Seeing him at Mizzou Madness, no one would have thought he was under the tight microscope of a what could be a program-crippling NCAA investigation. Even in interviews before the game, Snyder was about as loose as anyone has seen him since he has been at Missouri.
All this talk about the first practice really being a practice, that wasn't true. The Tigers had some much-needed fun on Friday night, and Snyder was in the middle of it.
He was talking to fans and the press on the sideline in the middle of it. He addressed the crowd before and after the scrimmage. He just seemed like there wasn't a care in the world.
"Coach Snyder's been excited for a really long time for the season to be here," senior guard Josh Kroenke said. "You can see it all over. He was glowing on Friday night."
Snyder needs to glow as much as possible. After sitting couped up in his office during the early parts of the investigation, Snyder gave fans and the press a doubt to his intentions. He hid from the limelight, occasionally passing on a carefully worded press release.
But there are no emotions in press releases. Press releases don't relay how excited Snyder was for a season that has all of the makings of the best ever at Missouri. Press releases don't show how happy he was to get his recruiting class done by August. So in the process, no one knew what to think of Snyder. Only the players got the see the real summer Snyder.
"You could tell in individual workouts, coach Snyder was around more often," Kroenke said. "I think that he was so excited, he just wanted to be there. He was always up in the gym, even if one of the assistants was running the workouts. Coach Snyder would be around offering his insight here and there. It feeds off on us."
Finally, Snyder has taken that attitude and brought it out of hiding. Going to the Tiger Clubs in Kansas City and St. Louis was an excellent idea, assuring fans who didn't what to think. And then addressing the crowd Friday night gave many of the Columbia faithful and students a positive image. See how communication works?
There is nothing Snyder and his staff can do about the investigation, other than to make sure they read that rulebook better and don't make more mistakes. For now, it's about basketball. And remembering it's about basketball has given Snyder new life as the Tigers prepare for the season.