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Floyd says he 'did nothing wrong'

12/11/2003 - Missouri Tigers

COLUMBIA, Mo. -- Missouri's president said he will not
resign and he did nothing wrong in his
dealings with troubled basketball player Ricky Clemons.

Elson Floyd already had been scheduled to discuss his job
performance Thursday in Kansas City with the university's governing
board of curators. Floyd became president of the four-campus system
in January.

After a public part of the meeting with the curators, Floyd
said, "I did nothing wrong that was inappropriate. The engagement
with Ricky Clemons has been candidly a nightmare and it continues
to be so."

Clemons said in taped jailhouse phone calls over the summer that
he and two current players received cash from coaches Tony Harvey
and Lane Odom.

Clemons served two months for assaulting his ex-girlfriend and
was kicked off the team. He also said his former attorney and Odom
told him to deny ever receiving cash.

Floyd had befriended Clemons at the request of coach Quin
Snyder. The president said he broke off contact with the player
after Clemons wrecked an all-terrain vehicle during a July 4 party
at Floyd's home.

Floyd was criticized for focusing attention on a student who
assaulted his ex-girlfriend. Floyd said he had a reputation for
counseling students at risk.

Floyd's wife, Carmento, continued to accept collect calls from
Clemons when he was in jail, without her husband's knowledge. She
apologized for harming her husband but added she saw nothing wrong
with trying to help a troubled young man.

Missouri, ranked fourth in ESPN/USA Today coaches' poll and third in the AP media poll, and the NCAA have spent months
investigating accusations surrounding Clemons, who transferred to
Missouri from a junior college last year. His ex-girlfriend,
Jessica Bunge, said he received money, clothes and improper help
with schoolwork.

Clemons assaulted Bunge during the season and was suspended for one game, then pleaded guilty after the season. Clemons was suspended from the team for one year with the expectation that he could potentially regain his place in the program as a fifth-year senior once he served his sentence and one year's suspension.

Clemons was thrown off the team after he assaulted Bunge. He
pleaded guilty to the charges and was released Aug. 24.

The board had planned to conduct Floyd's annual performance
evaluation Thursday in a closed session, but ran out of time and
rescheduled the discussion for Friday morning.

Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.