University of Missouri President Quits After Football Team Threatens to Strike –
REUTERS – The football team, known as the Tigers, suspended practice on Saturday and Sunday, and more than 30 black players had vowed not to return until Wolfe resigned or was fired.
That would have been a financial hit to the university, which, under its contract, would have had to pay $1 million to next weekend’s opponents, Brigham Young University, if the Tigers failed to play.
Missouri’s athletics department said on Twitter that football activities would resume on Tuesday in preparation for Saturday’s game.
In addition to the team’s action, student Jonathan Butler held a weeklong hunger strike, which he ended on Monday.
“It should not have taken this much, and it is disgusting and vile that we find ourselves in the place that we do,” Butler told reporters on campus after Wolfe announced his resignation.
Protests on campus had been led by a group called ConcernedStudent1950, which says black students have endured racial slurs and believes white students benefit from favoritism in many aspects of campus life.
The group, which takes its name from the year the university first admitted black students, on Monday demanded an immediate meeting with the university’s faculty council, Board of Curators and the governor of Missouri to discuss shared governance of the school.
“While today may seem bright to some, this is just a beginning in dismantling systems of oppression in higher education, specifically the UM system,” Marshall Allen, a member of the group, told more than 500 people gathered on campus.
“This was the right decision to help the university turn the page, and for its leaders to recommit to ending racism on campus,” U.S. Senator Claire McCaskill of Missouri, a Democrat and a graduate of the school, said in an emailed statement.
Missouri Governor Jay Nixon, also a Democrat, welcomed the move.
“Tim Wolfe’s resignation was a necessary step toward healing and reconciliation on the University of Missouri campus, and I appreciate his decision to do so,” Nixon said in a statement.
A majority of the approximately 35,000 students at the university in Columbia, about 125 miles (200 km) west of St. Louis, is white.
Total enrollment at the university is 35,488, according to the school’s website, including undergraduate, graduate and professional students. Last year, in the school’s most recent figures available, about 7 percent of students were black.
Racial tensions in Missouri flared last year when a white policeman in the St. Louis suburb of Ferguson killed an unarmed young black man and a grand jury brought no charges against the officer. The shooting kindled nationwide soul-searching and protests about the treatment of blacks by law enforcement. Read more on this story…
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