Team up with us for 99¢

This column has been updated to provide more clarity on Spike Lee's upcoming project.

We know Spike Lee has been in CoMo since this weekend.

We know the famous filmmaker took in a screening of "Concerned Student 1950", a student-produced documentary that debuted during the True/False Film Festival.

We know Lee spoke with at least two Mizzou football players, J'Mon Moore and Marvin Zanders, while he was in town.

And now we know what Lee is up to.

It's not a "30 for 30", as reported. It's an ESPN Films digital short that will be a part of the series known as "Spike Lee's Lil' Joints." The piece, which is scheduled for a digital debut on May 31, is titled "2 Fists Up." An ESPN spokesperson provided a summary of the piece, calling it "an examination of how the Black Lives Matter movement sparked activism at the University of Missouri, its football team, and across the rest of The United States."

That sound you hear is the Mizzou athletics department once again buckling its seat belt.

Most figured the Mizzou boycott would one day become documentary material. Few expected an ESPN project to be in the works already. Few expected someone as well-known and polarizing as Lee to be calling the shots. He enters the picture at an interesting time.

Since the football team realized just how much power it had, and decided to use that power for a cause it deemed fit, and the athletics department stood by that decision, much of the discussion since has revolved around making sure athletes dictating university decisions doesn't become a trend.

A vocal portion of the fan base, a group that includes some donors and season ticket holders, is steamed about the boycott, as well as former UM system president Tim Wolfe's resignation and Gary Pinkel's plush retirement package.

Meanwhile, Concerned Student 1950, the protest group the football team aligned itself with to help push Wolfe out, continues to demand changes on campus it believes are necessary to combat institutional racism.

The university, which has taken steps it believes will foster inclusion, appears to be growing tired of the protest group's perception that strides have not been made.

Did I mention the football team starts spring practice Tuesday?

Perfect time to make a movie.

Will the athletics department roll out the red carpet, or lock the doors?

I can't imagine new Tigers coach Barry Odom signing off on a camera crew following his players around as some of those questions that were never really answered get brought up all over again.

Questions like ...

• Just how much division was there among the team regarding the boycott?

• Did Pinkel know exactly what he was getting into with that tweet?

• How did players feel once Pinkel later backtracked?

• Does the football team still see itself as an ally of Concerned Student 1950?

• Could more partnerships be in the works?

I could go on. But you get the point.

I wouldn't expect Lee to adopt the Mizzou-friendly angle that is all but guaranteed when the SEC Network cameras start rolling. Mizzou has a lot less leverage against big ESPN than its SEC-centric arm, and Lee makes gripping, sometimes controversial films because he is willing to shine light on topics others tiptoe around, or can't reach.

Mizzou loves to control the message. In this case, that will be a challenge.

A story the athletics department would love to close the book on could be in line for another fascinating chapter.

Keep up with the latest Cardinals coverage from our award-winning team of reporters and columnists.