bill-swift - April 11, 2012
This always seems to happen. A school begins to gain a little recognition for its on field/court success and the NCAA has them under investigation. Sadly, whenever this does happen they always tend to find something.
Right when the Baylor Bears should be loving life and feeling as proud as can be they get a stark reminder that just because it looks like a rose and smells like a rose, it can still be a funk weed.
The NCAA has announced that the Baylor athletic program has been under investigation for the last three years for coaches supposedly sending hundreds of illegal text messages and for making just as many illegal calls to potential recruits. Exactly which programs were involved has not been disclosed yet, but both the men's and women's basketball teams appear to be taking center stage.
According to a report on ESPN members of both coaching staffs made over 1,200 calls and texts that they should not have to recruits.
The center of the attention is of course the women's team that is coming off a national title win and record-setting 40-0 season. Brittney Griner was named the AP Player of the Year and head coach Kim Mulkey the Coach of the Year. Now it turns out that there are some questionable activities involving Griner's recruitment back in '07.
What makes the violations serious is the sheer volume of the number of impermissible calls and text messages that show a long and continuous pattern of misconduct over a lengthy amount of time. While that alone could be enough for both the men's and women's teams to receive further sanctions than the ones the university has already imposed, what could really derail the programs is something else entirely. As it turns out, former assistant coach Mark Morefield was busted trying to get a couple of AAU coaches to help him cover the mess up.
Basketball is not the only sport in question either. There are another 405 calls and texts made by coaches in nine other sports—including football and the equestrian team—that were made (those trouble-making horse riders!).
What if any effect it will have on the final standing of either basketball team remains to be seen; It would be shocking to see anyone get stripped of anything here, but it would not be surprising if Baylor is reduced to sending recruits smoke signals for the next couple years along with fewer scholarships.
Knowing the NCAA, now that is has found something, it is going to keep digging. If history is any indication, whenever a team is busted doing a whole bunch of minor things wrong like this there are likely other things that the school has not been busted for yet. Considering how much the school has accomplished in the last year (at least within the football and basketball programs) it sure would be a shame to see those deeds tarnished.
Article by Travis Pulver
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