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Tapes portray Hearnes as dysfunctional home (things are getting ugly in Columbia)
Columbia Daily Tribune ^ | 12/10/03 | Joe Walljasper

Posted on 12/10/2003 9:04:54 PM PST by gremu

On the evening of Aug. 1, Ricky Clemons placed a phone call from Boone County Jail to the home of University of Missouri Assistant Athletic Director Ed Stewart. Stewart’s wife, Amy, answered the phone. She said some guests, including the MU president’s wife, were coming over for dinner.

Former Missouri basketball player Ricky Clemons expressed bitterness toward MU Coach Quin Snyder in recorded jail phone conversations.

What was the special occasion?

The depositions in Clemons’ assault case against Jessica Bunge had hit the media, and Missouri basketball Coach Quin Snyder and assistant Lane Odom were publicly accused of giving Clemons improper gifts and cash.

"We’re celebrating," Amy Stewart told Clemons. "Celebrating your little ass because it’s all out."

In another phone conversation, she was even more forceful.

"You’re going to take them down. You know that, right?" Amy Stewart told Clemons. "You’re taking them down."

Clemons laughed.

"I’m taking great pleasure," Amy Stewart said. "You’re taking them down."

Clemons’ taped phone conversations from jail, obtained by the Tribune through an open-records request, portray an athletic department and university bitterly divided over the former MU point guard.

President Elson Floyd is said to be furious with Athletic Director Mike Alden for revoking Clemons’ scholarship. According to Floyd’s wife, Carmento, the only person in the athletic department who Floyd likes is Ed Stewart. The coaches, particularly Odom, are ridiculed for desperately trying to get Clemons out of town before he reveals the basketball program’s NCAA violations. Meanwhile, Clemons refuses Odom’s jailhouse visit and spends much of his free time on the phone with a pair of unlikely confidants, Amy Stewart and Carmento Floyd.

According to Clemons’ jail conversations, the Missouri athletic department is one big dysfunctional family.

Carmento Floyd said her husband’s displeasure with Alden stemmed from Alden’s decision to yank Clemons’ scholarship after Clemons wrecked an all-terrain vehicle while at a gathering at the Floyds’ home on July 4.

Clemons’ aunt Johnnie Rawlinson, a federal judge in Nevada, also was angered that Clemons lost his scholarship. She spoke to Clemons about suing the school because Clemons wasn’t given due process before he was stripped of the scholarship.

"When your Aunt Johnnie or you or anybody else decides to go after Mike, Mike stands by himself," Carmento Floyd told Clemons. "That’s the same bullshit Mike tried and tried to talk to Elson, and he refused to talk to him, and he told the board" of curators, " ‘I’m refusing to talk to Mike,’ because he was perfectly clear to Mike in his living room, ‘You do not touch that kid. He deserves due process.’ "

Yesterday, Elson Floyd said he did have a conversation with Alden and advised Alden that he shouldn’t revoke Clemons’ scholarship until speaking with MU’s general counsel. But he denied having spoken about the matter to the board of curators and said he never spoke to Rawlinson about a lawsuit against the university. Elson Floyd said he had no hard feelings toward Alden.

"We have a very good relationship," Floyd said.

In the recordings, Amy Stewart related a story, which she attributed to her husband, about the atmosphere at the Hearnes Center at the time.

"Ed come home, every time he come home, he be like, ‘Them crackers shaking. They going crazy. They don’t know what to do. They shaking. They can’t talk to Ricky. They’re like some crackheads running around there,’ " Amy Stewart said.

"Well, good enough for them," Carmento Floyd replied.

Amy and Ed Stewart didn’t return Tribune calls for comment.

The source of the friction between Clemons and the coaching staff was his opinion that he was taking the heat to save the coaches’ jobs. Clemons said that the loyalty of his original lawyer, Wally Bley, was more with the athletic department than his client. Clemons said he believed that Bley urged him to plead guilty to assaulting Bunge so testimony about NCAA violations contained in the depositions wouldn’t come out in a trial.

Clemons also said he was angry because the reason he lost his scholarship - breaking the terms of his probation by leaving his halfway house to go to the Floyds’ home - was Odom’s idea. Clemons said he rode to the party with an athletic department employee named Sue, whom he called "the study lady."

"I wouldn’t have even have left the place if Lane wouldn’t have told me to," Clemons said. "Lane is like Quin. He my coach. Of course I’m going to listen to him."

Amy Stewart made her feelings about Odom clear when she referred to him as "a damn snake." Carmento Floyd also warned Clemons that he shouldn’t speak to Odom if he visited jail. Odom is ridiculed for trying to contact everyone who visited Clemons in jail so he could get a read on Clemons’ mood. Clemons said he got a visit from Diana Kiernan, the mother of former MU player Ryan Kiernan, and that Odom called her that night and tried to pump her for information.

Clemons’ attitude toward Snyder varied throughout his jail stay. In early discussions with Rod Green - a friend in North Carolina whom Clemons often refers to as his brother - Clemons said he didn’t want to reveal the basketball program’s dirty laundry to the media because Snyder had been good to him.

Green was one of the few persons with whom Clemons spoke who told him to keep in contact with the coaches. At one point, Green came from North Carolina to visit Clemons in jail and is said to stay at Odom’s house.

To illustrate Snyder’s loyalty to him, Clemons related a story to Rawlinson that Snyder had threatened to quit when Alden raised the possibility of revoking Clemons’ scholarship after his first arrest.

But in later calls, particularly when he was talking to Amy Stewart and Carmento Floyd, Clemons had soured on Snyder. He complained that Snyder wrote him a letter that said, "I want you to see my son grow up, I want to adopt you," but then portrayed him as a "problem child" to the media.

"Quin, like, he got faith in me, he believe in me, he been there with me," Clemons said. "But it’s only because he think I’m gonna say something, you know what I mean, about the money and all that stuff," Clemons said, referring to the cash he says he got from coaches.

Snyder met with a Tribune reporter yesterday but repeatedly declined to comment when told the contents of the Clemons tapes. He issued a release that said: "As tough as it is for me personally not to respond, and for my coaches not to respond, I cannot discuss these allegations."

Alden and assistant basketball coaches Odom, Tony Harvey and Marcus Perez declined comment or did not return calls seeking comment.

Clemons said the coach he liked best was Perez, whom he called "the coolest of them all." He wasn’t as charitable toward Harvey.

During a three-way conversation with Carmento Floyd and Amy Stewart, Clemons said of Harvey: "I hate his little punk ass. I know what he’s about. He trying to get to y’all because Mr. Floyd is the president. He figures, well, if something happens to him, the president’s got his back."

"I’m going to tell you right now, it ain’t but one other person in the whole athletic department who can count on Elson’s back," Carmento Floyd replied. "One person. And it ain’t on the basketball staff, either. So, one person. Anybody interested in who that might be?"

"Well, it better be my husband," Amy Stewart said.

"Well, thank you," Carmento Floyd added.

"Because, shoot, without my husband," Amy Stewart said, "I couldn’t be an informant."

TOPICS: News/Current Events
KEYWORDS: basketball; missouri; sports; tigers

1 posted on 12/10/2003 9:04:55 PM PST by gremu
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To: gremu
Ed come home, every time he come home, he be like, ‘Them crackers shaking. They going crazy. They don’t know what to do. They shaking. They can’t talk to Ricky. They’re like some crackheads running around there,’ " Amy Stewart said.

Don't hold your breath waiting for the university to denounce these comments as racist-they were made against white people weren't they?

2 posted on 12/10/2003 9:13:00 PM PST by WackyKat
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To: gremu
Ed come home, every time he come home, he be like, ‘Them crackers shaking. They going crazy. They don’t know what to do. They shaking. They can’t talk to Ricky. They’re like some crackheads running around there,’ " Amy Stewart said.

This Amy Stewart is the Athletic Directors wife? She sounds like a real winner.

3 posted on 12/10/2003 9:18:33 PM PST by Reagan is King
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To: gremu
I heard all small portion of these taped calls on local radio - I'm surprised this story hasn't gotten more media.
4 posted on 12/13/2003 7:01:13 AM PST by KSCITYBOY
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