Disclaimer: I know what you’re thinking: ‘this is a non-Alabama/SEC team being discussed on an Alabama Football website.’ While I understand that, I feel this issue is one that spreads throughout the entirety of the college football landscape – not just in Waco, Texas. Additionally, all charges are still allegations.
The Death Penalty is by far the most horrifying threat posed by the NCAA. It generally would consist of a team being banned from playing a single game for an entire season, and includes with it a massive restriction of scholarships.
The only football team to have ever received the worst-penalty-of-them-all was Southern Methodist University following the 1986 season. The well-documented scandal, now commonly known as the ‘Pony Express’, consisted of a multitude of NCAA violations – including paying players and their families.
While this is generally believed to be standard practice – even in today’s world – the Mustangs drew the NCAA’s ire when they repeatedly violated the same rules over and over again.
When it comes to the current ‘scandal’ at Baylor University, we are talking about so much more than just paying the players. In fact, Baylor wishes that was all that they were doing.
Instead, we are talking about something that has a negative impact on people’s lives far outside of the football field.
We are, quite frankly, talking about rape.
For the longest time in this world, victims of rapes or sexual battery have had a difficult time coming forward. I, myself, have never been in that position so therefore I do not feel I can pretend to understand the reasons behind that, or the stressors surrounding it.
It is true that women have indeed lied about being raped for reasons beyond my grip. It is true that some people do, in fact, want to take advantage of athletes and the money they may eventually bring in.
But, while that is all true, this situation is much, much darker. And it keeps getting worse.
Today, the University was hit with it’s seventh Title IX lawsuit, and more invigorating details were revealed.
Pretty damning allegations in former Baylor volleyball player's Title IX lawsuit against university pic.twitter.com/AGaaWK5n5j
— Mark Schlabach (@Mark_Schlabach) May 17, 2017
As a public sports journalist, I will try not to use harsh terminology. However, as this is a grueling situation, I advise you to turn away if you have a weak stomach.
According to the new allegations brought forward by a former Baylor Volleyball player, team parties consisted of events that most would consider mind-boggling and down-right disgusting.
According to her lawsuit, the players “developed a system of hazing their freshman recruits by having them bring or invite freshman females to house parties hosted by members of the football team.”
And at these parties, “the girls would be drugged and gang raped, or in the words of the football players, ‘trains’ would be run on the girls.”
One video of the incident has emerged and been confirmed as showing several ‘half-conscious’ females being taken advantage of by several members of the Baylor football team at that time.
To add to the list of nauseating allegations, these football parties were also allegedly home to ‘dog fights, going as far as to allow one to be injured so badly it was nearly killed.
And, again, this marks the seventh lawsuit of this nature.
This has become so much more than a game of football. While then-head coach, Art Briles, has since been fired for allowing these things to go on under his watch, it should not be enough to make up for what may have taken place.
If the NCAA can put bowl-bans and scholarship-limitations on teams for getting free tattoos and selling signed jerseys, the punishment for an act that breaks real laws should be punishable to death.
I feel bad for newly-hired head coach Matt Rhule, but he knew what he was stepping into.
Again, at this point, what we are seeing are only allegations. However, an incredible amount of evidence appears to be stacking up in favor of the plaintiffs.
Baylor University does not deserve a football program. And they especially do not deserve the millions of dollars in revenue created by having one.
Nobody should put up with the kind of behavior that was allowed in Waco, Texas. And the NCAA should not put up with anyone that would allow those things to happen.
It is time for the Death Penalty.