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Lawmakers defend Mizzou, want NCAA to reconsider penalties

Barry Odom
Posted at 3:03 PM, Feb 01, 2019
and last updated 2019-02-01 16:03:23-05

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Several lawmakers in Missouri are standing with the University of Missouri following a punishment handed down by the NCAA.

On Thursday, the NCAA announced penalties, including a bowl ban for the football team. The punishment is in connection to Mizzou’s academic fraud scandal.

Mizzou has since announced, it’s appealed the penalties.

Since the NCAA handed down the punishment, several lawmakers at the state and federal level have come to Mizzou’s defense and urged the NCAA to reverse course.

Senator Roy Blunt:

“I completely disagree with the sanctions announced by the NCAA against the University of Missouri. From the NCAA’s own report, it was clear that the university was transparent and did the right thing by reporting both the tutor’s actions and the involvement of a small number of players. I strongly encourage the NCAA to take another look at this case and not punish today’s upstanding Mizzou athletes because of isolated violations that occurred years ago. I stand with Chancellor Cartwright, Athletic Director Jim Sterk, and the Mizzou family in questioning the fairness of these overly punitive sanctions. Mizzou and the state of Missouri deserve a second look at the facts of this case.”

Rep. Vicky Hartzler:

"While there must be consequences for individuals who go outside the rules, the NCAA extreme sanctions against Mizzou are unfair in light of Mizzou’s cooperation in addressing the issue. It’s wrong to penalize today’s athletes for the actions of others and wrong to sanction a university which has been cleared of involvement. I am hopeful the sanctions will be reversed."

Lt. Governor Mike Kehoe:

"Surprised & disappointed at the seemingly disproportional sanctions levied by the NCAA against Mizzou. The punishment here appears to far out-weigh the wrong done, particularly when the administration was cooperative, proactive, and decisive in addressing the issue ASAP."

State Sen. Caleb Rowden:

“The decision by the NCAA against Mizzou today is disheartening at best and incompetent at worst. The NCAA’s own report refuted any systemic issue or involvement and said Mizzou handled the situation as they should have. This decision tells other college programs that doing the right thing should be a last resort, and will undoubtedly cause many to lose what little faith they had left in the NCAA. The response today from Chancellor Cartwright, Jim Sterk and Coach Odom makes me as proud as ever to be a Mizzou Tiger. I am thankful for their unified resolve to fight these far-reaching sanctions and want these leaders to know that many around our state are standing behind them.”