KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- University of Missouri president Dr.
Elson Floyd ordered an independent investigation into the
resignation of men's basketball coach Quin Snyder on Monday.
Conducting the probe will be Jean Paul Bradshaw, the former U.S.
Attorney for the western district of Missouri, and Dalton Wright,
publisher of the Lebanon (Mo.) Daily Record.
In a letter to the two, Floyd requested that they determine what
was conveyed to Snyder and by whom before the embattled coach
resigned on Feb. 10. He also made clear they were authorized to
take their investigation in any direction they felt appropriate.
Snyder announced he was resigning on Feb. 10, one day after
saying he would stick it out for the rest of the season. He had two years remaining on his contract. Four days later agreed to a buyout
of more than $500,000.
But the school has been embroiled in turmoil since, especially
after it was reported that athletic director Mike Alden sent
assistant Gary Link to tell Snyder he could either resign or be
fired at the end of the season -- something Alden at first flatly
Snyder has said he was told he could either leave then or at the
end of the season, that he would not be renewed. He said he asked
if there was anything he could do to save his job and was told
Alden -- in a prerecorded interview for his radio show -- appeared
Monday to back away from his earlier statement by admitting that he
had sent Link to see if Snyder might want to "step away" from the
Alden, who has been under fire from many Missouri followers, had
previously said he simply asked Link to "gauge" how Snyder was
feeling after a double-digit loss to Baylor.
In the interview taped for his show Monday, Alden said he now
wishes he had not sent Link, who also is a Missouri broadcaster, to
talk with Snyder.
"I never would have had Gary Link be involved in this at all.
That guy is a terrific guy, a great ambassador for Mizzou
basketball," Alden said. "He's a friend of mine. He's a friend of
Quin's. When I asked him to go down and talk to Quin following that
Baylor game, (Alden asked him to) see how he's doing, see if this
is something that he wants to continue to do.
"Does he want to keep coaching? Or does he think that he might
want to step away?"
Chancellor Brady Deaton said last week he had investigated the
situation and concluded that nothing untoward had occurred.
However, some Missouri curators indicated they questioned how
thorough Deaton had been and preferred that someone who was not so
closely involved look into the matter.
"I have made a suggestion to President Floyd that this be
reviewed by an independent third party," Angela Bennett, president
of the Missouri Board of Curators, told the Kansas City Star on
In a letter to curators on Monday, Floyd said that is exactly
what will happen.
"Chancellor Brady Deaton and I both agree that final closure
must be reached surrounding the decision made by Quin Snyder to
step down as the MU men's basketball coach," he said in a letter
released by his office.
"Thus, I have asked two distinguished Missourians to undertake
a thorough and complete review."
In his letter to Bradshaw and Wright, Floyd was specific in what
he wanted to know.
"It is important for the university to determine what occurred
on or about the date of Feb. 9, 2006, that precipitated the head
basketball coach to meet with the team Feb. 10, 2006, to not be on
the sidelines for the game on Feb. 12, 2006, and ultimately resign
on Feb. 14, 2006," he wrote.
"Who had those conversations and meetings; what each
participant conveyed in the conversations and meetings; and what
was ultimately stated and by whom and what was authorized to be
stated that led to the resignation of the coach?
"I assure you that any university employee you desire to
interview will be made available to you. Further, if during your
inquiry you become aware of any matter or issue pertaining to the
above matter that you feel needs to be pursued, please do so."