Ivan Maisel believes we’re at the dawning of a new age of accountability in college athletics.
Mark this day down. Turn the corner of this page in the college football family bible. Someone in the gridiron-industrial complex stood up and said some standards are more important than winning.
Baylor will fire head coach Art Briles, who in the past five years has won 50 games and two Big 12 Conference championships. The university also forced president Kenneth Starr to relinquish the job and reprimanded athletic director Ian McCaw. But Starr will be university chancellor, and McCaw will still be AD. Briles received the harshest punishment…
… Briles’ dismissal is different from Barry Switzer being forced out at Oklahoma, or Jim Tressel at Ohio State, to name two other highly successful coaches who lost their jobs because of their program’s misdeeds off the field. Oklahoma and Ohio State live among the blue bloods of the sport. Both programs regained their status within college football and maintain it to the present day.
You know what else is different? Money is at stake at Baylor. Lots of money, both in terms of the existing lawsuits and the federal threat of withholding funds due to Title IX noncompliance. Tressel made the mistake of lying to the NCAA, which is a long way off from the ugly situation in Waco.
We demand greater adherence to community standards of good behavior. Coaches must treat players well. Players must treat other students with respect. The double standard is the exception, no longer the rule.
But FSU just swung through another ugly situation with Jameis Winston and last I checked, nobody’s lost a job there. And don’t get me started on the doings at Tennessee, other than to say if there’s ultimately a settlement, we’ll see how many heads roll as a result.
Old habits die hard, you know. I expect this one’s got a little life left in it.