Missouri fans at game react to protests and Pinkel resignation

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KANSAS CITY – Fans came from all over Missouri to watch the MU football game against BYU Saturday.

The game has been highly anticipated since the team threatened to boycott. Defensive back Anthony Sherrils tweeted last Saturday announcing the team would not play until UM System President Tim Wolfe resigned, which he did two days later.

Saturday’s game against BYU will also be one of the last games Head Coach Gary Pinkel coaches. He announced Friday he will retire at the end of the season.

“Sad to hear about Gary Pinkel,” Missouri fan Larry Knipp said. “He’s a good guy. He’s done a lot of good things for Missouri.”

Some fans said the hope the team will win its next games for Pinkel. 

“Hopefully that’ll ignite them a little bit for the next three games to try to get two wins for the bowl,” Tim Burke said.

Burke said troubling times tend to bring people together.

“It tends to rally people a little bit when things are more important than football,” Burke said. “And this is definitely more important than football.”

KOMU 8 News did talk to one woman who did not think Pinkel’s non-Hodgkin lymphoma was his main reason for retiring.

“His health issues may have played a factor into that, and I don’t know if he was going to resign anyway due to that,” Jasmine Beltz said. “But, because of the timing and whatnot, I think this was very politically motivated.” 

The BYU game was originally intended to be a Whiteout, but the Tiger Team Store and the Mizzou Store pulled Whiteout shirts from the shelves during the week.

Knipp said he didn’t know about the Whiteout until he got to Arrowhead Stadium.

“I don’t quite understand what precipitated the whole thing, and I’m not sure what’s been resolved,” he said.

But Knipp did notice what the players were wearing.

“I saw the uniforms on TV, and they looked snazzy,” Knipp said.

He told KOMU 8 News he was looking forward to the game, but he had mixed reactions surrounding the recent events at MU.

“I think a lot of things are up in the air,” Knipp said.

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