here are today’s Mizzou Links.

After Wednesday’s Mizzou Network chat, Mizzou athletic director Jim Sterk met the rest of the Mizzou media on Thursday for a chat. The highlights:

1. Cuonzo Martin is stone cold.

Q: What were your thoughts on how Cuonzo handled everything both on and off the court this season?

”You guys have sat with him. It’s like nothing phases him, he’ll make hard decisions and tough decisions, but it seems like he doesn’t linger and tries to get the best out of every situation that he’s dealt. I think that’s great for all of us. I think he relates a lot of things to life. You’re faced with a lot of difficulties and things, but he’s looking at moving ahead and I think that’s a good philosophy to have.”

While Michael Porter Jr.’s arrival created the initial round of buzz, the rest of the team took it from there.

“The team took on that responsibility of creating excitement,” Sterk said. “I think they did a heck of a job. I think people at the start were disappointed but were excited about what was truly happening on the court.”

2. Mizzou’s got a bit of a tight budget at the moment.

“We’re looking at our budget really hard. We’ve had some reserves and have used them for a number of things, projects and things like that. We had to cover a deficit last year and we’ll probably have something smaller this year, so we need to look at ourselves and look at what we can do more efficiently and effectively but still continue to move the program forward and compete. It is interesting to be in a situation where we’re in the top 25 or 30 budgets in the country, but yet we’re like 13th or something like that in the SEC. Some have $200 million budgets as opposed to $100 million. It’s a unique challenge, but I also think it’s an opportunity to do things in a unique way and effectively and compete against some of the best in the country too.”

And expenses aren’t going down.

“[The Hearnes Center is] a building that’s irreplaceable because of the functions,” Sterk said. “I would hate to try to guess that, to replace everything that’s in there right now, what it would cost.”

But there’s still an eye at cutting back whenever possible. Sterk said Thursday he’s challenged managers within athletics to evaluate what their budgets might look like with a 15 percent cut. [...]

“Even if we stay even and grow our revenues a little bit, expenses are rising 8 or 10 percent in a lot of areas,” Sterk said. “That’s the challenge. To even do the same things (we’re doing), we’re going to have to manage our expenses better.”

That last part: not incredibly encouraging.

Yesterday at Rock M

More Links:

  • WELP, it appears Mizzou’s going to have some even stiffer competition for key 2019 hoops target Mario McKinney.
  • Hey, Shane.