Betsy Ross: Missouri is first: Who's next? - Cincinnati News, FOX19-WXIX TV

Betsy Ross: Missouri is first: Who's next?

(FOX19 NOW/File) (FOX19 NOW/File)
FOX19 -

The University of Missouri's president is gone, forced out by a campus protest over repeated racially charged incidents over the last few weeks on campus.

The complaints had simmered over the fall but didn't come to a head until this past weekend, when at least 30 African-American football players said they wouldn't take part in football activities until the president was gone.

Football coach Gary Pinkel praised his team for its solidarity which, for a day, put Mizzou's game Saturday with BYU -- and its $1 million payday--in jeopardy.

The student protests, including a hunger strike by a graduate student, hadn't gotten that much national attention until the Tiger football team got involved. The players' stance moved the needle--and moved President Tim Wolfe out.

That leads us to the next logical question: Will college teams at big-time schools start flexing their political muscle, knowing that their decisions to not a play a game can mean the loss of big bucks to a university?

Two years ago Grambling's football players refused to play a game to protest what they were said were horrible conditions at the athletic complex. While the money lost may not be the same as Missouri's, the message reached state legislators and alumni embarrassed by the attention drawn to the school. 

What if players joined a student protest at Alabama say, over high tuition? If the Tide decided not to play in the College Football Playoffs what would that mean to the playoffs, to TV revenues and to the university's coffers?

Missouri's football team may have been the first to help oust a university president. There's a good chance the Tigers won't be the last. 

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