Are we witnessing the end of the “Just win, baby” era?

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.

So, yeah,

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.


Filed under Crime and Punishment

20 responses to “Are we witnessing the end of the “Just win, baby” era?

  1. Rick

    So how much is Kirby’s buyout if we fire him for Briles right now? It was a bizarre move to cut loose a proven winner for the assistant coach mystery box, and Richt was creme de la creme for personal ethics, so obviously that doesn’t matter at all. UGA is win at all costs now, this is a no-brainer hire.


  2. Walt

    So much for the captain going down with the ship. Starr must know where the bodies are buried.


    • Not surprised that Ken Starr was retained in some capacity at Baylor. He will leave within a couple of years. Same thing happened to Fred Davison. He went back to the Vet School for two years after he resigned as President due to Jan Kemp.


  3. Macallanlover

    No, let’s get everyone started on the doings at Tennessee. There are many bodies buried there and they have been slipping through the nest unscathed ever since Phat Phil cut a deal with the SEC and Commish Kramer. Lots of bodies, and they go back at least two decades. Foolmer was even reported to interrogate a rape victim in her own living room once. Baylor is not any worse than the Vols, and I don’t think they are even close.


    • Red Cup

      Don’t you know the civil law discovery rules are going to expose the Vols big time. Going to be Ugly


  4. sectionzalum

    i read that article this morning (by a marsh in the lowcountry, perhaps with a libation, and wondered:

    where does the richt/kirby example fit into this new world of Putting Students and Student Athletes First


  5. South FL Dawg

    IMO too much is left up to the athletic departments. It’s the fox watching the hen house.


  6. Raleighwood Dawg

    Are we witnessing the end of the “Just win, baby” era? Nah, I don’t see this as the start of a trend or a new era either. Just more of the “Meet the new boss, same as the old boss” bullsh*t. Art Briles was fired, Ken Starr was demoted and AD Ian McCaw was “sanctioned and placed on probation” (LOL … is that double secret probation?). These actions didn’t happen because Baylor decided to do the right thing. No, they basically had no other choice. They chose a fall guy, Briles, and then promoted one of his underlings … and slapped the wrists of Starr and McCaw. As for those two, whether they had direct knowledge and/or involvement or not, it happened on their watch and they too should be held responsible. They failed. To spin it as anything other than a systemic failure is revolting. Baylor should get no pat on the back for the fact that they took action only after those transgressions were brought to light. They can fire the coach and reassign the others, but the culture doesn’t necessarily change. This is like trying to cover up the scent of a steaming pile of crap with one of those rear-view mirror air fresheners.


  7. ASEF

    I see some universities running their businesses so poorly that they put the entire enterprise at risk. Penn State. UNC. Baylor. Missouri. All in different ways, but all had/have something of an existential crisis with a football team at the center of it.

    I doubt those 4 will be the end of it. Incompetence is the culture. That’s not going anywhere anytime soon.


  8. Paul

    Nothing has changed. Especially at Baylor. Baylor hand picked a firm with a reputation for going lightly on their clients to do their internal investigation. And the university only did that much after national outrage grew as they attempted to squash these stories for years. The school appears quite surprised by the report. So far Baylor has only released a highly sanitized version of the findings. Even that references multiple coaches, multiple administrators and cites a lack of institutional control. One person fired to date. AD is still in place. The president gets a new job. Nothing has changed. Baylor is simply doing the very least they fell they have to do to get this story out of the news.