After Latest Suspension, It's Time for Missouri to Cut Ties with QB Maty Mauk

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After Latest Suspension, It's Time for Missouri to Cut Ties with QB Maty Mauk
Dylan Buell/Getty Images
Missouri QB Maty Mauk

When Stephen Garcia was South Carolina's quarterback, he was suspended on five separate occasions by former head coach Steve Spurrier.

Missouri quarterback Maty Mauk is barreling closer to that number.

The Tigers' rising redshirt senior was suspended indefinitely by first-year head coach Barry Odom after a video surfaced online that reportedly shows Mauk snorting a white substance off of a table.

Odom and athletics director Mack Rhoades commented on the situation late Monday night, according to Dave Matter of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch:

Obviously, an indefinite suspension is the right call while information is gathered. Some of that information is coming in from teammates who are defending Mauk.

Matter posted a follow-up story with quotes from an unidentified former teammate who says that the video is two years old and Mauk has cleaned up his life.

Wide receiver Keyon Dilosa echoed those thoughts on Twitter:

If the video isn't dated, it should result in Mauk being dismissed from the program.

He was suspended indefinitely on Sept. 29, 2015 for violation of team rules, briefly reinstated on Oct. 25 and then suspended for the remainder of the regular season on Nov. 1, according to Tod Palmer of the Kansas City Star.

Three incidents in less than a four-month period? If the video is relatively new, that could be the case.

David Stephenson/Associated Press
Missouri QB Maty Mauk

It would also be Odom's chance to make a statement on what will be tolerated under his watch at Missouri. The Tigers haven't had many off-the-field incidents this offseason, and the first major disciplinary test for any new head coach is vital in setting the tone for the program.

If it's an old video, Mauk is still a distraction based on his previous run-ins with the program. That alone, coupled with his lack of progression on the field, should make it hard for him to win the job back in 2016.

Mauk is slated to compete with rising sophomore Drew Lock for the top spot on the Tigers depth chart in 2016. Lock completed 49 percent of his passes (129-of-263) for 1,332 yards, tossed four touchdowns, eight interceptions and finished last in the SEC among qualifying quarterbacks with a passer rating of 90.54.

Despite those struggles, Lock has more upside than Mauk.

Dylan Buell/Getty Images
Missouri QBs Maty Mauk (left) and Drew Lock (right)

Lock's struggles in 2015 can be easily chalked up to being a true freshman who was thrust into the spotlight on the fly for a team that fought through an injury to starting running back Russell Hansbrough and a wide receiving corps that was widely unproven heading into the season. He was a 4-star prospect coming out of high school and is more of a pure passer than Mauk—who is much more of a dual-threat.

That is what the Missouri offense needs under first-year coordinator Josh Heupel, who helped Kent Myers step in for an injured Chuckie Keeton last year at Utah State and throw 16 touchdowns to just three picks. Heupel also helped former Oklahoma quarterback Landry Jones top the 4,000-yard mark each season from 2010 to 2012 as the quarterbacks coach and later the offensive coordinator of the Sooners, and helped Trevor Knight light up Alabama with four touchdowns through the air in the 2014 Allstate Sugar Bowl.

On the field, Mauk is a known commodity who is a liability more than an asset.

The 22-year-old has proved over his first three seasons at Missouri that poor decision-making off the field sometimes bleeds onto it. He has completed just 52.7 percent of his passes over three seasons, is a threat to complete passes to the opposition every time he drops back and hasn't lived up to the 4-star hype that followed him to Columbia.

For a freshman like Lock, that's understandable. For a veteran like Mauk, that's a trend. A bad one.

Mauk's upside did shine through occasionally. He has proved to be clutch at times, tossing nine touchdowns and zero interceptions in the fourth quarter of games in 2014 while also throwing eight touchdowns to just three picks on third downs that same season. But those flashes have been few and far between for three full seasons. That should be enough to accurately project what he will be if given the chance to start as a redshirt senior.

Mauk was more trouble than he's worth down the stretch in 2015, which was a reflection of his performance for three seasons in Columbia. If this video is new, Odom should let him walk. 

He is who he is on the field, and Lock has earned the right to have a shot at the full-time job after a full offseason in the program.

Quotes were obtained firsthand unless otherwise noted. Statistics are courtesy of cfbstats.com, and recruiting information is courtesy of 247Sports.

Barrett Sallee is the lead SEC college football writer and national college football video analyst for Bleacher Report as well as a host on Bleacher Report Radio on SiriusXM 83. Follow Barrett on Twitter @BarrettSallee.

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