Baylor's All-Big 12 defensive back/linebacker Travon Blanchard was suspended from the team on February 7th after a judge signed a protective order based on multiple instances of domestic violence Blanchard is alleged to have committed.
News of Blanchard's suspension began to trickle out this week. Baylor addressed the suspension this week via a statement: "Immediately upon notification on Feb. 7, the appropriate campus student-conduct process was initiated and Blanchard was suspended indefinitely from all team related activities, pending the outcome of the investigation."
Consider this a step forward and backward for the University. Clearly Baylor isn't immune from these issues. The question will need to be asked whether coaches with the previous regime had knowledge of Blanchard's acts which occurred as far back as last summer.
Police were involved on two different occasions, but Blanchard was not arrested. In July 2016, Blanchard allegedly tried to force the woman into her apartment after an argument that became physical but backed down when threatened with arrest by police. Why police didn't arrest the Baylor football player who used force while interacting with a woman is open to assumption.
On Feb. 4 of this year, Blanchard allegedly broke the woman's finger and left her bleeding from the hand after attempting to grab her car keys. He had allegedly followed her from a restaurant following an incident with another man. A police officer was contacted but was unable to find Blanchard.
The two other incidents saw Blanchard allegedly slam the victim into walls at an apartment and slam her into a car. The affidavit from the victim also stated that when she would attempt to break things off with Blanchard he would leave a joker playing card or "killer card" on her vehicle as a threat. Blanchard sounds like he needs some time alone in a cell to ponder life choices.
Baylor, for perhaps the first time since Matt Rhule came into the athletic department, was tasked to handled one of these situations and did so appropriately, i.e. the Bears suspended Blanchard and it appears someone is actually investigating the incident. Baby steps.
The Blanchard suspension comes on the heals of Kim Mulkey's tone deaf "hit 'em all in the face" comments directed at anyone who might not want to send their kids to Baylor due to Baylor's institutional failures relating to sexual offending and general criminal activity perpetrated by Baylor football players. What Mulkey actually did was redirect the spotlight to Baylor's institutional issues once again. Rhule's hiring as well as his handling of the transition had given national writers something else to focus on, something positive. That's gone away now.
At least the administration seems to be handling this situation appropriately.