ST. LOUIS — Missouri’s European tour took a strange
turn Saturday in Amsterdam.
Coach Frank Haith, who is in his second year with the Tigers, was ejected in an
exhibition game against the Netherlands National Team and later pulled his
players from the floor midway through the third quarter. Haith was dismissed
from the contest for questioning a no-call on an elbow that hit freshman
forward Stefan Jankovic in the head.
The game included a variety of chippy activity, including heated words
exchanged between the teams that influenced Haith’s decision to end play early.
Dutch National Team manager Matthijs Groot said there were inconsistent calls
that went against both sides.
“In my mind I was just fearful for the safety of our players, but in retrospect
I wish I had let our team play it out and learn from the adversity,” Haith said
in a statement. “I take complete responsibility. This is a learning experience
for us all. . . . This in no way reflects how the Dutch team played tonight.
They are a great team and for us to be up 25 (points) at the half, we were
obviously playing well. I had a split second to make a decision and I chose to
err on the side of caution.”
Missouri began the five-game, 10-day European tour Aug. 8. The Tigers have
three games left, with stops in Belgium and France upcoming. Missouri resumes
play Monday in Belgium.