COLUMBIA, Mo. – Quarterback Kelly Bryant intends to play out his final year of eligibility at Missouri despite the NCAA’s decision to enforce a one-year postseason ban for the 2019 season, according to multiple reports.
The NCAA’s Committee on Infractions Panel announced Thursday that a Missouri tutor “violated NCAA ethical conduct, academic misconduct and academic extra benefits rules” by completing work for 12 student-athletes from 2015-16.
Missouri’s penalties for the infractions included three years’ probation; a vacation of records in which football, baseball and softball students competed while ineligible; recruiting restrictions on the football, baseball and softball programs during the 2019-20 academic year; and a fine of $5,000 plus 1 percent each from the football, baseball and softball budgets.
The penalties also included postseason bans for softball and baseball for the 2018 season and football for the 2019 season.
Bryant, a former Clemson quarterback that led those Tigers to the College Football Playoff in 2017, signed with Missouri as a graduate transfer on Dec. 6.
Sources close to Bryant told The State newspaper in Columbia, South Carolina, and Rivals.com that Bryant does intend to find a new place to play in 2019.
Bryant is already in Columbia, Missouri, and has been participating in offseason workouts with the football team. He was present as a fan at the Mizzou Open indoor track meet at the Hearnes Center on Jan. 25.
Athletic director Jim Sterk said in a written statement Thursday afternoon that “The Committee on Infractions has abused its discretion in applying penalties in this case, and the University will immediately appeal this decision that has placed unfair penalties on our department and programs.”
Football coach Barry Odom stood behind those comments with his own statement later Thursday afternoon.
“I wholeheartedly echo the comments stated so well earlier by both Chancellor (Alexander) Cartwright and Athletic Director Jim Sterk,” Odom said. “The committee’s decision is completely unjust and unfair – to our team, to our staff, and to our alumni. I’m very grateful for the clear, decisive and unified leadership we have here at Mizzou, and I’m looking forward to doing whatever I can to assist with the appeals process. Together, we will fight for this great institution and I will damn sure fight FOR MY TEAM!”
Rock Bridge defensive back Martez Manuel, who signed with Missouri in December and is on track to enroll at MU this fall, said he learned of the sanctions this morning.
Manuel said they have “no bearing at all” on his status with the program, and he’s happy Missouri is appealing the sanctions.
In a tweet earlier today, Manuel expressed frustration that the actions of others while he was in high school could affect his collegiate career.
“Why we get the punishment we may never know,” Manuel wrote.
CJ Boone, a wide receiver from St. Louis in the Class of 2019, also indicated that the NCAA sanctions wouldn’t be affecting his status going forward.
“I’m staying,” Boone said in a text message Thursday. Boone signed with Missouri in December and is currently enrolled at MU for the spring semester.