The Baylor Bears football program has been under fire recently for what an investigation labeled a situation where there was “a cultural perception that football was above the rules.” The alleged pattern of interfering with and mishandling numerous sexual abuse and sexual assault complaints against members of the football team dates back to 2009.
Jason Fitz, on his weekly podcast, The Jason Fitz Show, made very clear how he feels about the situation.
“There should never, ever, ever be another football game played at Baylor University,” Fitz emphasized. “Let me be clear: Having a football program is a privilege. The NCAA has one option in my mind here — and only one option: Their only option is to free every single player at Baylor University from whatever their scholarship contract is, allow them to transfer to any school right now in play, and then shut down Baylor football forever.”
Fitz went into more detail about why he felt Baylor football deserves the dreaded NCAA “death penalty,” citing the lack of institutional control at the university in the situation — from fired campus president and chancellor Kenneth Starr all the way down to fired football head coach Art Briles.
“Baylor decided it was okay to allow the football program to address any allegations of assault on their own,” Fitz explained. “They were literally allowing the football coaches to meet with the (alleged) victims and their families and decide how to move forward. They were allowing the football coaches to decide what proper punishment is or when a rape should or shouldn’t be reported. All of this is happening at a university. You think Baylor University ever deserves to see a football game on their field again?”
Fitz specifically had a lot to say about Briles, who resurrected the Baylor football program in the last decade. Briles brought the Baylor football program to national prominence recently with a 32-7 record in the last three seasons combined — but at a clear ethical and moral cost.
“He should never, ever, ever, ever be hired to coach in any capacity again, because you take on an additional responsibility when you agree to be the leader of young men, and that is what a college football coach is,” Fitz stated. “You’re creating a culture where all of a sudden you’re telling football players, ‘Hey, don’t worry. Do what you want to do, because we’ll take care of it ourselves.’ You think Art Briles deserves another opportunity to shape and mold young men?”
Fitz offered many, many other choice words for Baylor University, its institutional hypocrisy and Starr, and you can listen to them all above. In addition to the Baylor situation, he also discussed the quarterback drama for both the New York Jets and the Philadelphia Eagles on the show, so make sure to catch the whole 43-minute podcast.
Sam McPherson is a freelance writer covering baseball, football, basketball, golf and fantasy sports for CBS Local. He also is an Ironman triathlete and certified triathlon coach. Follow him on Twitter @sxmcp, because he’s quite prolific despite also being a college English professor and a certified copy editor.