Reaction to the ongoing situation at the University of Missouri has been swift and varied. Tim Brando doesn’t mind the swift, but the varied?
For him, this situation is pretty black and white – no pun intended.
“I cannot emphasize this enough,” the Fox Sports national sports commentator said on CBS Sports Radio’s Ferrall on the Bench. “My partner, Spencer Tillman, who was with me at CBS for 16 years, talked about this over and over and over again. He was so right – and the situation at Missouri illustrates it this week. If administrators within the NCAA – the presidents and the chancellors – if they continue being tone-deaf to the world of millennials and the cultural divide of not just the generation of millennials to my generation, which is Baby Boomer, (but also to) Gen-X, Gen-Y and so on, if they continue to be tone-deaf to that, and to the issues of societal circumstances that they haven’t even thought about, whether it be race- or faith-based circumstances, then there’s going to be a lot more of these situations than just the one at Missouri this past week.
“A lot of the people in sports media are trying to dust this under the rug because of the delicate nature of discussing race,” Brando continued, “and that is such a crock. Such a joke, such a crock. Because what happened where at Missouri this past week should be a celebration in the modern generation of what sports can do for society’s good. You got a situation where there’s unrest on campus because of social neglect form the administration to the student body, and the guys that are playing sports and bringing millions into the school are saying ‘You know what? We hear what our friends are saying, we’re a part of the student body and we’re going to use our power – because we’re bringing in a lot of revenue – to say enough already.’ And what what happens? A bad chancellor and a bad president are forced out. And an athletic director and a head coach, Gary Pinkel, have the courage to say, ‘Yeah, my guys are right, we’re doing the right thing. I stand behind by players.’ My god, Scott. That is modern-day ‘Remember the Titans.’
“So why are we in sports hurrying to get that off the front page of ESPN.com and CBS.com and whatever-.com? We should be celebrating the fact that sports is what brings everybody together from all social backgrounds, al ethnicities, all faith bases. I lived it in the old Jim Crow South when integration was just beginning. There are movies out there even now – ‘Woodlawn’ about Tony Nathan – (about this very topic). Why do we dust this stuff funder the rug? It’s such a shame.”
Even sadder is the fact that Pinkel, 63, announced that he will resign at the end of the season. He was diagnosed with lymphoma in May.
“To have that all going on and keep private that he and been diagnosed with lymphoma, think about what he went through this past week,” Brando said. “My God. There is no manual in the coaching profession that says ‘How are you going to handle this, coach?’ And then on top of that, you have the personal circumstances he was going through. We’re going to miss him. He’s a wonderful man and a wonderful coach.”