Mizzou chat with Dave Matter

Mizzou chat with Dave Matter

Bring your Tigers basketball, football and recruiting questions, and talk to Mizzou beat writer Dave Matter in a live chat starting at 1 p.m. Thursday.

    Happy Thursday, Mizzou chatters. Let's get to this today. I'll be here for the next couple hours. If you didn't catch last night's Sports On Tap event we did live at STLtoday, you can check out the full recording here. We talk all things Cardinals, Blues, Mizzou and more. 

    If the power five go ahead and create their own association, does this mean no more NCAA March madness, in its present format? No more Cinderella? That the tournament wouldn’t include teams such as Missouri state, Florida gulf coast, UMBC, and Loyola Chicago?
    I don't know what the tournament would look like. First of all, there are five football conferences known as the Power Five, but there are more than five "power" conferences in basketball. Most years the Big East is a higher-rated league than the Pac-12 and SEC. Villanova, Creighton, Seton Hall, Butler, Marquette, Xavier. You can't have a national basketball tournament without those teams. (UConn - with four national titles between 1999-2014 - is rejoining the Big East this year.) If the power leagues should break off and participate in a basketball tournament that's separate from the non-power conferences, then you adopt one of two scenarios:
    1. A smaller bracket with, say, 48 teams instead of 68. 
    2. A 68-team bracket with .500 and sub-.500 teams.
    I don't think either option is nearly as appealing as the current 68-team Division I bracket. 
    So, long story short, I'd be surprised to see any NCAA rupture lead to major changes for an incredibly popular and lucrative event. 
    Why would it be over? As long as games are played and media rights money is distributed, schools are still going to make millions of dollars and spend millions of dollars - and the programs that make more money will spend more money. Crowds might be smaller this fall, but the schools that have a stronger demand from its fans will be able to charge more for tickets and generate more in fundraising. Revenues are going to see a dip this year, and thus spending, too. But it's all relative. Schools will tighten their budgets and maybe spend money more wisely, but there will still be haves and have notes and the wealthiest haves will always try to outspend the less wealthy haves.

    Thank you for doing this.

    The president of the university of Michigan came out last week, and basically implied that thinking about the topic rationally , one would understand that there is no way for a football season to occur next year, is he a voice in the wilderness?
    Let's be clear here on what was said. In an interview with the Wall Street Journal Michigan president Mark Schlissel was talking specifically about Michigan this fall with his strongest comment: "If there is no on-campus instruction then there won’t be intercollegiate athletics, at least for Michigan,”  he said.
    He later said he had "some degree of doubt as to whether there will be college athletics (anywhere), at least in the fall.”
    That stance goes against the grain from what we've heard from campus leaders around the country lately. Check out the editorial Notre Dame president Father Jenkins submitted to the New York Times last week. He wrote that Notre Dame plans to have students back on campus this fall and sports will (hopefully) resume. Much different tone compared to Schlissel's comments. 
    If the SEC, Notre Dame and the rest of the Big Ten move forward with football this year, Michigan will play football. 
    Good morning Dave. Do you foresee any equipment changes in college football this year due to the current pandemic situation?. Not technically equipment related, but I can't imagine shared water bottles anymore at a bare minimum. College sports (and dorm) buffets will be affected as well. Football and basketball are such high contact sports in practice and games. It will be interesting to see how this unfolds.
    Yes, schools will have to be extremely vigilant when it comes to sanitizing everything their equipment. Most teams that have shared their new workout models have said that athletes will work out in smaller clusters and will train with the same group of athletes every day to limit their exposure. Mizzou is one of many teams that have installed fogging machines in the weight room to keep everything as clean as possible. Teams will have to enforce rules about water bottles, weight machines, towels, etc - especially teams like Missouri (and others) that aren't mandating COVID-19 tests to their athletes unless they show symptoms.
    Good morning, Dave.

    Has the athletic department laid out re-configurations of Memorial Stadium and Mizzou Arena to ensure their seating adheres to CDC, state of Missouri and city of Columbia rules/regulations for social distancing, sanitation and other COVID-19 guidelines? Any estimate as to the amount of $$$ a reduction in attendance to meet the guidelines will cost?

    Going to be a tremendously interesting few months with decisions being made in Columbia and elsewhere that could have impacts for many, many years.

    Missouri has not share any plans yet. For one, it wouldn't make a lot of sense to finalize plans in May that won't be in use until September for football and November for basketball. The county and state rules are changing by the week/month and will surely look different in September than they look now. Jim Sterk has said they're analyzing multiple options for what might have to be the new reality for 2020-21. But I wouldn't expect any final decisions to be revealed any time soon.
    As for the financial stakes, Mizzou teams made more than $16 million in ticket sales revenue for 2018 (the most recent season with available data). Football ticket revenue accounted for more than half that total, nearly $10 million. If Memorial Stadium must be at half capacity this year and they keep ticket prices stable, then you're looking at a steep drop-off in revenue ($4-5 million?) for a department with a budget that usually hovers around $110 million. 

    Quick follow up to my earlier questions ---- with new seating configurations at Memorial Stadium and Mizzou Arena ----- which fan base gets first crack at the tickets/seats?
    To be determined. 
    You have to reserve space for students, and I would think seniors would have priority because it's their last year on campus. From there it makes sense that your most generous donors will have priority. Depending on the allowed capacity, some season ticket holders might be squeezed out of the process. Or they could offer different game packages, where the top donors get first choice of the most attractive games and other buyers select from the other games. Either way, I wouldn't expect any finalized decision for at least a month.
    "I’ll kick that can as far and as long as I can until July 15,” Sterk said last week. 
    Dave - When was the last time there was a true competition at fall camp for the starting position at quarterback? Thank You.
    In 2011, James Franklin came out of the spring as the favorite but he hadn't completely earned the job yet. It was essentially his job to lose by the time camp started. His top competitor, Tyler Gabbert, left the team in May. 
    Before that, in 2002 Brad Smith had to beat Kirk Farmer for the job. And the competition wasn't decided until the final days of preseason camp. 
    Otherwise, Smith was the incumbent starter in 2003-05. Chase Daniel was in position to start in 2006 and the incumbent in 2007-08. Blaine Gabbert was groomed as the starter for 2009 and returned as the incumbent in 2010. We touched on Franklin in 2011. Franklin had to earn the job all over again heading into 2012 but he was the presumptive favorite - and then returned in 2013. Maty Mauk returned as the natural successor in 2014 and was the incumbent in 2015. Then Drew Lock was the incumbent in 2016 and the unquestioned starter in 2017-18. The staff declared Kelly Bryant the starter as soon as he committed last year. 
    Do you think MOST, playing a big 12-4+2 each year is being "groomed" to join the conference sometime in our lifetime. It has more students than K-State, KU, Okie State, Baylor, and TCU. Would give the big 12-4+2 a presence in the state of Missouri, thus giving them that much needed television sets that they are missing out on. Thanks again for your opinion.
    Missouri State joining the Big Ten? 
    Thanks for the question, but ... no way. Fans in Springfield don't even go to their games. Big 12 games are already on TV sets in the state of Missouri. Adding one of the worst programs in an FCS conference isn't going to enhance the value of the Big 12 TV contract. Missouri State might be able to compete in basketball and would definitely compete in baseball - but not football. It would dilute Big 12 football schedules. 
    Any missouri football comits lately?
  • The last one was Florida defensive back Davion Sistrunk on May 13. I'll be interested to see how the extended recruiting dead period impacts the commitment surge. No in-person recruiting will be allowed through July 31. August can typically be a slow month for commitments because college coaches and high school players are both consumed with preseason practices. College coaches will continue recruiting this summer with the virtual tours and electronic communication, but if you're a recruit who's waiting to see a campus before announcing a decision, it's going to be at least two months before you can meet with coaches face to face. One name to track in the coming weeks: Trinity Catholic HS safety Tyler Hibbler, who tweeted that he'll commit June 23. So, mark your calendars. 
    Dave, hi

    How would you evaluate the first post Sophie Cunningham at Mizzou WB?
    The first post-Sophie season? Not good, John. Mizzou won nine games, the fewest in team history. The senior class had some nice complimentary players who were willing to be Robin to Sophie's Bat Man. But the problem was they were still Robins after Bat Man left for the WNBA. The Tigers pretty much had to rely on two freshmen - two very talented freshmen - in Blackwell and Frank, but you can't win in the SEC if you're relying on two rookies to be your best players every night. The Tigers really struggled inside and defensively. Way too many turnovers.
    Pingeton hopes/believes this past season will be a blip on the program's upward trajectory. She's got several transfers who become eligible next season. It's going to be a completely different core, led by Blackwell and Frank, but the two new point guards, Shug Dickson and Mama Dembele should allow Blackwell to play her natural position, off the ball as a shooter and slasher with less ball-handling and facilitating. 

    Dave, hi

    Thanks for the chat.

    Gonzaga went to the route of international recruiters in MB, do you see Mizzou trying to go in the same route?
    Evidence doesn't suggest Mizzou is exploring the international scene too much just based on the 2021-22 targets who have offers. 
    Axel Okongo is from France but he played at prep school in Canada and played junior college in America. 
    Do you recall when Drinkwitz called you out on social media for being negative?
    Greetings Dave,
    At least if they play this fall there's the SEC Network if we can't attend. Not stuck with the Longhorn Network if we were still in the Big 12.
    I wouldn't exactly say he "called me out." But here was the exchange during the Mizzou-Florida basketball game. 
    I feel that you are very negative about missouri football and basketball..
    I would disagree, but to each his own. Care to share some examples of me being negative toward those programs? You mean to the specific teams on campus this year or the programs as a whole? I've written three books on Mizzou sports and none of them would be categorized as "negative" in any capacity.
    Do you feel (sports) journalists today share too much content on social media which drives readers away from subscribing to the paper/publicatoin? Do you think a subscription service/option for (sports) journalists via social media would work? If I'm being honest, I can find enough content on Twitter to satisfy my need for sports info/updates that I don't feel compelled to pay for a subscription to certain publications.
    Good question. I shake my head when reporters take a screen shot of a long quote from an interview and then post it on Twitter, essentially giving the entire content away for free without any link back to the website that pays them to produce content. I will occasionally post a quote like that after I've already published the story online or if it's something newsy during a press conference. But way too many people in our industry give away their content on social media without giving readers a direct path to the actual content that's being published. 
    As for just browsing social media to fulfill your sports appetite, you can browse headlines and maybe find a few quotes ... but when it comes to the real substance that journalists are producing, you can't get that from social media alone. Take the Best of Mizzou Top 30 countdown I did earlier this spring. Yeah, you could  figure out who was ranked where by just reading Twitter or Facebook. But some of those stories were 1,500 words long, loaded with details and quotes and memories. You can't get any of that from Twitter. Same thing with the excellent Cardinals series that Derrick Goold is publishing this week on the next generation of players at each position within the organization. There's a lot of great reporting and writing that exceeds Twitter's character limit - and the smart outlets aren't giving that content away for free. 
    I get a lot of news from Twitter, but I also subscribe to two print newspapers, two online newspapers and multiple magazines ... because tweets are just tweets. 

    Are you in touch with Drew Lock? And do you see him as a franchise player?
    I hear from his dad sometimes, but I'm not in regular contact with Drew.
    Massive year for him in Denver. They are building the roster with young, talented targets and giving him the controls. If he's the franchise QB, he'll have to produce some results with this cast of backs, receivers and tight ends. I like his chances. He's got all the physical tools and he's the kind of QB who will get the best out of his teammates because of his personality and high expectations. He grew up a lot at Mizzou. By his senior year I was impressed with how he carried himself. Stand-up guy. 

    Are there any other Porter kids , that might join either of the MB or the WB teams?
  • Jevon Porter is a 2022 prospect who just finished his sophomore year at Tolton High School. He'll be a high-major target by the time his recruiting really picks up.

    I see that you didn’t get any Barry Odom questions today , with someone suggesting that he should be imprisoned.
    Not today. Maybe that ran its course.
    Dave what was the context of niko reeds exit interview in reference to this years b-ball team
    Not sure. I don't like to comment on Mizzou stories that come from other media outlets. I'd suggest asking the writer who did the interview.
    Is michael porter sr. still employed by the athletic dept and if so at what cost.
    His contract expired at the end of April but he could return in another capacity. The athletics department is in a hiring freeze during the pandemic, so personnel moves are essentially in a holding pattern right  now.

    Thank for the chat.

    Do coaches ,or the AD, call you after articles to either complain or compliment you, and do they do it in a nice or nasty way?
    Rarely. Sometimes I'll hear from someone in the department saying they liked a story  ... or they clarify something that was reported in a story ... or follow up with some info about a certain topic. Coaches will sometimes respond. Coaches' spouses sometimes. I can't recall any harsh criticism. Sometimes you'll hear second-hand that someone in the department didn't like something that was written or reported, but the communication is friendly more often than not.


    If Drew Lock makes it in Denver, could Mizzou use it as a recruiting pitch?
    Sure, why not? But not one offensive coach currently at Mizzou coached Lock, so it would be disingenuous for the current staff to take credit for any success Lock has in the NFL. But certainly they could sell the fact that Lock came from Mizzou's program, thrived as an in-state recruit who could have played anywhere around the country but chose to stay home and still became an NFL success.
    Dave, how do you see the tight end position this season? Depth chart? More blocking, or will we see a lot of balls thrown their way? Could we see Scales finally break out? Some other intriguing players in Hea and Swanson (sp)
    A lot will depend on Parker's availability coming off multiple eye surgeries. If he's able to play and build on what he did as a sophomore, he's a guy who can block on the line of scrimmage and move the chains as a receiver. Scales has to stay healthy. He was making progress last year before the foot injury wiped him off the map. Too early to give up on Swinson, but he was never in the plans last year. Last year's staff really liked Hea, but he has to start over with new coaches. Drinkwitz will use those guys where their skills are best met. If they can't handle the blocking job then he won't ask them to take on that role. The good news is there should be enough bodies to handle multiple jobs if they're going to be a signature part of the offense. 
    Otherwise, I didn't get to see nearly enough in two spring practices to really know what to expect from the position. 
    OK, folks. That's all for today. Glad you stopped by today. We'll do this again next week.
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