Baylor just cannot get out of its own way. Or maybe it really doesn’t care to? A week ago the Bears traveled to Houston to take on Rice in the Bears first road game without former coach Art Briles and after a sluggish start the Bears pulled off a 38-10 victory and improved to 3-0. But that is not the story.
Nor should it be. In fact the final score is probably the last thing people remember about Friday night. Instead, people remember that Art Briles was in attendance and that a former star who was indicted for sexual assault, not only showed up to watch, but made his way into the locker room afterwards.
Interesting that Art Briles was watching the game in Baylor's suite at Rice Stadium.
— Greg Glasson (@GJGlasson) September 17, 2016
And the response from Baylor? Well it on par for how the Bears have handled this entire scandal, nonchalantly.
First came the defense from interim Baylor coach Jim Grobe who claimed not to know who Oakman was. Maybe he didn’t but that is not the point. Grobe has since clarified his comments. But c’mon coach. Baylor is no position to have just anyone stroll through the locker room after a game. At the very least someone who did see Oakman should have had the knowledge or common sense to realize a former player at the heart of the very issue that caused Baylor to be in the position it currently finds itself in should not be hanging out with current players in the locker room.
The university also issued a statement regarding Oakman visiting the team.
Statement from Baylor University regarding Shawn Oakman's presence in the locker room after the Rice game. pic.twitter.com/bc1Py6b88u
— Ben Baby (@Ben_Baby) September 20, 2016
But the thing is, Baylor should have never had to issue a statement in the first place because it should have never been in that position. It’s simple, or at least it should be. But then again Baylor has failed for over a year now to get out of its own way.
The locker room should be CLOSED, to anyone not playing or employed by the team. No extra credentials, no big time donors, no former players. You would have thought this would have been common sense to those running the program, but as has been the case what makes sense to those outside of Waco for some reason goes over the head of those entrusted with making decisions for the program.
As new AD Mack Rhoades and interim coach Jim Grobe try and move on and rebuild from the scandal that cost three men their jobs, Baylor must get out of its own way. Baylor cannot expect the outside world to believe it has changed until it looks itself in the mirror and realizes it is still the problem.
Cody Junot joined College AD in November, 2014 as a contributing writer and was shortly promoted to Associate Editor in July, 2015. Cody graduated from UL Lafayette in 2011 with a degree in Sports Management.