- Written by Art Dlugach
- Published Jun. 2, 2016
I have written a bunch of stories on the Baylor football Bears, and I have really enjoyed their success—2010-2015. They won two Big 12 titles in that span, played in six consecutive bowls and won three. Baylor’s finest half-dozen-year stretch in its history.
The victories made for good reading and writing—for me—I graduated from BU in 1965.
I would get—and deservedly so—a D- if I failed to address what is happening now in Waco.
It is beyond disgraceful. One sexual-assault charge after another against Bears’ football players. There can be one flimsy defense: the players are innocent until proven guilty. Does that mean the school (and the NCAA) should wait a couple of years until their trials are over to take action? I say no.
Art Briles, the highly regarded, highly likeable head coach, should quit or be fired. I have no line-in-the-sand opinion on Athletic Director Ian McCaw nor President Ken Starr.
The NCAA should place Baylor on three years’ probation, which, of course, would mean no bowl games. Also limit the Bears’ scholarships.
Please, please don’t try to make me feel better by saying it happens at other schools. Totally irrelevant. Baylor—a proud Baptist institution—has been caught, with the evidence painfully overwhelming. It should serve its time.
Losing a few, or more than a few, football games; a drop in attendance; and erasing the pride in the new stadium and great campus atmosphere, will be unfortunate, but what has happened far outweighs—negatively—the result on a scoreboard above a gridiron.
Some good can come of this: maybe younger football players will learn from the terrible mistakes of the guilty parties. Maybe coaches and teammates will be reminded of the importance of knowing more about the players who seem to be heading for trouble—a close watch is mandatory. Less tolerance has to be the norm.
The actions of the players accused of sexual assault are far worse and much more serious than the joy of hoisting a bowl trophy.
The football team in Green and Gold has lost for many years, and we all survived. We’ll survive defeat again, but we cannot survive—as a school—if these horrific actions don’t cease.
There are numerous other sports at Baylor and thousands of wonderful students and athletes. Their predecessors are glad they are there, and we hope they will carry the torch on a long journey toward a healthy soul.