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Mizzou Athletic Director Releases Letter to Tiger Nation

COLUMBIA, Mo. -- Mike Alden wrote that over the past few months, Mizzou has had incidents involving athletes that are not consistent with the university's values, and that the frequency of these incidents is unacceptable.
COLUMBIA, Mo. -- Below is a letter released Friday by University of Missouri Athletic Director Mike Alden.

We are proud of our athletic program and the successes we have experienced academically, socially and competitively at the University of Missouri. These are our core values and are consistent with the core values of Respect, Responsibility, Discovery and Excellence at Mizzou. These principles guide us each and every day as students, coaches, staff and faculty.

Over the past few months, we have had incidents which have occurred that are not consistent with these values. While we understand that mistakes are made by individuals, the frequency of what we have seen transpire with legal issues and our students is unacceptable. We hold ourselves to a very high standard at Mizzou, and our actions reflect on the University, the department, the program, our families and ourselves. When we choose to act in an inappropriate manner, it negatively impacts all that we are doing.

A significant majority of our students, coaches and staff are doing amazing things each and every day... inside of the classroom, in the community and with athletic competition. With all of the great things that these Tigers are demonstrating, it's disappointing to see the actions of a few negatively impact our program and University. While it is unusual that we have seen these types of actions in this frequency, we are addressing them immediately and directly.

On Monday (April 7), I met with our entire coaching staff (head coaches and assistants) to revisit our core values, our expectations and the accountability all of us have to insuring appropriate behavior. I then met personally with each of our student-athletes in individual team meetings along with their respective coaches to also remind them of the high level of expectations we have of each of them as students and as athletes. I wanted to directly remind all of us that these are serious issues, that we would be addressing them "head on" and that we expect all of us to at a minimum meet, and always try to exceed, our standards. We constantly remind ourselves that "the logo never comes off" and that we should always reflect appropriate behavior.

It is an honor and privilege to be at the University of Missouri. We have great pride in wearing the black and gold and representing our students, faculty, staff, alums, friends, fans and our state. We take seriously our responsibilities to be good citizens, role models and mentors and we are focused on presenting ourselves, our programs and our University in a positive manner. Thank you for your support!
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