A Mizzou basketball fan who has been travelling with the team for the last few years, including to multiple NCAA tournament games, was arrested this spring and is facing federal drug conspiracy charges for cocaine distribution. The man in question is Levi McLean Franklin Coolley, the owner of a car stereo shop that I assume is his second business, considering the charges. According to reports Coolley started hanging around the team during the 2008-2009 season (what a fair-weather fan) and travelled to all the Mizzou Tigers’ tournament games between 2009 to the present. He also travelled to several regular season road games, including the Missouri-Texas game in Austin this past year (I was at that game too!). The Columbia Daily Tribune broke the story on Sunday after obtaining flight manifests from the university.
The University of Missouri athletic department, after conducting an internal review, does not believe Coolley had any improper influence on the team. He was in fact a guest of Jay Lindner, a prominent real estate developer and Missouri basketball donor from Columbia, Missouri.
Here’s some advice to all rich college sports fans who are lucky enough to fly with their favorite teams: DO NOT INVITE YOUR COKE DEALER. Just a thought. Hell maybe don’t even be friends with your coke dealer at all. Frank Haith probably feels like he’s back at Miami right about now. Seriously Jay Lindner, what the fuck were you thinking? You needed your fix that bad? You couldn’t just sneak some with you? Did you owe this guy some money or something? Or was he such a terrible dealer that he was cool with getting paid in Missouri basketball tickets?
The best part of this story by far is that Coolley was arrested in Omaha, Nebraska the day Mizzou was upset by Norfolk State in the first round of the tournament. And I thought that was a bad day for me. I’m also a little suspicious of when he started hanging around the Missouri team. That was the year we made our Elite 8 run. I mean if taking a few pre-game bumps is going to help anyone it’s a team whose style was known as “The Fastest 40 Minutes in Basketball.”