Making Sense of a Mess
This whole Baylor thing is a head-shaker. Seriously, how in the world did the coaches and administration think that sexual assault (multiple accusations and claims, mind you) could simply be swept under the rug?
Football coaches sent over to speak with victims and their families to try and smooth things over? Blatantly an attempt to keep players on the field. If that isn’t worthy of NCAA sanctions, I don’t know what is. Heck, I’m fine with schools paying players behind the scenes 100-times more than this. Bring on the big bags of money; sexual assault or attacks on women of any kind? Zero tolerance.
Of course the men in charge, especially former school President Ken Starr, are claiming ignorance and/or pointing the finger someplace else. Starr looked like a fool on ESPN just the other day, clearly irate at the Baylor Board of Regents, who took the (bad) advice of a PR firm in implementing a no-comment policy that has been a disaster both in design and execution, and firing both Starr and Art Briles. The silence makes them look foolish and uncaring.
Lawyers rule the day though, and I guess they should. The law suits will come rolling in soon enough.
Briles finally released a statement the other day on the scandal:
“I hope to share with you what I was aware of as soon as I can so Baylor Nation can begin the healing process. After 38 years of coaching, I have certainly made mistakes, and, in hindsight, I would have done certain things differently. I always strive to be a better coach, a better father and husband, and a better person,” Briles said. “My heart goes out to the victims for the pain that they have endured. Sexual assault has no place on our campus or in our society. As a father of two daughters, a grandfather, and a husband, my prayers are with the victims of abuse, wherever they are.”
Thanks Art, but it really doesn’t matter. Briles, Starr and former AD Ian McCaw are responsible; this happened on their watch. Either they knew about it or were dumb enough to put their head in the sand and ignore it. Either way – you’re out.
Now there are several Baylor recruits who are about to step on campus after signing their letter of intent (LOI) last February who want out. This clearly isn’t their fault and this literally is not what they signed up for. Baylor has given them the same silent treatment thus far. The school needs to step up and let these young men out of their LOIs if they wish. Look at that any way you wish; to me it’s just part of the price to pay in this mess.
I feel for some of my friends who are Baylor alums. Not because of their football program, but rather for the reputation of their university. But don’t blame Baylor students, alumni and fans for this; Starr, Briles and McCaw are clearly the ones who should pay the price. And are.
All of this in the name of football. Hopefully we all learn a lesson in life priorities over athletes celebrating touchdowns in the end zone.