Details are hard to come by on this one, but the Missouri softball team is, like, really not happy right now and wants athletic director Mack Rhoades to know it.
The players on the team prepared a public statement indicating they are playing today’s game against South Carolina “in protest.” In protest of what, exactly, was not made clear. Also unexplained was how participating in a regularly scheduled softball game could be classified as an act of protest, but anyway here’s the statement:
Nobody seems to know what the investigation is about, other than it having something to do with coach Ehren Earleywine, who has made news once before. Missouri blogs can only speculate. What is clear from the letter, however, is that this non-specified investigation is unjust for the following reasons:
- Players were interviewed by the administration even though they didn’t want to be
- The administration poorly handled the situation with the football team last fall
- The players aren’t permitted to hire and fire coaches.
- The coaches aren’t saying much
- Title IX?
- The softball team is really good
Word of advice: When releasing public statements, it’s good practice to see to it the public knows what you’re talking about.
UPDATE: The Kansas City Star published a story that might shed some light on the situation. In August, the The National Fastpitch Coaches Association publicly reprimanded Earleywine for repeated violations of the organization’s code of ethics, mainly rude and unsportsmanlike things Earleywine has said over the last three years. These remarks include a contentious e-mail exchange with Missouri State in 2015, and a disparaging comment about the talent of an opposing pitcher.
What, if anything, this has to do with Mack Rhoades, the Missouri administration or today’s “protest” remains unclear.
Earleywine is 411-138 in his time at Missouri.