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Friday, February 10, 2006 - Page updated at 03:49 PM

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College Basketball

Missouri coach Quin Snyder resigns

The Associated Press

COLUMBIA, Mo. – Missouri basketball coach Quin Snyder resigned today, one day after saying he planned to finish what had become a disappointing season.

Associate head coach Melvin Watkins will guide the team the rest of the season.

After a 10-5 start that culminated with an overtime win against rival Kansas, the Tigers lost six straight. They've fallen to 3-7 — and next-to-last — in the Big 12.

Snyder, a graduate of Mercer Island High School, spoke to his team before practice today and said he was leaving.

"What he told us is, it's an opportunity to get back to playing basketball. All the speculation was a heavy burden," sports information director Dave Reiter said.

Snyder left after a seven-year stint, compiling a 126-91 record.

After playing at Duke and working as an assistant to coach Mike Krzyzewski, Snyder was hired to replace the retiring Norm Stewart and take Missouri to national prominence.

Snyder had 20-win teams in three of his first four seasons, including an appearance in the final eight. But the Tigers were only 42-42 since then, and attendance has dropped despite a new arena that opened last season.

Snyder said before practice Thursday that he hadn't been asked to resign and didn't plan to.

"I'm coaching my team, so I'm going to keep doing that until someone tells me not to, keep working as hard as I can," Snyder said at the time.

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The program has also been marred by scandal. In 2004, it was placed on NCAA probation for three years following questionable activities surrounding former point guard Ricky Clemons. The school avoided a ban from postseason play but was prohibited from off-campus recruiting for one year.

Watkins is in his second season with Missouri after six seasons as head coach at Texas A&M. Watkins also coached Charlotte to a 42-20 record from 1996-98, during which he had two NCAA tournament appearances.

Watkins' son, Marcus, also is a reserve for the Tigers.

Snyder was a member of the 1985 Mercer Island boys basketball team that won the Washington state championship.

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