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Corn Flakes: Would You Let Your Daughter Go To Baylor?

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NCAA Football: Texas Christian at Baylor Kevin Jairaj-USA TODAY Sports

Baylor University || Media Communications || News

It was a very busy day at Baylor University yesterday. Below is a list of the things that they did yesterday:

  • Board of Regents apologizes to Baylor Nation;
  • Dr. David Garland named interim University President;
  • Ken Starr transitions to role of Chancellor and remains professor at Baylor University Law School;
  • Head Football Coach Art Briles suspended with intent to terminate;
  • Athletic Director Ian McCaw sanctioned and placed on probation;
  • University self-reports to NCAA;
  • Task Force responsible for implementing recommendations formed and operative;
  • Findings of Fact and Recommendations made available

Most universities take a decade or so to pull something like this off, but that should give you an idea of how much deep doodoo Baylor is in over their sexual assaults scandal.

There are 31 occurrences of the word "failed" in the Findings of Fact, which is a 13-page document. It may has just as well been named Findings of Fail or Findings of Damning for as brutal as it is. Reading it you can easily draw the conclusion that not only did Art Briles have to go, but most of the football staff, the athletic department structure and school leadership have to be replaced along with him.

The Findings of Fact document contain the following segments:

In addition, the investigations were conducted in the context of a broader culture and belief by many administrators that sexual violence "doesn’t happen here." 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.

Translated - things like sexual violence don't happen at Baylor because it is a fine private Christian university. Those things happen at public universities where sex and drugs flow like milk and honey. (This is not exaggeration of that attitude. It is an attitude with which schools sell themselves.)

In certain instances, including reports of a sexual assault by multiple football players, athletics and football personnel affirmatively chose not to report sexual violence and dating violence to an appropriate administrator outside of athletics. In those instances, football coaches or staff met directly with a complainant and/or a parent of a complainant and did not report the misconduct.

Baylor coaches met directly with alleged victims, then did nothing about their complaints.

In addition to the issues related to student misconduct, the University and Athletics Department failed to take effective action in response to allegations involving misconduct by football staff. Further, despite the fact that other departments repeatedly raised concerns that the Athletics Department’s response to student or employee misconduct was inadequate, Baylor administrators took insufficient steps to address the concerns.

This is so far above wondering whether Baylor should have their football program shut down that you shouldn't even be thinking about what the NCAA might do to them. Don't waste the time or the energy. The NCAA is completely ineffective when it comes to leveling punishment at anyone - are we not still waiting on penalties that were supposed to be levied at North Carolina (including the dreaded "lack of institutional control" that might fit Baylor) because of an academic scandal? Did they not drop a hammer on Penn State only to back peddle later to the point of uselessness?

Yesterday was about the reputation of Baylor as a university.

Would you let your daughter go to Baylor?

Unless you really don't like your daughter, the answer is no.

Baylor should see their enrollment drop. They will be sued 300 ways by Sunday. They will be sued by alleged victims for Title IX violations. They may be sued by the federal government. If I were a lawyer, I might be considering how I could file a class-action lawsuit against them for excessive hubris, just because.

It will take Baylor years to recover, but before they can even start that process, they have to change their leadership and with that their culture. That "doesn't happen here" attitude must go away, and if other universities (or any institution) has that attitude they need to check what they're doing before they fall into the same situation.

What will become of Art Briles, a coach so successful that before yesterday he might have thought to be untouchable?

The correct answer is: who fucking cares what happens to Briles?

If you're cynical enough to believe he'll be hired again, I can't help you. He will become the poster boy of sexual violence, it will remain his legacy, and it will follow him forever. Whatever program, no matter how small, will have to deal with that. This isn't the case of Bobby Petrino, his affair, and a motorcycle. This is about the fact that Briles failed daughters repeatedly and knowingly. That stink will not wash off.

What will become of Baylor, a perennial loser for so long?

They will go back to being losers. They will remain another symbol of what happens to us when we make gods of men; one can only hope that maybe this time it sticks in the collective minds of college football fans who can then share it with everyone around them.

Your daughters and mine deserve as much.


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