Well, let’s just go down that list, shall we? Horrible hideous shit can happen anywhere, especially in a country where everyone has at least two guns. We’re getting the list now because of the latest entry on it – the nation’s premier Baptist university, and that university’s local police department, spent years ignoring rampantly raping football players. That’s Waco’s latest claim to fame.

Okay, so four things on the list are about Baylor, basketball, and football: The murder, the cover-up, the NCAA sanctions, and now the rapes. If you ask ol’ UD, who’s been covering big-time sports mayhem at America’s universities since you were knee-high to a grasshopper, there’s nothing reigniting or even igniting about that list — homicidal raping covering up and heavily sanctioned university sports programs are not uncommon in the United States.

Admittedly most of the murders take place shortly after the player has dropped out of the school.

Since 2007, [Aaron Hernandez has] been charged with, or linked to, the shootings of six people in four incidents. Three of the victims were gruesomely murdered. One survivor, a former friend named Alexander Bradley, has had multiple operations and lost his right eye. The other two survivors were shot in their car outside a Gainesville, Florida, bar after an altercation involving Hernandez and two of his teammates his freshman year at the University of Florida. While in Gainesville, he sucker-punched a guy and shattered the fellow’s eardrum, and reportedly failed multiple drug tests, though he was suspended only once for those offenses.

But who’s counting? It’s your beloved suspension-averse alma mater we’re describing here, and right this minute you’re loading up the Bud Light in anticipation of tailgate season for you and the young’uns.

So is Waco problematically special? Only stuff special on the list is the two cults – the Davidians and the Pagans.

I’m sure Texas gets more than its share of violent cults, just as Utah and Oregon do, because these states get all goose-bumpy over guns plus they hate laws and shit cuz that’s the state and fuck the state.

No, by prevailing big-time university athletics standards and prevailing state standards, there’s nothing special about Waco.

**********************

UPDATE: UD thanks Derek for pointing out
that this is about basketball as much as football.

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6 Responses to ““In 1993, the siege on the Branch Davidian compound outside of town made national headlines; a decade later, a Baylor basketball player murdered one of his teammates, and then-coach Dave Bliss’s attempt to cover up his own knowledge of problems inside his program led to severe NCAA sanctions. Last year, a shootout involving a biker club left nine dead, 18 wounded and a police department under scrutiny for administrative errors — reigniting a perception that the 25th-largest city in Texas is perhaps its most unstable.””

  1. dcat Says:

    Wait, three of those four issues have to do with basketball, not football.

  2. Margaret Soltan Says:

    dcat: Right you are. I’ll fix.

  3. dcat Says:

    “Athletics” is a sufficient damnation!

    I met a Baylor professor in South Africa a few days ago, and of course he’s appalled by all of this. I think a lot of people feel embarrassed and helpless right now. But the sports genie — especially the DI genie simply runs out of control.

    Hell, at my DII school I’m chair of my University Athletics Committee, spent a year as an interim head coach of one of our programs, am a full professor with an endowed fellowship, and there are a whole lot of things that if I weighed in on about our new football team, I’d get nothing more than a patronizing pat on the head and the new coaching staff would go back to whatever they were doing that I objected to as they prepare for our first game in September. If someone in my position at a place like mine cannot control matters, what chance does a professor at Baylor have? And if a professor at Baylor doesn’t have a chance, what about at a REAL football power, like in the SEC, or much of the rest of the Big 12? Imagine someone with exactly my pedigree (well, the coaching thing is unlikely) at UT-Austin speaking out against anything football related. Now imagine expecting it actually to make a difference.

  4. Margaret Soltan Says:

    dcat: One of my favorite descriptions.

  5. Derek Says:

    Yep. Now, I’ll be going to our games, and was President of our faculty senate when we approved this happening, knowing that some of the promises we heard (that we lost students every year — non-players mind you — because we did;t have a team, that we expected 500 extra students a year because of course the players will bring their girlfriends too, etc.) simply because we wanted to be on the inside of the tent pissing out and to have at least some oversight. If it happened without senate approval — and while we can claim many, many things as a senate, even the broadest view probably didn’t give us veto power over what specific sports teams we have — we’d have almost no oversight. Who knows. I don’t think football has to be bad, but I’ll say this: everyone has talked the talk about doing it the right way. Let’s see what happens the first time one of these guys beats up a non-player or his girlfriend. Or worse.

  6. Jack/OH Says:

    “If someone in my position at a place like mine cannot control matters, what chance does a professor at Baylor have?”

    My local Podunk Tech is run by a dozen or so insiders who control crony hiring. That’s what it’s about. Faculty are expected to deliver canned lectures, and, outside of that, to play ball. Got it?

    Faculty are foam rubber bowling pins to be knocked about as needed to satisfy the latest institutional imperatives.

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