Missouri officials say Snyder will return next season

Friday, February 4th 2005, 6:36 pm
By: News On 6

COLUMBIA, Mo. (AP) _ Quin Snyder will return next season as Missouri basketball coach, despite a string of recent losses and NCAA-imposed probation, school officials said Friday.

Athletic Director Mike Alden told several Missouri newspapers he and top university officials, including the governing Board of Curators, met privately Friday and unanimously agreed that Snyder would return next season. Snyder, hired in April 1999 to succeed Norm Stewart, has a contract through 2008 that pays him more than $1 million a year.

Missouri athletic department spokesman Chad Moller confirmed that Snyder would return as basketball coach.

``Everyone is in support of Coach Snyder and there are no changes to be made,'' Moller said Friday evening.

Snyder was with his team in Texas for Saturday night's game at Texas A&M and wasn't immediately available for comment.

Heading into the Texas A&M game, Missouri has lost six of its last seven games. The team was 10-11 overall and 2-6 in the Big 12 before the game at College Station, and Snyder's overall record at Missouri entering the game was 110-74.

Alden confirmed to the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, the Columbia Daily Tribune and The Kansas City Star that he wanted to spread word that Snyder would return, because there has been rampant speculation that a coaching change was coming.

``Quin Snyder will definitely be our coach next season,'' Alden told the Post-Dispatch in a story posted on its Web site. ``You can take that to the bank. It's 100 percent. So let's clear that up, right now.''

If Snyder is fired, his contract says the university must pay him his base salary of $195,000 for each year left on his deal. Snyder adds hundreds of thousands of dollars to his income from endorsements, basketball camps and radio and television packages.

The university system's spokesman had no immediate comment. But Brady Deaton, the Columbia campus chancellor, said he attended Friday's meeting, along with the Board of Curators and the university president, Elson Floyd.

``I have discussed this situation thoroughly with Athletic Director Mike Alden and Coach Quin Snyder personally and am supportive of their vision and plans for our basketball program as we proceed into the future,'' Deaton told the Tribune.

The NCAA placed Missouri on three years' probation in November because of an array of recruiting violations, including some by Snyder. The punishment included a freeze in Snyder's pay and a one-year ban for Snyder and his assistants on off-campus recruiting.

In an interview with The Star on Wednesday, Snyder defended his efforts as coach.

``We're playing four freshmen and nine guys,'' Snyder told The Star. ``There are a lot of things coming at us that we've got to figure out a way to overcome.''