The NCAA sanctions on Missouri's baseball and softball programs were upheld Tuesday, meaning neither program is eligible for the postseason this coming year.
Both programs played in their respective Southeastern Conference tournaments this past spring while the decision was under review, pushing any ban to 2020.
“Our program as a whole is clearly disappointed with today’s news from the NCAA," MU head baseball coach Steve Bieser said. "My heart is specifically broken for this group of student-athletes currently on the team. These student-athletes have done everything right since becoming a Tiger, but yet are cruelly penalized for the actions of one individual from years past.
"While we obviously strongly disagree with the NCAA’s final decision, we will without a doubt rally with each other and make the most of the upcoming 2020 campaign.”
MU softball made the NCAA Tournament this past spring and was the only team to defeat eventual national champion UCLA in the postseason.
“I am absolutely heartbroken and disappointed by the committee's decision to punish a group of 27 current student-athletes who didn't play any role in this and have done everything right from the very beginning," Tigers head softball coach Larissa Anderson said. "The NCAA claims to value the student-athlete experience, but this decision continues to cause unnecessary harm to a group of innocent student-athletes. This unjust decision will not deter our program. We have pride in Mizzou, and we will continue to win it right as one family.”
Senior softball pitcher Eli Daniel posted on social media she was "so disappointed in the decision that was made."
"I won’t get to have the postseason every senior dreams of having," she wrote. "Postseason or not, I’m going out stronger than ever with the greatest support system I could ask for, my team."
It didn't take long for national backlash to come after the NCAA's decision was made public.
"Throughout this process, the University of Missouri has conducted itself with great integrity and has been praised by the NCAA Division I Committee on Infractions for its exemplary cooperation in this matter," SEC Commissioner Greg Sankey said. "While there is no excuse for the actions of a single academic tutor and the small number of student-athletes involved, the penalties applied are unusually severe when fully considered."
Sankey said at SEC Media Days in mid-July — the same week the NCAA heard Missouri's formal appeal — that the infractions committee had a clear chance to make things right.
In Sankey's mind, and plenty of others, the NCAA didn't.
"It is regrettable that so many innocent current Missouri student-athletes across three sports will miss postseason opportunities due to actions for which they were not responsible," Sankey said. "Our disappointment related to the application of a postseason ban and the Infractions Appeals Committee's upholding of the decision after more than four months of deliberations is magnified by recent decisions in other cases with similar fact patterns."