Last November, tensions at the campus at the University of Missouri were extremely high following a few high profile racial incidents on campus. As you may remember, those events led to Missouri players publicly announcing that they would boycott all practices and games until President Tim Wolfe either resigned or was removed.
A day later, Mizzou head coach Gary Pinkel shot off this ultra supportive tweet showing he stood behind his players.
That tweet served as a very powerful, genuine gesture by Pinkel.
As we all know, months later Pinkel later stepped down citing health issues and was replaced by defensive coordinator Barry Odom. Taking over following such a tense time for the school and athletic department led to some interesting wording in Odom's contract, according to USA Today.
Odom's final contract was executed earlier this week, and includes phrasing like:
"Keep public statements complimentary to the athletic program and to the University and not engage in any business transaction or commerce, appear on any radio or television program, or in any public forum, or make statements to the media or in any public forum that is likely to bring undue criticism or discredit to the University, its curators, officers, employees or students."
Most coaches have similar clauses in their contract, but Odom's seems to cast a much wider umbrella, and the events on campus last year probably had something to do with that. The article points out that Pinkel's contract on the same subject simply stated; "keep public statements complimentary to the athletic program and to the University."
In short, don't expect to see Odom take a controversial stand publicly like Pinkel did last November.
Chad Moller, Missouri's associate athletic director for strategic communications, shared with USA Today that,“The University and Coach Odom agreed on these terms because we thought they’d help ensure success for everyone involved and respected everyone’s interests. It’s my understanding that these types of provisions aren’t unique, but if ours are more detailed, it’s because we place a very high value on ensuring our student-athletes have the right environment and the kind of experience they deserve.”
Head here to read the full piece from USA Today, including a few more unusual provisions in Odom's deal.