Republished from the Jefferson City News Tribune
COLUMBIA, Mo. — Barry Odom and his staff met with the media Wednesday to discuss Missouri’s first recruiting class under Odom. But it was also Odom’s first media availability since he finished assembling that staff.
As has been characteristic for Missouri athletics of late, there was no shortage of things to catch up on.
Odom talked publicly for the first time about the dismissal of quarterback Maty Mauk, saying he did not regret reinstating the rising senior upon taking over in December.
“I absolutely do not regret it one bit,” he said. “I’m a believer in providing kids an opportunity to do right. We have a very high standard on how we’re going to act, what we’re going to do, and Maty and I met in late December, mid-December, and we laid out exactly what he was going to do to remain a part of this team.
“And unfortunately, he wasn’t able to do that. I wish him all the best. I want him to graduate from the University of Missouri, and we’ve been able to make sure that he’s going to have that opportunity and I wish him nothing but the best.”
Odom said Terry Beckner Jr. has returned to the team from his suspension. The defensive tackle, who was named Freshman All-America in 2015, was arrested for possession of less than 35 grams of marijuana less than a week before Mauk’s suspension.
Beckner is still recovering from season-ending knee injuries, and Odom does not expect to have him back for at least the first half of spring camp.
“He’s doing what’s asked of him at rehab. He’s pushing himself,” defensive coordinator DeMontie Cross said. “Obviously, we don’t expect to see him this spring, but we expect him to be pushing himself to get ready, and he’s doing everything that the training staff has asked him to do and that’s really all we could ask.”
Odom said defensive back Tavon Ross is still recovering from an ACL tear in November and, like Beckner, he doesn’t expect Ross to be able to participate in the beginning of spring camp.
“I don’t want either one of them to rush,” Odom said. “I want them to be right, be ready to get started back.”
Cross revealed Wednesday star defensive end Charles Harris recently underwent labrum surgery. Odom said it was just a minor scope and that Harris hadn’t missed a workout.
Defensive tackle Harold Brantley is still recovering from career-threatening injuries sustained in a car accident last June. Odom said he has not yet been cleared for workouts and he has to “take care of some work” academically.
“He continues to work with (head athletic trainer) Rex Sharp on getting back physically,” Odom said, “and he’s got a great future if he can come through this.”