Thursday, May 18, 2017

Baylor May Not Be Punished By NCAA, But Will Be Left Behind Eventually

     A Title IX lawsuit was filed in Texas this morning by a former Baylor volleyball player who claims that she was gang raped by upwards of eight Baylor football players, and she also claims that there existed a culture at Baylor that was heavily dependent on Baylor football players drugging women for the purpose of sexual assault. The most disturbing part of these charges are that they seem like just another day at Baylor University these days. This is the school that saw one basketball player murder another in recent history, after all. The question does remain, however, why has the NCAA not openly investigated and punished Baylor as they have in other cases, most notably at Penn State?
     That question is valid in every sense of the word, and I find it repulsive that the NCAA has not taken action even to open a formal investigation into the dealings of the Baylor athletic department over the last decade. Baylor should be fully attacked with every weapon the NCAA has at their disposal, and should be shut down before any other disasters occur. What I propose, in the case that the NCAA does not have the teeth to go after Baylor, which they do not, is that it may not matter when all of the dust settles from the next round of conference realignment. Baylor will most likely be left out of the power structure that will be built, and will be left behind like the relic they should be.
     I wrote a piece last week on this blog that Oklahoma could leave the Big 12 right now without worrying about the Grant of Rights deal that would have them pay millions to bail out. I wrote that Oklahoma would leave and would most likely take Oklahoma State with them. I also wrote how Texas, TCU, Kansas, and most likely Texas Tech would all get invites to the current PAC-12, which would then leave Iowa State, West Virginia, Kansas State, and Baylor out in the cold with no power conference invite awaiting them.
     This is important, as a new power 64 alignment would have seats in high demand. Any school left out of this arrangement would fall to the wayside as a forgotten member of an old structure that no longer holds power, and that is, at the very least, where Baylor belongs. With a loss of having a seat at the power broker table, Baylor would stand to lose millions of dollars almost immediately, and would then have to adjust to life as an also ran, with no better positioning than a member of Conference USA, Sun Belt, or Big Sky Conferences. Imagine the humiliation that this would bring. It would be a bit of poetic justice in the end, with the only better option being complete shut down.
     This is not a time and place to be under constant scrutiny, as Baylor has been, as it only facilitates a more negative image at a time when selling oneself is at a premium. It has always been a tough go for faith based universities getting access to power conferences. Just ask BYU, and to a point, Notre Dame. The Irish were denied entry to the Big 10 in the 1920's, and they still have not gotten over it. BYU should be in the PAC-12, but was jilted for Colorado. Because of this history, I still do not buy TCU as getting an invite to the PAC-12, but hey, that was not my story. That said, they are a far better option than Baylor these days.
     All in all, I see no way that Baylor gets carries over into a proposed Power 64 structure that we could see as soon as 2021. I do know that we will not have to wait until 2025, which is when the current TV structured deal ends with ESPN, because ESPN may have to mortgage their way out of that deal as they continue to hemorrhage cash. Either way, Baylor will be on the outside looking in in all likelihood, and that may have to do.

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