By Evan Pfaff, Big12Hoops.com Missouri Beat Writer
Missouri brass is counting their blessings that they hired Mike Anderson to coach the Tiger basketball team, and not, say Kelvin Sampson.
When Mike Bellman (fitting name) purchased 25 old cell phones from the University earlier this year, he received more than he bargained for.
The phones, which Bellman intended to sell for parts, contained, amongst other things, a Sprint Treo with outgoing call logs and text messages from Anderson.
And while Mizzou should be condemned for being absolute idiots and not clearing potentially important and sensitive information, I contend that the the unintentional outcomes is one that Mizzou alumni, students and fans should be proud of. I contend that the louder murmur should be one of applause.
Applause because there wasn't a single illegal call to a recruit on there.
Applause because there wasn't a single inappropriate text to his wife....or someone who isn't his wife.
Applause because there was no mistress, bookie or dealer uncovered.
Applause because the phone DID reveal what appears to be a harmonious relationship between the sports powers within the school.
If "Treo gate" proved anything to other NCAA programs or prospective recruits, it is that Mizzou does things on the up and up. Parents of kids looking at Mizzou should feel safe in sending their children to Columbia, knowing that the Tiger program won't cut corners or cheat to put a successful program on the floor.
Because we like to be a little different here, instead of writing out a laundry list of misdeeds that some coaches can't seem to avoid - we are looking at you Quin Snyder, Isaiah Thomas, Kelvin Sampson, Rick Pitino, and John Calipari - let's instead compile a list of things that Coach Anderson has done that are sure to illicit some pride in the Missouri faithful.
- Suspending players stemming from a bar fight, including his leading scorer
- Dismissing Kalen Grimes from the team after he hit a man in the face with a gun
- Suspending his own son for drinking and driving
- Suspending Darryl Butterfield after he was arrested and charged with domestic assault
Perhaps other schools, and even Mizzou in years past, would have swept some of these events under the rug. Mike Anderson however has brought in and enforced new standard of conduct. In the tradition of his mentor Nolan Richardson, and other notable and ethical coaches such as John Wooden and Dean Smith, Coach Anderson is teaching life lessons and not just basketball to a group of impressionable 18-22 year olds. A group who had they gone to other schools might never have learned that their actions have consequences.
So let's applaud Mizzou for doing the right things... but also make sure an intern is available to wipe all data in the future.
Dan Russell contributed to this article.
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