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Scathing Online Schoolmarm sees it all the time: When people find their beloved institution – with which they strongly identify themselves – in the swill, they defend it by turning on their grandest, haughtiest, most auspicious, rhetoric. Our Glorious Penn State is a Bright and Shining Light! We must do battle with the barbarians who distort the record of our heroic coaches! That sort of thing.

The problem is that this approach makes you look like Blanche DuBois defending her virtue and rhapsodizing about Belle Reve.

Grand and glorious Baylor University has fallen on hard times. It sold its soul to football victory at any cost (just like Penn State) and is currently, er, reaping the whirlwind. There’s a new gang rape allegation almost every week. What to do? What to say?

Well, this is what people are saying. Many people are saying that Baylor is a solid candidate for the death penalty. Some say the regents should resign. Some say Baylor should be kicked out of its conference. Some say withhold federal funds. Here’s a typical comment:

Shelving the football program for a few years would send a needed message in college athletics that enabling criminal behavior for the sake of maintaining a program’s national ranking and economic power won’t be tolerated.

And then there’s C. Stephen Evans, a Baylor professor who grandly implores people in and around Baylor to shut up.

I implore those continually criticizing Baylor in a public way to cease and desist. You are doing serious damage to Baylor’s reputation and demoralizing those of us who work to make Baylor a great place for students. Perhaps those of you who are not on campus every day do not realize how dispiriting it is to read such diatribes in the daily paper several times a week.

The reason this sort of writing makes you a laughingstock is that now everyone knows precisely how great a place Baylor has been for students.

[A] student-athlete told her coach that five football players had raped her at an off-campus party. The coach then took a list of names to [football coach Art] Briles, who said, “Those are some bad dudes. Why was she around those guys?”

Baylor’s the kind of place where students need to know before they get there that there are bad dudes on the football team and that it is the student’s responsibility to stay out of their way. There’s Belle Reve, and there’s reality. That’s the Baylor reality.

Critics of Baylor’s criminal disregard of its students are not doing damage to Baylor’s reputation. The regents, the president, the people with power at Baylor who paid Art Briles six million dollars a year to protect very dangerous people who could catch footballs did the damage.

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4 Responses to “The problem with getting on your high horse when you’re in the gutter.”

  1. dmf Says:

    pathetic but hardly unexpected, as a Kierkegaard scholar perhaps he spent too much time justifying Abraham’s commitment to sacrificing Isaac…

  2. JND Says:

    His comments on the Baylor Alumni Association are rich!

    “It is well-known that this group has been feuding with the regents for many years.”

    I wonder if Baylor would even still exist but for the sacrificial gifts of members of the Baylor Alumni Association during the lean years (lean decades, actually, but I love me some biblical references). My grandmother was a life member of said association. She, like many other members, gave until it hurt.

    It was the regents who started the feud, when the association refused to just shut up, roll over, and give money to a rogue board. When the association refused to fall in line, the board squeezed it out.

    One more: live by the sword, die by the sword (Matt. 26:52, paraphrased).

  3. Margaret Soltan Says:

    I’m weak on biblical references, JND, so I appreciate yours.

  4. MikeM Says:

    The latest Baylor lawsuit is even worse than the one filed last year by the student who made similar rape accusations against University of Minnesota football players. The number of incidents and extent of cover-up alleged are stunning.


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