Good to see the healing in Waco proceeds.
Billionaire businessman Drayton McLane, who name adorns the Baylor University football stadium, said Thursday he wants to see fired football coach Art Briles’ honor “restored” and any evidence that led to his dismissal publicly released by the school’s board of regents.
Yeah, because if nothing else comes out of the whole mess, at least they can see to it that Art Briles gets his mojo back.
Fortunately, the NCAA is willing to pitch in and do its part to help the process along.
With Baylor University at war with itself over the firing of its football coach in the wake of a sexual-assault scandal, this qualifies as good news: The NCAA is not planning to bring the hammer down on Baylor the way it did Penn State.
The National Collegiate Athletic Association has notified Baylor that it won’t exert its executive authority to impose sweeping sanctions against the school for broad institutional failings, and will instead follow its normal investigative process, according to people familiar with the matter.
Honestly, no one should be surprised by that. Some of Mark Emmert’s chickens have come home to roost, that’s all.
The NCAA decision indicates Baylor—at least for now—will not be subject to the sort of harsh sanctions the NCAA imposed on Penn State in the wake of the Jerry Sandusky child-molestation scandal. That case, in which the former assistant football coach was convicted of abusing boys over a 15-year period, was viewed by many as a potential precedent for Baylor since it also involved alleged criminal activity within the athletic department but not clear-cut NCAA violations.
Under pressure from the NCAA, which cited a broad “failure of institutional integrity,” Penn State after the Sandusky scandal vacated 111 wins under Coach Joe Paterno, accepted a four-year bowl ban, reduced football scholarships and agreed to pay $60 million to fight child abuse. Many of those sanctions have since been vacated after a series of legal challenges.
The NCAA’s aggression in the Penn State case “really backfired,” says B. David Ridpath, an Ohio University professor of sports administration. “I doubt you will ever see the NCAA do anything like that again.”
As some warned at the time, there are inevitable consequences when the head of a powerful organization decides to run off on his own and disregard established rules and protocols to show the world his oversized concern about a matter.
If it all works out the way things appear to be headed, rest assured that nobody at Baylor or the NCAA will have any lasting regrets. Nice for them.