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The Student News Site of Loyola University Maryland

The Greyhound

Baylor football receives condemning allegations


Photo courtesy of Rockin’Rita via

Southern Methodist University (SMU) in Dallas is the only major college football program (FBS Division 1) to receive the death penalty, prohibiting the team from playing for at least one year. They got the death penalty in 1987 in large part to massive recruiting violations in the 1980’s. Essentially, SMU paid players to play for them. SMU football was dead for two years before they got their team back in 1989, and it took them 20 years to make it to a bowl game, let alone to be considered a relevant team again.


To this day, SMU is the only football team to receive the death penalty ruling from the NCAA…Now, enter Baylor football.


According to ESPN, Briles and his staff “created a disciplinary ‘black hole’ into ‘which reports of misconduct such as drug use, physical assault, domestic violence, brandishing of guns, indecent exposure and academic fraud disappeared.’”

All of these actions disregard the rules of the NCAA, and the allegations go as far back as 2010.

TMZ Sports recently uncovered text messages between former Coach Art Briles and former Baylor Assistant Athletic Director Colin Shillinglaw. Those text messages include conversations like, “Hopefully he’s under radar enough they won’t recognize name – did he get ticket from Baylor police or Waco? … Just trying to keep him away from our judicial affairs folks.” That particular conversation was sent from Briles’ phone regarding a former player who was arrested for underage alcohol consumption.

Another conversation in response to a female claiming she was sexually assaulted by a football player, reads “what a fool – she reporting to authorities.” The assistant coach texted back: “She’s acting traumatized … Trying to talk her calm now… Doesn’t seem to want to report though.”

The most disturbing violation is the sexual assaults. A new lawsuit against the football program is claiming the program, over a 3-year period (2011-2014), committed 52 assaults by 31 different players. Those rapes were reported to the school authorities and assistant coaches, but no players were punished.

 Briles was fired in 2016 amidst an earlier batch of reports and lawsuits citing systemic cover-ups and recruiting violations. The most recent revelations, the text messages and 52 sexual assaults by 31 players, are in addition to the earlier batch and this effectively ruins Briles’ name and career.

He tried to keep all allegations, lawsuits, and any issues whatsoever “in-house,” where the football program and administrators would handle the cases instead of the local police. Briles and the Athletic Department turned a blind eye to the program’s legal issues that created an environment where lawlessness was the law.

This Baylor football case is much bigger and more disturbing than other NCAA scandals in the past.

What remains to be seen is how will the NCAA respond. Baylor football has not been levied the death penalty yet, but indications are that the NCAA will not be kind at all to Baylor. This is not just a football team getting away with things because that happens everywhere in major college athletics. This is a systematic issue, which has already resulted in Briles getting fired, the former Baylor Athletic Director resigning, and notable football administrators facing lawsuits under Title IX.

Baylor football might not recover from these violations.

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Baylor football receives condemning allegations