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Missouri Softball Releases Statement In Protest Of Athletic Director Mack Rhodes For "Unsubstantiated Investigation Of Program"

Missouri softball is one of the school's hottest athletic programs, with nine straight wins under its belt and a No. 14 national ranking. The team has been incredibly consistent under head coach Ehren Earleywine, who has guided it to three College World Series in his decade in Columbia. Mizzou's school and athletic department have had a trying year, with the resignation of president Tim Wolfe following the football team's threat to boycott a game making national headlines in the fall.

Now, the softball team is playing in protest, with the target on athletic director Mack Rhodes. Ahead of this afternoon's game against South Carolina, the team posted a note laying out its reasons for protest.

">May 7, 2016

">May 7, 2016

">May 7, 2016

It is not immediately clear what the alleged investigation pertains to. Earleywine was suspended for a game at the start of the season for a Level III NCAA violation after sending an official offer to a recruit before the permissible date. It hardly seems as something scandalous enough to warrant a full investigation, but clearly there is way more to be uncovered here.

The bigger story is the continued emboldening of college athletes. Missouri football, a team that had a down season, proved what an impact a Division I program in forcing change at a major university. The softball program may not cause the same type of change, and the aim doesn't seem to be as high, but it is very interesting to see athletes using their influence in this manner.