Official announcement merely a formality
by MizzMatt - 3/23/11
Columbia, MO- The Mike Anderson saga has taken a turn for the worse for Mizzou fans. It is being reported that he has written permission from MU to talk to the Razorbacks, and the word of Anderson leaving is news to the entire team. Anderson will likely take a $2.2 mil/year deal that will take him back to the university that he coached at along side former Razorback Nolan Richardson during their 1994 championship season. UA will have to pay a $500k contract buyout and Anderson will lose out on $400k in deferred funds that would have been his if he had stayed to the end of his contract.
Fans around Mizzou Nation have tossed the names of Cuonzo Martin of Missouri State, Bruce Pearl of Tennessee and Shaka Smith of Virginia Commonwealth as who they'd like to see as the next coach of the "Fastest 40 Minutes in Basketball." Who will get the job? No word yet from MU Athletic Director Mike Alden, or from anybody for that matter, as the Anderson Saga is finally coming to a close. For three straight years, Anderson has tossed the idea of leaving for another school, and now that he has his dream job lined up, he's jumping at it. No coaches around the league have shown an interest in the MU job, but with the official announcement coming either Wednesday night or Thursday, letters of interest may start arriving on the AD's desk.
On March 4th, Anderson stated- "I plan on being at Missouri for a long time, retire here." He also told the Missouri state senate that he would "bring a national championship to the state of Missouri." Empty lies. Broken promises. Just another sad chapter in Mizzou athletics, as we always seem to get the short end of the stick. Tony Mitchell, losing out on a BCS bid in 2007, 2008 and 2010, and now losing Anderson to a team that hasn't been good over the years of John Pelphrey, who was fired last week.
What does this mean for the current Tiger team? There are going to be a lot of questions about who stays and who goes over the offseason. It is this writer's opinion that Phil "Flip" Pressey will follow 'Uncle' Mike to Arkansas, while Kim English, Marcus Denmon, Laurence Bowers and Ricardo Ratliffe may declare for the NBA draft.
This was a worst-case scenario that has come true, and all of our questions will have to wait months before they're answered.