Baylor went under the 60 Minutes Sports microscope on Tuesday night, and the resulting image was not pretty.
The firing of Art Briles and non-firing of his staff have been discussed ad naseum by now, and we’re not going to rehash them here. Instead, we’re going to look at how the Baylor sexual-assault scandal, which was a campus-wide earthquake with an epicenter in the football program, was allowed to happen.
One exchange between interview Armen Keteyian and former Baylor quarterback turned BU regent Neal Jeffrey cuts to the heart of the issue very quickly:
Keteyian: “Neal, you played football here. Your program went from nothing to something, to a top-15 program. You have a new stadium, you win back-to-back Big 12 titles, Art Briles is one of the most popular and well-paid coaches. How much of this was protecting the brand, protecting the image of the school, protecting donors and the potential of decreased enrollment?”
Jeffrey: “Football’s a big, obviously, a big deal in Texas, it’s a big deal at Baylor. And we did have a lot of success. And Art, in one sense, had us where we’ve never been before. We were winning, and things were awesome. I think our main problem was: it’s hard to mess up awesome. Nobody wanted to mess it up.”
Briles admitted to BU regents he installed a system that allowed him to be the last to know of any complaints against his plays. Piece it all together and, it seems, Baylor created a culture where willful ignorance to a problem would lead to that problem’s disappearance. Especially when the Bears kept dropping 50 points on the Big 12 each Saturday.
As we know, that’s not the case. That will never be the case.
What happened to Baylor under Art Briles is done. As I said before, there’s no point in assigning further blame. The next move is to make sure it doesn’t happen again — at Baylor or elsewhere.