The Baylor rape scandal rocked that program, the university and college football as a whole. Needless it say, it’s imperative for everyone within a position of power to stop it from happening again to indeed do anything they can from not letting history repeat itself.
It’s possible no one is going further than Nebraska head coach Mike Riley. But that’s in large part because Riley once had his own rape scandal that he horribly mishandled.
Back in 1998, during Riley’s first tenure as Oregon State’s head coach, a woman named Brenda Tracy was invited to an off- campus apartment where four football players, two of them Riley’s, drugged and raped her throughout the night and into the morning, where she “woke up on the floor of the apartment with crumbs, condom wrappers and garbage stuck to her naked body.”
“Those men treated me like garbage,” Tracy told John Canzano of the Oregonian.
Compounding to the assault, Tracy said, was how Riley handled his players after the fact. Charges were dropped, and Riley suspended the pair for one game.
“One game for my rape,” she said. “One (expletive) game.”
Tracy went on to a life of shaping university policies and writing laws both locally and nationally and on June 22 she’ll meet with Riley’s team at Nebraska to share her experiences — and meet with Riley himself for the first time ever.
In Canzano’s words:
Tracy would still like that 1-on-1 meeting with Riley, if only to tell him that his lack of action as a coach and leader victimized her, almost as if it happened hand-in-hand with the assault itself.
Read that last part again, and then remember back to the news of last week:
His lack of action as a coach and leader victimized her, almost as if it happened hand-in-hand with the assault itself.
Riley made a mistake in 1998. He was not the first. But he is now doing what many have not — he’s working to rectify it.
“College football needs to change,” Tracy said. “It needs a hero. It needs someone to be vocal and call on the rest of college football to be transparent and accountable when something like Baylor happens. Who better to step up nationally than Mike Riley?”