|Baylor coach Art Briles.|
Baylor has suspended its coach (one of the nation's best at putting entertaining and successful teams on the field), Art Briles, and is considering just who else to punish for its all but incomprehensible--even for Texas--atmosphere of football first, crime somewhere down the list.
Baylor's own fact-finding committee, which has brought a number of charges, discovered that, "Administrators engaged in conduct that could be perceived as victim-blaming, focusing on the complainant's choices and actions, rather than robustly investigating the allegations, including the actions of the respondent."
The awful fact is that 68 percent of all sexual assaults are not reported to police and 98 percent of all rapists--that's damn near all of them--never spend a day in jail.
And how about this: Baylor "football staff conducted [its] own untrained internal inquiries, outside of policy, which improperly discredited complainants and denied them the right to a fair, impartial and informed investigation, interim measures or processes promised under University policy." The criminal investigated the crime. How convenient.
How serious is Baylor about punishing the guilty? Briles has not yet been fired, let alone drawn and quartered. Assistants, who are often the point guards in these atrocities, don't seem to be in the line of fire at the moment. President Ken Starr--Bill Clinton's nemesis as special prosecutor and a man who is familiar with stomping on people's rights, has been "reassigned" and is now in charge of external fund-raising and "religious liberty," whatever the hell that is. (Baylor is a Baptist school.) He remains chairman of the law school, in the midst of a criminal investigation. Athletic Director Ian McCaw has been sanctioned and put on probation.
This is a huge Baylor problem, much as the child molestation case was a Penn State problem a few years ago. But the truth is that it is a college athletics--especially football--problem. I closely follow the Southeastern Conference in football and its football players are regulars in rape court. Even an academic university like Vanderbilt has been scarred by rape scandal (six players accused).
It has been said over and over that there is no excuse for rape, but young women (and little boys) keep getting raped by football players and coaches. I suggest that the NCAA show how serious it is about this problem and kill Baylor's football program. Just kill the damn thing. I realize this is often about huge amounts of money, but there is morality involved here and Texas is a state that claims (but rarely reaches) moral high ground.
Death to Baylor football would be a warning shot fired with a bazooka.