MU Athletics Hire Highlights Unclear Nepotism Rules

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COLUMBIA - The hiring of a new assistant football coach related to head coach Gary Pinkel sparked questions of nepotism Thursday, but university human resources rules are unclear in giving directions to hiring managers.  MU Athletics said it will soon announce the hiring of Alex Grinch to be the football team's new safeties coach. Grinch is the son of Pinkel's sister Kathy.

According to the University of Missouri Rules and Regulations, Chapter 320.040, "no employee of the University shall be the Administrative Superior of an individual who is related by blood..." MU Athletics spokesman Chad Moller told KOMU 8 News Thursday that Grinch's administrative superior will be defensive coordinator Dave Steckel, not Gary Pinkel. Steckel reports directly to Pinkel. Even though the hire was not a violation, some still question whether athletics are given preferential treatment.

"I definitely think athletes get somewhat of an unfair advantage being at Mizzou," former MU student Corey Rimmel said. "But really the football program is what makes the university money and also the town money, so I think they deserve that."

MU's human resources department said Thursday the rule is controversial because it does not state whether the "Administrative Superior" is the direct superior or anyone higher in the same chain of command.