Jim Sterk is out... who’s next?
Happy Tuesday morning, sports fans! Did anyone happen to check their news feed after five o’clock? I can’t think of any reason a media department would drop any big news around, at or just after five o’clock on a weekday, but I wanted to check.
Sterk was fine at MU. He really was. I’m sure he’d have continued to make progress in helping the Athletics Department improve within the SEC. However things are about to get VERY sticky. Texas and Oklahoma pump serious money into their athletics, and they win... a lot.
There’s nothing too special to report in any of the main stories about this news, but Dave Matter (who seemed to be ahead of this news before anyone else on the beat), had some inside info on Sterk’s private response to the move.
In Monday’s email to department employees, which was obtained by the Post-Dispatch, Sterk said, “I appreciate my time working with each of you, and will make the transition as seamless as possible. I hope to see many of you over the next few weeks to personally thank you for making Mizzou Athletics a great place over the past five years.”
Where does Mizzou turn next? That’s anyone’s guess (including Eric Blum at the Columbia Tribune, who put up a five-person hot board), but I think we’ve all got thoughts on what they should bring to the table.
Austin Kim (Mizzou grad, current Newsy anchor and former sports director at ABC 17), got the thought experiment started:
You were just hired as #Mizzou's athletic director. Your top 3 priorities are...— Austin Kim (@AustinKKim) July 26, 2021
A list of things that have been suggested in the replies and Quote Tweets: Throw a ton of money at Drink for recruiting, assistants, contract perks; invest in baseball, including new turf, stadium renovations, uniforms and maybe even a new coach; spend more money on basketball; evaluate Cuonzo Martin and potentially move on; increase annual fundraising amounts; life contract for Larissa Anderson; Trops at the concession stands; and then a bunch of food-related things.
If it were me, I’d prioritize these three things, in no particular order: immediately invest more money in basketball, whether or not Cuonzo Martin is here; increase Eli Drinkwitz’s assistant pool and start prepping a new contract; steal Sterk’s notes on fundraising (but seriously, keep the momentum going.)
And finally, for anyone wondering how the news of the month (Oklahoma and Texas moving to the SEC) could affect the athletic director search, Pete Thamel has some thoughts to ease your mind:
Quick thought Missouri AD job. The uncertainty of realignment from the OU and Texas move could improve the candidate pool at Missouri. Entrenched Big 12 ADs will be more willing to listen with that league’s issues. Nebraska missed on a few P5 ADs. Mizzou has better shot.— Pete Thamel (@PeteThamel) July 26, 2021
Yesterday at Rock M
- In which our football writers take a stab at which pass-catchers will make a difference this fall
- In which Jim Sterk is leaving, in case you hadn’t heard
- In which Sam both praises and criticizes Sterk for his tenure as Mizzou’s AD
- I was originally going to lead this piece with the new Mizzou Football uniforms because who doesn’t like to talk about laundry?
There are some differing opinions on these within the Rock M masthead and I’m honestly undecided on how I feel... how about y’all? What do you think?
- Did you ever think Oklahoma and Texas formally taking the first step to joining the SEC would be the second bullet down in the “More Links” section? Neither did I, but here we are!
OU and Texas released the following joint statement Monday: “The University of Texas at Austin and The University of Oklahoma notified the Big 12 Athletic Conference today that they will not be renewing their grants of media rights following expiration in 2025...”
There’s a lot more stuff in the release, but this is the gist of it: We’re leaving here and going there.
On that same note, Vahe Gregorian at the KC Star wrote about Mizzou’s move to the SEC 10 years ago and why it’s still (obviously) the right call.
- Add another Mizzou Tiger to a year-end football watch list: Rice transfer Blaze Alldredge was officially named to the Butkus Award Watch List on Monday, for linebackers who could be the best in the country at their position.
- Mizzou Softball rounded out its staff with a new Director of Softball Operations and a few new graduate assistants (getting those last second hires approved... we see you, Larissa.)
- If you’re looking to sign up for ESPN+, Rock M Nation now has an affiliate link: click Here for ESPN+ Now!
- If you’re looking to sign up for a new streaming service, you can try FuboTV: click HERE for FuboTV access — FuboTV now has ESPN, CBS, FS1 and more sports channels.
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