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Probe: AD didn't send messenger to encourage ouster

COLUMBIA, Mo. -- Investigators have concluded that Missouri
athletic director Mike Alden did not send a radio announcer to fire
former coach Quin Snyder, although the message delivered by Gary
Link was far more specific than Alden has previously acknowledged.

An 11-page report released Thursday says Link, a broadcaster who
also is a special assistant to Alden, told investigators that
"Alden gave him no directive or order to talk with Snyder" on
Feb. 9, hours after Snyder told reporters he would finish out the
season.

The investigators, former U.S. Attorney Jean Paul Bradshaw II,
of Kansas City, and Lebanon Daily Record Publisher Dalton Wright,
both Missouri alumni, were asked by University of Missouri system
President Elson Floyd to look into events surrounding Snyder's
resignation.

Missouri was 10-11 and 3-7 in the Big 12 Conference when Snyder
quit on Feb. 10. Snyder, who did not speak with the investigators,
has said he believed Link was sent by Alden to tell him he either
needed to quit or be fired at the end of the season.

Link's version of events in the report was consistent with the
details offered by Snyder at his Feb. 14 farewell press conference.
But Alden reaffirmed an earlier statement that he merely asked Link
to "see how Snyder was doing."

The report indicates the relationship between Alden and Snyder
had been rocky since the coach began his seven-year stint with the
Tigers.

Snyder "would resist public appearances and other activities in
which Alden thought he should participate," the report said.

By October, before the start of what would become Snyder's final
season, the coach avoided his boss as much as possible, "canceling
or not appearing" at meetings after Alden and Deaton rejected
Snyder's request for a public show of support and a commitment to
honor his contract through 2008.

Snyder's resignation was official Feb. 14, when he and the
university agreed on a $574,000 contract buyout that was approved
by curators.

His total compensation package at Missouri, including
incentives, was worth more than $1 million a season.

The report noted that Snyder was encouraged to resign at
midseason more than a year ago. Before this season, Alden told
Snyder that in order to keep his job, he needed a winning season, a
finish in the top half of the Big 12 and he must make it to the
NCAA Tournament.

Missouri (12-16, 5-11) finished the season in next-to-last place
in the Big 12 and missed the postseason for the first time since
1997.