Mizzou alums seek KU students of similar stripe

Robert Rescot, left, Tiffany Huggard-Lee and Charlie Huggard-Lee are among the University of Missouri alumni now in Lawrence who support both schools. They have talked of starting an alumni group for former Tigers.

Robert Rescot is looking for some Kansas University students brave enough to wear their black and gold colors in the epicenter of enemy territory.

Though the plan is still in its formative stages, Rescot, a civil engineering graduate student at KU who got his bachelor’s degree at the University of Missouri, and a few of his friends want to form a support group of sorts — a KU student group for Mizzou alumni.

He’s quick to point out that he’s a rare breed — someone who loves both schools.

“I’ll root for KU anytime,” he said. “Except when they’re playing Missouri.”

The group started as a bit of a joke, but Rescot figured if he could find others like him, he might have some support for Lawrence outings to get some televisions in bars tuned to Missouri football games. He said he’d settle for just one television in many cases — something that doesn’t always happen.

He gets some strange looks around town when he dons Missouri garb, recalling a time when a small group of his friends wore Tiger black and gold to a restaurant on a KU football game day.

“I’m pretty sure the waitress was petrified,” Rescot said.

He and his friends have begun sifting through faculty members who attended Missouri at some point during their education as potential sponsors for the group.

Scott Reinardy, assistant professor of journalism, spent five years in graduate school at Mizzou, and worked in the newsroom of the Columbia Missourian newspaper.

Working in the sports department there, he said he developed a kind of detachment from the intense rivalry between the two schools.

“I’ve gotten grief from both sides of the border,” Reinardy said.

He recalled being at a ceremony for his son at Langston Hughes School after his son completed sixth grade. Each student had some goal or aspiration announced at the ceremony, and his son’s was to be a sports star at the University of Missouri.

“He was booed at a sixth-grade graduation ceremony,” Reinardy said.

If asked, would he serve as a faculty adviser to a student group of Missouri alums? He’d consider it, but probably not if it was a bunch of Missouri alums looking to tweak KU people in their own backyard, he said.

And, Reinardy said, being seen as “that guy” by a bunch of rabid KU fans might hamper the educational experience he’s looking to foster in his classes.

Tiffany Huggard-Lee, a second-year master’s student in classics who graduated from Missouri, said she’s not particularly interested in sports, but often is asked what side she’s on in terms of the rivalry.

Huggard-Lee said she figures there’s more people like her and Rescot out there. When she uses her Missouri golf umbrella around town, she’ll get a few more positive comments — some low whispers of “Go Tigers.”

“We’re in hiding,” she said.

She said the potential new group is mostly meant in jest, but she enjoys the irony of the concept.

“We can be one of the most-hated groups on campus,” she said.