Mike Anderson: The Missouri tenure remix

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Snake. Traitor. Turncoat. A friend even asked how many times I’d refer to former Missouri coach Mike Anderson as a scumbag in this blog.

But here’s the deal: College sports is business. It’s about money. If you’re a coach, it’s all about that “destination job.” Arkansas, while no better than Missouri (especially in its current state), is Anderson’s dream job.

That he left Missouri after five seasons isn’t the issue. How he left is. Regarded by many, including myself, as a stand-up guy, Mike Anderson was a coward last week when he left Missouri.

He also lied. Lied about retiring at Missouri. Lied to his players about his intentions. Lied again Saturday when asked why he had nothing to say to his former employers and fans in Missouri.

Again, it’s a business. Mike Anderson has every right to do what he wants. He got more money to coach at a place where he cut his teeth. Good for him. But shame on him for the way he snuck out of Missouri and treated players he recruited to play for him in Columbia, Mo.

Ironically, Missouri could be better off in the long run with his departure. But I’ll get to that in another blog. Enough of the seriousness, let’s take a look at the Mike Anderson era in music videos:

FEBRUARY 2006: Missouri loses by 26 to a Baylor team that not only didn’t play a nonconference schedule, but also hadn’t won a game. His tenure is over within days. The reaction of Missouri fans …

MARCH 25, 2006: The day before Anderson is hired at Mizzou, rumors swirl that the board of curators might fire athletic director Mike Alden. In a shrewd move, Alden has secured Anderson. Still, it was a lot like this …

MARCH 26, 2006 TO DECEMBER 2006: The Anderson era begins. With a  great introduction press conference, followed by a 9-0 start, including, ironically, a blowout of Arkansas, Tiger fans welcome the coach with …

JULY 2007 TO MARCH 2008: That July senior forward Kalen Grimes is kicked off the team after hitting somebody in the face with a shotgun (seriously). Six months later, senior point guard Stefhon Hannah gets the boot after suffering a broken jaw in a fight outside of a bar. Several other Tigers are suspended. Missouri finished 16-16 …

2008-09 SEASON: Missouri goes 28-6 in the regular season, knocking off Kansas, Texas and Oklahoma before winning the Big 12 Tournament. The Tigers then stun Memphis in the Sweet 16 and push top-seeded UConn in the Elite Eight while falling just short of a trip to the Final Four. The 31 wins represent a school record. To Anderson, all Missouri fans say …

2009-10 SEASON: Missouri goes 23-11 despite the loss of 1,000-point career scorers DeMarre Carroll, Leo Lyons and Matt Lawrence. The Tigers make the second round of the NCAA Tournament, pushing eventual Final Four squad West Virginia. Anderson also signs his first two top-50 recruits (Tony Mitchell and Phil Pressey) and the country’s top-ranked junior college player (Ricardo Ratliffe). So, at this point, he’s …

2010-2011 SEASON: Despite a 14-1 start and the emergence of Marcus Denmon, the Tigers slump to 8-8 in the Big 12, get thumped by Texas A&M in the Big 12 tourney and lose in the opening round of the NCAAs. They also lose Mitchell, who never plays a game at Mizzou after being declared ineligible by the always fair and reasonable NCAA. Despite all of this, Anderson flirts with another school for the third straight year and appears to be in line for another raise, leaving a lot of Missouri fans to say …

MARCH 2011: Just a few days after saying he planned on retiring at Missouri, it becomes clear Anderson is going to Arkansas …

MARCH 2011: Anderson hides from the media upon his return to Columbia, going to great lengths to avoid questions and being seen. Not until Saturday did he offer an explanation for his actions during the departure or thank anybody at Mizzou publicly, to which many Tigers say …

MARCH 2011: Anderson does deserve credit for recruiting a classy group of rising seniors who should help the transition to a new coach go smoothly. Despite clearly being angered and hurt, Laurence Bowers, Marcus Denmon and Kim English took the high road in a press conference the day their coach bailed. A great reason to take this in a group of solid young men …

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