Wednesday was a particularly polarizing day for the Baylor football program. On one hand, the Bears were again part of a nasty Title IX investigation, with a civil suit from a former Baylor volleyball player that alleges she was brutally gang-raped by four football players after she was drugged at a party.
The two events are not connected.
But if the allegations in the lawsuit are true, it confirms that Baylor hosted a football program with serious, serious problems that it subsequently went to extreme efforts to cover up. According to the lawsuit, the players called their actions a “bonding ritual.”
There’s no indication that the school has any plans to introduce additional unilateral penalties related to the ever-ballooning scandals that have plagued the football program for more than a year. In a statement in response to the lawsuit, the school said it had implemented more than 100 internal reforms.
Here is where the two issues are related: Baylor and its officials have a very strong incentive not to self-penalize the program for past indiscretions. Baylor football is a huge source of public recognition and pride for the Baptist school, and sellout crowds for Bears game at the school’s new football stadium are money spinners.
Now, they’ll apparently host Hackett, one of the top 20 running back prospects in the Class of 2018. He is one of 13 commits to Baylor in the first full recruiting class under new coach Matt Ruhle.
Whether that should even be an option or not is in the eye of the beholder.