Details emerge, teammates cope with Mauk suspension

Drew Lock: “We hadn’t seen his face in a long time, and it’s just kind of weird. Now, it’s kind of weird again.”
Missouri Tigers quarterback Maty Mauk (7) makes a throw Sept. 19, 2015, during a game against the Connecticut Huskies at Faurot Field.

Sunday morning, Missouri junior quarterback Maty Mauk was suspended for the remainder of the season, ending Mauk’s most tumultuous year as a Tiger. This season, he has been suspended twice, while dealing with the news that his father, Mike, who has been diagnosed with colorectal cancer in the summer.

The official word on the suspension is for “disciplinary reasons” and came four days after he was reinstated.

A day after he was back, Oct. 28, Mauk had issued an apology to his teammates regarding his previous suspension in late September for disciplinary issues. As sophomore receiver J’Mon Moore put it, Mauk told them “he’d get his act together and be the leader he’s supposed to be and we all know he can be.”

However, later that night, witnesses said Mauk was involved in an altercation at The Field House, a bar on 1107 E. Broadway in Columbia.

The alleged altercation came a day after it was announced that Mauk was back on the team following a four-game suspension. Mauk practiced with his team for the first time in about a month that afternoon.

Similar to the last suspension, coach Gary Pinkel offered little information as to why Mauk was suspension.

“I've handled discipline problems the exact same way I've been doing for 25 years — it's very consistent,” Pinkel said Sunday. “What we did here is exactly like I've always done it. That's what we do, that's what we believe. We don't overlook things, we don't cover things up. We do what's right. A lot of other places would find ways to get the problem solved without doing what we do, but we don't do that at Missouri. I've never done that, I never will.”

Mauk’s most recent suspension leaves freshman Drew Lock to quarterback the team for the remainder of the season.

Lock has started the past four games. In three of those, the already-struggling offense failed to score a touchdown and lost.

“You lose your starting quarterback, that obviously affects your football team,” Pinkel said Sunday. “Bottom line, you've got to overcome it. We have a young player that's playing, and he's doing a lot of good things. It puts a remarkable amount of pressure on a young player that was playing high school football.”

Over the season, Mauk’s teammates have seen their former field general sporadically, with many of them saying they weren’t sure what was going on with him.

His re-instatement and ensuing re-suspension were only more confusing.

“I’m sure the team was excited to see him back,” Lock said. “We hadn’t seen his face in a long time, and it’s just kind of weird. Now, it’s kind of weird again … Earlier in the year, he was kind of someone I could watch in practice and kind get the feel of things before I was thrown into something, and when I was thrown into it, I had to learn fast.”

With four games left in the regular season, the opportunity to win a third consecutive Southeastern Conference Eastern Division title long behind and even bowl game chances in question, the Tigers have been put in a tough spot.

After his apology, teammates had been confident Mauk was back for good.

Team captain and senior center Evan Boehm, who is also one of Mauk’s best friends, said the two have been keeping in touch during the suspensions.

“(The apology) was sincere and you know that he meant everything about it,” Boehm said. “You believed him and you trust the kid. And I still believe and trust the kid, but we have to have his best interests in mind and keep him healthy and keep him OK. Maty’s my brother, and I still love that kid. He knows I’m always there for him when he needs me, and I know he’s always there for me when I need him.”

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