While it may only take one bad apple to spoil the barrel, what if people were not so fast to give up on the entire harvest?

In a barrel of apples, the bad one gives off a chemical, ethylene, which speeds up the ripening process for other apples in the same barrel, often times rapidly increasing the amount of spoilage during shipping.

I guess it makes more sense to me to try extra hard to prevent that one bad apple from getting into the barrel, than it does to simply toss away an entire container of fruit.  Even when the rotten one avoids the inspectors and gets tossed in with the rest of the good fruit, it still is worth the time to sort the bad from the good instead of simply giving up on the entire body.

After a tumultuous 2015, I must admit I could easily be grouped with the many University of Missouri supporters who appeared to be jumping ship.

I’m a proud Mizzou alum. I enjoyed my time in Columbia and have remained a booster of the Tigers and the Missouri School of Journalism. But after watching this fine institution dragged through the mud in this summer’s racism protests and subsequent fallout, I was ready to throw out the whole barrel.

According to the Columbia Tribune, I wasn’t alone in my discontent. Many past contributors appeared to be sending the bad apples in a barrel over Niagara Falls.

According to the Columbia paper, December donations dropped by more than 30% as the university took a $6 million fundraising hit.

That was on the heels of the November protests sparked by Concerned Student 1950, the football team’s threatened boycott of a game and Assistant Professor Melissa Click’s viral video threatening journalists covering the events.

But this one bad apple definitely has not spoiled the barrel. Fortunately for me, I was reminded of that in fine fashion this past weekend at a University of Missouri women’s basketball game.

Members of the Scotland County girls basketball team traveled to Columbia to watch the regular season finale. Despite losing a hard-fought contest to Vanderbilt, many of the Mizzou team members took time out after the game to meet with the SCR-I squad.

Former SCR-I graduate and current Mizzou football team member Brock Bondurant helped put together the impromptu gathering.

All I can say, is what a fine group of young people they all were, and that I could not be more proud to call myself a Mizzou  alum. These ladies took the time to speak with the girls, share stories and even take the must-have selfies. To witness them humbly offer inspiration and advice to these starry-eyed teenagers swelled my Tiger Pride. I couldn’t be happier that my daughters have selected these fine role models and I’m still planning on all three of them being fellow Mizzou grads.