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Piece of Mind: NCAA Won't Sanction Baylor U

Texas Tribune

It appears that Baylor University is going to avoid any further sanctions stemming from a scandal that broke out on the campus a few years ago, costing the school a number of high-profile individuals – including the fellow who ended up as head football coach at Mount Vernon High School.

The NCAA said that a case involving football players who allegedly were raping female students on campus does not require any further action for violation of NCAA rules. The university, though, remains publicly shamed by the events that led to the firing of former head football coach Art Briles, athletic director Ian McCaw and the departure of Baylor U. Chancellor Kenneth Starr.

Briles got back into football, though, signing on as head coach at Mount Vernon HS. It was a decision I panned when it was announced. I still don’t like the message Briles’ presence on Mount Vernon’s campus might send, given that he allegedly looked the other way while some of his Baylor student-athletes were assaulting women on the Waco campus.

As the Texas Tribune reported: In a statement posted on Baylor’s website, President Linda Livingstone said the university takes full responsibility and agrees with the findings.

“While the NCAA process found violations that occurred between 2011 and 2016, we can confidently say Baylor is a much different University today than it was three, five and certainly 10 years ago,” she stated. “While today is an important reminder for our University, we are confident in a bright future for Baylor based on integrity and excellence.”

Let’s hope the future remains bright for the university. The recent past doesn’t paint much of a rosy picture. Several student-athletes were convicted of sexual assault. But as the Tribune reports: “The report describes Briles’ “incurious attitude toward potential criminal conduct by his student-athletes” as “deeply troubling.” But it said the committee could not find any link between this behavior and NCAA violations.”

I suppose this NCAA report signals the end of this specific set of actions. May it never repeat itself.

John Kanelis, former editorial page editor for the Amarillo Globe-News and the Beaumont Enterprise, also is a former blogger for Panhandle PBS in Amarillo. He is retired but is still writing. Kanelis can be contacted via Twitter @jkanelis, on Facebook or his blog, www.highplainsblogger.com. Kanelis’s blog for KETR, “Piece of Mind,” presents his views and does not necessarily reflect the opinion of KETR, its staff or its members.

Kanelis lives in Princeton with his wife, Kathy.

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