A student movement on the campus of the University of Missouri has led to the resignation of university president Tim Wolfe. A day after issuing a statement saying he will not step down from his position as university president, Wolfe says he is resigning as student criticism grew louder and louder regarding his lack of initiative to address recent racial issues on Missouri’s campus. The movement picked up steam in recent days with members of the football team, followed by the entire team and coaching staff, joining in unison to protest Wolfe’s leadership.
Missouri players took a stand by deciding to hold out of all football-related activities until Wolfe resigned or was forced out of office. Head coach Gary Pinkel shared a photo of the entire program standing side-by-side in a show of unity on Sunday. Football practice was canceled on Sunday and the game this week against BYU in Kansas City was put in real jeopardy. If the game had to be canceled by Missouri, the school would have owed BYU $1 million according to the contract for a two-game series. With Wolfe resigning from his role as president, football activity is expected to resume immediately and this week’s game against the Cougars will go on as scheduled without a hitch.
Wolfe’s resignation came at a special meeting of the university system’s Board of Curators. The meeting was previously unscheduled but thrown together as national attention to the situation at Missouri gained momentum. The football program stepping up as one in protest certainly helped put the movement on the map for those who may not have been paying close enough attention, but the faculty also staged a walk out Monday morning as well. It is an example of how influential the sports world can be on major real-life issues, and if the football program unified to help the university community take a step forward toward equality and justice, then kudos to all involved for the way this situation as handled.