The University of Missouri’s athletic department has seen donations decrease due to turmoil on campus as well as a disappointing season, according to a report by The Columbia Daily Tribune.
Per the report, the athletic department received more than $685,000 in donations in December 2014, which is understandable given how the Tigers’ football team won the SEC East, its second under coach Gary Pinkel.
Fast forward to this past season, and the situation worsened. Thanks to a number of factors, namely players (and the team as a whole) underachieving and racial tensions on campus that led the football team to threaten boycotting games and practices unless university president Tim Wolfe resigned, donations plummeted to a mere $191,000 in December.
That’s a 68.7 percent drop, and donations were down about 24.3 percent from the time the players announced their boycott.
“There’s a direct correlation between the success of your teams and the amount of money that you have capacity to raise,” MU Athletic Director Mack Rhoades said. “Also, in addition to that, the football team did not have a terrific season, did not go to a bowl game. And you factor that in with what happened on campus, people are upset with the university and the athletics department. The combination of the two is why I feel that donations are down, particularly in the month of December.”
The good news is that donations are slowly on the up and up for Mizzou, but it’s easy to see why donations went down. The protest, justified as it was, was a cause for concern in the athletic department. The road was rocky and combined with a rough season, one that saw Pinkel retire at the end of it to seek treatment for cancer, it’s no wonder that donors were hesitant to break out the checkbook.
Things appear to have stabilized for now, but stay tuned to Campus Sports for any further updates!
*Featured Photo (above) credit to USA TODAY Sports