The Kansas City Star reported Wednesday that new Missouri coach Frank Haith hopes to play an exhibition game next fall at Missouri Southern, the Division II school located in Joplin. Proceeds from the game would go to Joplin residents displaced by the tornado that ravaged the town on Sunday, assuming the NCAA grants the Tigers permission to play the game.
Missouri would need to negotiate a waiver from the NCAA to play the game because Division I programs are only permitted two exhibitions per season. The Tigers already have two exhibition games scheduled for next season.
In addition to the potential exhibition game, the Tigers have also raised money for the United Way's campaign to support Joplin by selling T-shirts with the slogan "One State. One Spirit. One Mizzou" written above Sunday's date. Missouri basketball spokesman Dave Reiter tweeted Wednesday morning that the school has already sold 3,500 of the T-shirts in less than one day.
New Missouri coach Frank Haith has hardly been on campus in Columbia long enough to unpack his office, but he too has become involved in the relief efforts.
Haith and fellow Missouri staffers intend to visit Joplin on Thursday to donate items collected by the university this week. Missouri has requested that fans donate anything from food to stuffed animals to diapers, formula and baby wipes.
"The images of the destruction in Joplin are absolutely devastating," Haith said in a statement released by the school. "But at the same time, the sight of neighbor helping neighbor serves as inspiration for us all. We can't change what happened on Sunday night, but if we can make life a little easier, you better believe we are going to try and do it."
- Missouri Southern