Biggest Let Down: Mizzou revenue sports

Both the football and men’s basketball teams finished with losing records.
Missouri safety Ian Simon (21) walks off the field during the Missouri vs. Vanderbilt game Oct. 24, 2015, at Vanderbilt Stadium in Nashville, Tenn. Maneater File Photo

You can buy a lot with $228.

You can buy a 40-inch TV, tickets for you and your 14 closest friends to the Cubs-Cardinals game May 23 or a flight down to Dallas to watch the Alabama-USC game next September at AT&T Stadium.

Mizzou student ticket holders could have spent their money on something worthwhile. Instead, they chose to spend it on six games featuring the second worst football team in the Southeastern Conference and seven games featuring the worst basketball team in the SEC.

In all, the Missouri football and men’s basketball teams won only 35 percent of their combined games in the 2015–16 season, their worst performance since joining the SEC in 2012.

The men’s basketball team deserves a little bit of slack. They did improve upon their previous performance, winning an amazing 10 games instead of a measly nine.

Still, the Tigers continued their downward spiral in other ways than losing more than two-thirds of their games.

In somewhat of a cruel joke, Mizzou imposed a postseason ban on itself, despite probably knowing that they had no chance to make the NCAA Tournament. Meanwhile, the coach who caused the sanctions, Frank Haith, took Tulsa to the big dance.

While most saw the basketball slump coming, few predicted the complete disaster that was the Missouri football team.

The Tigers had a quarterback who couldn’t shake disciplinary issues, an offensive coordinator who refused to run a successful play and an offensive attack allergic to touchdowns.

Missouri was the worst offensive team in the SEC in every major statistical category. Fear not, however, as the Tigers did top the rest of the SEC in one offensive statistical category: Over a span of 33 days, three games and 47 drives, Missouri did not set foot in the endzone. During that time, they were outscored 40–12.

Like the basketball team, the football team’s 5–7 record was not good enough for the postseason. Teams that did make bowl games included North Carolina A&T, Alcorn State and Tulsa, who spent a combined $39,415,009 on athletics this year.

Missouri spends $86,859,158, the majority of which goes to its football and men’s basketball programs. Mizzou, which ranks 30th in total revenue, is the one of three schools inside the top 50 (Rutgers and South Carolina) that did not have either its men’s basketball or football team qualify for the post season.

You can buy a lot with $86,859,158. In fact, you could purchase 380,961 student ticket combos.

The actual number of student ticket combos bought is far fewer than that number, which means it would be relatively easy to refund everybody. That would be a much more effective use of the money, and one that would satisfy the student body more than watching the Tigers lose.

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