COLUMBIA — It was a good time to find out, seeing as how Missouri athletics director Jim Sterk was in town for the football game Saturday.
The lengthy feud between Sterk and South Carolina women’s basketball coach Dawn Staley was settled in May, when Sterk formally apologized for his remarks accusing Staley of promoting a hostile atmosphere and Missouri cut a $50,000 check to her Innersole program. Yet the SEC had demanded a review of Colonial Life Arena’s security in February, after it fined Sterk $25,000 for his comments.
That review has been completed, USC athletics director Ray Tanner said.
“There were some measures suggested not only at Colonial Life Arena but throughout the conference, that brought it to the attention of Commissioner (Greg) Sankey and he made some recommendations for us to follow, and we will,” Tanner said Friday during USC's basketball tipoff event at CLA. “Simple things about monitoring entrances, access, the staffing, the things that you would expect.”
An ex-Missouri player claimed the Tigers were spit on and called racial epithets after the Jan. 28 game, although the team calmly walked into the CLA tunnel adjacent to its bench after the final buzzer. USC’s review of the video showed no evidence of any of Missouri’s allegations.
But following the SEC’s directive and a conference-led review of the building, USC was given some basic guidelines. Tanner said the recommendations would be accepted and the entire situation, as far as he’s concerned, is over.
“We shared our report, they shared their report, and they weren’t consistent across the board. But let me make it very clear — Jim Sterk and I are competitors, but we’re also colleagues. We sat down face-to-face more than once to discuss this and make sure we create a healthy environment for competitive basketball,” Tanner said. “I thought it was handled extremely well on our part. Missouri had some things they wanted to share, and they did. We’re all in a better place because of it.”
The Tigers will return to CLA on Jan. 21.