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#pounditTuesday, October 3, 2023

Everyone owes Eli Drinkwitz a huge apology

Oct 9, 2021; Columbia, Missouri, USA; Missouri Tigers head coach Eli Drinkwitz on the sidelines against the North Texas Mean Green during the first half at Faurot Field at Memorial Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Denny Medley-USA TODAY Sports

People owe Eli Drinkwitz a huge apology.

The Missouri Tigers football coach got ripped via Twitter all day Tuesday, and it’s because of a tiny snippet of a quote that he made that was completely misrepresented.

During the SEC Spring Meetings, Drinkwitz was asked about his approach to handling the issue of players getting involved in sports betting. We recently saw Alabama’s baseball coach fired over the matter, while several Iowa and Iowa State athletes are being investigated for potential violations.

Before answering the question, Drinkwitz said right away that the query would get him in trouble. His answer noted how much money is now involved in the sport and how that inevitably will lead to problems.

“Sigh, y’all really are trying to get me in trouble here. Uhm… Deion Sanders had a really good quote the other day talking about young men are joining a business, but we want to treat them like kids. We’re giving guys 18, 19… 22-year-olds life-changing money. People are making more money in NIL than my brother-in-law, who is a pediatrician, who saves lives, and we kinda do it cavalier and we think that there’s not going to be any side effect, there’s not going to be any issues,” Drinkwitz said.

“There’s information out there, there’s bad actors always trying to make a dollar… I think it’s going to become one of the key issues that we face in our locker rooms… I think it’s more prevalent because there’s more money involved. Everyone is trying to make a dollar… These young men are getting a lot of money that is a lot right now, other than trying to hand out advice and provide some parameters to it… you know, with this NIL situation we’ve created our own problems in college sports.”

That’s a long, thoughtful answer that makes a lot of sense.

But guess how that response was presented on Twitter Tuesday? That long answer was cut down into a two-sentence tweet that made the coach look like he was a grumpy, bitter person who doesn’t think players should be compensated the way they are.

Drinkwitz was pummeled on Twitter because of that tweet. The way Ross Dellenger presented Drinkwitz’s answer made it seem like the coach was making a complaint. Rather, he was using that point to illustrate just how crazy things have become in college football, and how that could lead to issues.

Yep, everyone owes Drinkwitz a big apology.

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