Bizarro Baylor world continues to tilt in new and amazing ways. Last Friday the University released a statement regarding previously dismissed football player Jeremy Faulk. A bit of recent backstory, Faulk was a JC transfer in the midst of Title IX investigation regarding a sexual assault, how awesome that Baylor does those now, and Faulk has apparently won his appeal and is cleared to gain admittance, again. The statement claimed that the action to dismiss Faulk was "taken by the Interim Director of Athletics and the acting head football coach and did not require other Executive Council Members or Title IX Staff."
So, the interim AD and head coach made a decision to dismiss Faulk. Easy enough. Except this week, Head Coach Jim Grove called KWTX, a local TV station to say, nope, he didn't make the decision to dismiss the player.
Then things got viral. Twenty members of Grobe's staff, including Phil Bennett and who knew Phil Bennett was on the twitter, tweeted out the story from KWTX, regarding Grobe's statement with the hashtag #TRUTHDONTLIE. Acting Baylor AD Nick Joos told ESPN that the Athletic Department was handling the issue internally. That's worked wonders in the past.
So the coaching staff, almost all of whom were on deposed coach Art Briles' staff (several of which are actually related to Art) has gone rogue. A few weeks ago, rape survivor and victim advocate Brenda Tracy spoke to Baylor's football team. Afterwards she was ushered into a room by an assistant coach who questioned why she was speaking to the team and who defended Art Briles and his tenure in Waco. Tracy was obviously shaken by the encounter.
Then last week Title IX coordinator Patty Crawford resigned her position under the claim that Baylor was not cooperating with the sweeping changes that the Pepper Hamilton Report had suggested and that the institution was reluctant to take part in any real substantive changes.
Now we're left with old Jim Grove, calling a local TV station to refute a claim by the University that he dismissed a player from a football team. The twists and turns in Waco are dizzying. So what's Jim's motivation? Maybe he's just a truthful son of gun who wants, nay needs to set the record straight. Good for him. Maybe he's tired of having the program and his association with it dragged under public ridicule and he's had enough. His coaching staff, well, Art's coaching staff sure seems to have had enough.
Regardless of Jim motivation, and we're guess this doesn't help his bid to stay on as head coach, the Baylor football staff is an issue for the university. The Hamilton Report clearly states that members of the staff knew of alleged assaults and worse, members of the staff contacted victims. Not a great idea. Now, that staff remains, even if the head guy is gone. Is Baylor taking football over victims again? The lingering issues of the scandal, and the new developments have left a stain on the program and perhaps until a purge is done, completely, of Briles' staffers that stain will darken.
For all the effort the University has made to put this issue behind them, the football building across campus apparently continues to hold and defend, publicly the actions or inactions of the program. What's the use of wearing the "We are More" t-shirts if you aren't buying in. Or maybe you're buying into something else. Hook, line and sinker.
At some point Baylor will gain some level of control here, press releases won't be refuted, administrators won't resign, coaches won't aggressively undermine a speaker's presence, and they'll properly investigate rape allegations involving Baylor students. At least we that will happen.