Missouri head football coach Eliah Drinkwitz and head men’s basketball coach Cuonzo Martin both spoke out this past week about the coronavirus pandemic.
Martin made his first public comments in over two weeks Friday afternoon with a message on social media. Martin and his Tigers were in Nashville ready to compete in the Southeastern Conference Tournament before the cancellation of the event and the eventual shutdown of the sports world.
“Very seldom do we get good times without some tough times,” Martin wrote. “Balance is the epitome of maturity. Learning to maneuver through both the good and hard times is something we must all do. As a youth, I could always lean on my mom. She gave me comfort during trying times.
“Together let's work diligently to limit worry, stress and fear. Because there are a lot of people, both young and old, looking up to us.”
Drinkwitz posted a 93-second video to social media earlier in the week during which he discussed COVID-19.
Missouri football completed three spring practices before the SEC suspended all practices for the rest of the school year. The Tigers’ spring game set for April 11 was also called off.
“Our leaders have asked us to practice, one, safe social distancing and two, to stay at home whenever possible,” Drinkwitz said. “See, this is personal for me because I've got a lot of family members, brothers and sisters, who are on the frontlines at this healthcare battle, and I know you do too.
“We need to help them by reducing the transmission of this virus. The best way for us to do that is to stay home when possible. If we can do that, then I really believe that our life will get back to normal sooner rather than later.”
As of Saturday morning, the United States had the most coronavirus cases of any country in the world with over 105,000.
That reality has raised questions about whether it will be safe to have sports resume by this fall.
“Adversity always presents us a great opportunity. And that opportunity for us right now is to not sacrifice what we want now for what we want most,” Drinkwitz said. “And what I want most is for my family to be healthy, for us to be able to play football in the fall, and we can do all of those things if we'll practice what our leaders have asked us to do, which, again, is to practice safe social distancing and two, to stay at home when possible.
“And if we can all do those things, then this fall at Faurot Field, I'll be hearing you finish the chant, M-I-Z.”
Missouri’s first game of the 2020 season is currently scheduled for Sept. 5 at home against Central Arkansas.