Missouri softball team protests athletic department

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COLUMBIA — The University of Missouri softball team announced its matchup against South Carolina on Saturday would be played under protest of the athletic department.

In a statement released by players before the game, the softball team criticized Missouri athletic director Mack Rhoades and the Missouri athletic department for putting the team under investigation, which players feel are unnecessary. 

"The softball players support and love our coaching staff and we wonder why this black cloud is being put over our program intentionally by Mizzou AD Mack Rhoades," the team said in the statement.

The statement accuses the athletic department of intimidating players during forced interviews, leaving player input out of the team's coaching decision and placing a gag order on the team's coaches.

"Mack Rhoades and Mizzou athletics administration drawing out this unnecessary investigation on our coaching staff is having an emotional effect on our team," the team also said in the statement. 

The team also said the athletics department did not properly handle the football team protest that took place in November 2015 and the department is doing an even worse job of handling the softball team's investigation. 

For a full look at the statement, check out the photo below. 

Mizzou Athletics responded to the statement and said it had no comment on the situation. A team spokesperson told KOMU players and coaches would not be available for any interviews after Saturday's game.

 

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