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Missouri President Considers Resignation

December 11, 2003

COLUMBIA, Mo. (AP) _ Missouri’s president said he will not resign and he did nothing wrong following revelations about his dealings with troubled basketball player Ricky Clemons.

Elson Floyd already had been scheduled to discuss his job performance Thursday in Kansas City with the university’s governing board of curators. Floyd became president of the four-campus system in January.

After a public part of the meeting with the curators, Floyd said, ``I did nothing wrong that was inappropriate. The engagement with Ricky Clemons has been candidly a nightmare and it continues to be so.″

Clemons said in taped jailhouse phone calls over the summer that he and two current players received cash from coaches Tony Harvey and Lane Odom.

Clemons served two months for assaulting his ex-girlfriend and was kicked off the team. He also said his former attorney and Odom told him to deny ever receiving cash.

Floyd had befriended Clemons at the request of coach Quin Snyder. The president said he broke off contact with the player after Clemons wrecked an all-terrain vehicle during a July 4 party at Floyd’s home.

Floyd was criticized for focusing attention on a student who assaulted his ex-girlfriend. Floyd said he had a reputation for counseling students at risk.

Floyd’s wife, Carmento, continued to accept collect calls from Clemons when he was in jail, without her husband’s knowledge. She apologized for harming her husband but added she saw nothing wrong with trying to help a troubled young man.

Missouri, ranked No. 3, and the NCAA have spent months investigating accusations surrounding Clemons, who transferred to Missouri from a junior college last year. His ex-girlfriend, Jessica Bunge, said he received money, clothes and improper help with schoolwork.

Clemons was thrown off the team after he assaulted Bunge. He pleaded guilty to the charges and was released Aug. 24.

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