By Ryan Decker
Baylor University hasn’t had a good year in the limelight.
After starting last year’s regular season 8-0, the Bears lost three of its last four games of the regular season, and then had a tough time outscoring North Carolina in the Citrus Bowl.
Once again Baylor is off to a good start on the gridiron this year.
The Bears are 5-0 and one of only two remaining unbeaten teams in the Big 12 conference.
However, it’s off the field where the university continues to have its troubles.
Pictures surfaced on social media Tuesday of shirts that Baylor fans are having made for the team’s blackout game against TCU next month.
On the shirt is a picture of Art Briles, with wording below that reads “Bring Back CAB”. CAB obviously referring to Coach Art Briles.
In May the university fired head coach Art Briles amid allegations of sexual assault against current and former Baylor football players dating as far back as 2009.
Three BU football players have been arrested on sexual assault charges over the past four years, one of those being Shawn Oakman – the school’s all-time sack leader.
Things have been so bad in the locker room in Waco that the Pepper Hamilton law firm that investigated the allegations refered to a, “potential pattern of sexual violence by multiple football players.”
It’s sadly and tragically, almost become a culture all in its own.
To be fair, it’s not just at Baylor this is occurring. Baylor just happens to have the most examples.
Trying to remove him from the Baylor picture, Baylor recently banned Oakman from the team’s locker room and road games for the time being.
Despite removing Briles from his head coaching position, Ken Starr from his seat as president of the university, and athletic director’s Ian McCaw’s resignation, dominos continued to fall.
Details continued to come out and Bears players continued to stay in the news throughout the summer.
Things seemed to calm down, though, with the start of football season.
Possibly had the Bears stumbled out of the gates like a number of the other Big 12 programs did, questions about the program would’ve continued.
The adage Winning solves everything comes to mind.
Just as it was putting all this behind itself, the university once again felt some backlash after Starr’s comments at the Texas Tribune Festival two weeks ago.
Starr said Briles was unfairly criticized by the media for the way he handled the allegations. He continued to say he disagreed the with findings of Pepper Hamilton’s eight-month investigation, and made numerous other head-scratching remarks, including saying that Baylor is ahead of the curve when it comes to Title IX.
The worst things he said, though, was saying that he believed Briles was the true victim in all of this.
Although countless media members can point out reasons why Starr’s comments are off putting to say the least, apparently the fans have gotten behind him to a certain degree.
Not only is making the shirt a bad idea, but it’s one of the worst ideas that I’ve personally ever heard.
Briles is less than six months removed from his post where he knowingly let players get away with unspeakable actions and, yet, according to Bears fans, that’s long enough.
Baylor should be embarrassed. Absolutely embarrassed.
Not only is this offensive to any of the survivors, but it’s also condoning the action further of overlooking off the field issues for victories on the football field.
Jim Grobe has done a good job handling everything that he has had do deal with since being named the program’s head coach.
To some degree, the university has tried to repair its image.
This shirt will destroy all progress made.
Maybe, though, as long as the shirt goes had in hand with a win, that’s all Baylor fans that wear it will care about.
For a school with the hashtag #SICEM, (read sick-em), this should make everyone there sick to their stomachs.