The President of Missouri State University caused a buzz on social media last evening with a surprise announcement.
Less than two days after a press conference explaining why they parted ways with former head football coach Dave Steckel, Missouri State University President Clif Smart shocked most observers with a posting on Twitter:
The announcement immediately set off a wave of speculation as to who the coach could be that would be available on less than two day’s notice, assuming that Missouri State didn’t have communications with this coach before the announcement they would be parting ways with Steckel.
Sources reportedly focused on two names that some would say are controversial: former Baylor coach Art Briles and former Louisville coach Bobby Petrino, with a slight majority of those sources stating it would be Petrino.
Briles was fired from Baylor in 2016 in the midst of a massive sexual assault scandal at the school, where dozens of football players were accused of crimes and Briles was accused of covering them up or at the very least ignoring the accusations. Over the last few years, documents have come out from a school official that state Briles did not have any contact with victims of sexual assault, and did not do anything to discourage a victim from coming forward, and that officials at Baylor used Briles and the football program as scapegoats to cover a campus-wide problem with sexual assault. The NCAA cited Briles for not having control over his football program.
Petrino had been fired from Arkansas in 2012 after being involved in a motorcycle accident with his mistress, an employee of the Razorback Foundation at the time. He later coached at Western Kentucky and Louisville, being fired by Louisville in 2018 after a 2-8 season.
President Smart told OI that the University’s Board of Governors would approve the deal on Wednesday, with a press event scheduled for Thursday.