It’s time for the NCAA to come up with a decision already

Okay, well this is just getting ridiculous, isn’t it? We’re 10 games into this season and Missouri’s postseason ban status is still up in the air. Well, I guess Mizzou can take care of it themselves if they lose to both Tennessee and Arkansas, but wasn’t the NCAA supposed to take care of this appeal by now?

The NCAA issued the sanctions on January 31st.

Missouri filed the appeal on March 25th.

Missouri made their case to the NCAA on July 18th.

It’s November 21st and many thought that this was going to be resolved, for better or for worse, by September or October. Glad the NCAA got the Chase Young and James Wiseman situations out of the way as quickly as possible, though (those, of course, have been handled terribly).

Seriously, any day now, guys.

I get it, it’s pretty difficult to get worked up over wondering which mediocre bowl game a 5-5 team may or may not go to, but it would just be nice to get some clarity over this whole situation by now. To have this hanging over 18-22 year old players’ heads for a full season for something they had absolutely nothing to do with is just really unfair.

Now, it hasn’t been the reason why this season has gone downhill. Missouri has obviously done this to themselves with losing games they had no business losing, but the NCAA’s poor handling of this situation has done this team absolutely no favors at all.

This team was 5-1, ranked No. 22 in the country, and atop the SEC East at one point. Everybody is wondering what the heck happened since. We didn’t know it by then, but you can pinpoint to the Troy game where Cale Garrett suffered a season-ending injury and Kelly Bryant hasn’t looked the same since.

Is it also possible that the uncertainty of a bowl game just became too much of a distraction for the team? Okay, that’s probably a weak excuse, and I’m sure the players and coaches would be the first ones to say no to that. But if the decision on the appeal was made much earlier, would these last four games have gone differently? It’s a fair question to ask.

Oh, and this appeal isn’t just about the bowl ban, either. The possibility of the recruiting restrictions and loss of scholarships would arguably be much more detrimental to this football program than the bowl ban. You have to think that has probably has taken a toll on Barry Odom and the coaching staff this season.

And this just isn’t about the football team. That’s probably one of the main reasons why the athletic department hasn’t dropped this ongoing appeal by now. The baseball and softball programs are affected by this as well, and Steve Bieser and Larissa Anderson are more than capable of coaching their teams to postseason play.

Baseball and softball went through this all of last season with their postseason eligibility uncertain, though it was pretty likely that the appeal would still be in the process through their NCAA Tournaments. But, they might have to go through it all again this season because we’re still waiting for a decision!

We just might be approaching the worst-case scenario for this situation, aren’t we? Has anybody thought of this? Just spit-balling here, but let’s say the appeal is still in the process after this bowl season and then the NCAA rules Missouri ineligible for next year’s postseason. With the way things are going, that doesn’t seem out of the question. And that would be a new low, even for the NCAA.

This Missouri football season has truly been a big disappointment. There’s no denying that, and that’s ultimately on them. But the NCAA hasn’t helped matters… like at all. Regardless of the outcome, they have done Mizzou an incredible disservice with how ridiculously long this process has taken, and the athletic department deserves some clarity on this.

It’s time for the NCAA to come up with a decision already.

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Author:

Sammy Stava