For years, the enthusiasm and excitement brought to the basketball radio broadcasts have been encompassed by the presence of former player Gary Link.
“Linker” as he was affectionately known by his close colleagues, was let go today by the University of Missouri’s Department of Athletics, in a move that absolutely no one saw coming.
Link fulfilled his most recent on-air duties for the Mizzou Network with his pregame, halftime and post-game coverage of the Mizzou football team’s trip to Georgia this past weekend. So with no hint of there being anything wrong, no information about health concerns, Mizzou fans were hit with this statement:
“Gary Link has been removed of his duties with Mizzou Athletics, however, it would be inappropriate to comment further on a personnel matter. The athletic department will work with Mizzou Sport Properties to identify a replacement for Gary on our radio broadcasts.”
In the coldest way imaginable publicly, Link was fired and made an example of. A man who dedicated his life to Mizzou didn’t receive the same sentiment from his employer, who was focusing on assuring fans of a replacement, rather than addressing the obvious concern of why he was let go.
I did speak on The Big Show on ESPN radio 1580 KTGR earlier today to air these sentiments that the rest of the media refused to touch. Unfortunately, the only thing that can be gathered is that fans and donors alike will have to wait for more information to come out.
The professional thing would be to let the public know why Link is being fired. If he was found hiring prostitutes, I could understand this a lot better. But with no reason supplied, the University has stooped to another mark of disrespect and allowed rumors and false information to take over. If there was nothing to hide, and Mr. Link was fired for a justifiable reason, then let the public know. The University owes it to its supporters.
If it’s found that Link was fired for some sort of absurd or political reason, there is going to be major backlash. Fans will not tolerate a Director of Athletics who attempts to rule like he’s King Nimrod. The University needs to supply a reason sooner than later if they don’t have anything to hide.