Why Baylor Can Win Nothing In 2015


Despite entering the 2015 college football season ranked No. 4 in the nation, there’s nothing for University of Baylor to win this season.

How the mighty fall sometimes.

The Baylor Bears football program is the latest high-profile outfit from Texas to find itself embroiled in a scandal.

But this time, we’re not talking about paying some players under the table, or inappropriate relations with a sports agent at the amateur level.

No gifts, no drugs and no doctored transcripts either.

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This time we’re talking about sexual assault, an age-old human offense that’s found at the very depths of the toilet bowl. Further, it’s not just rumor on this occasion as a highly regarding prospect was sentenced to 180 days in jail and 10 years of probation for the 2013 offense.

Defensive end Sam Ukwuachu may never play football again. He never did play for Baylor – but after all this mess, he’s very much there and omnipresent.

Worst of all, Ukwuachu was obviously invited to the Bears program from Boise State, where the 6’4”, 230 pound pass-rush specialist had already made an impression both on and off the field.

This player was named a 2012 Freshman All-American following his first season with the Broncos. His 4.5 sacks, seven tackles for a loss and stunning athleticism made him the kind of player that a program does everything under the heaven’s to keep around – this guy still had plenty more football left at the college level.

Why then would Ukwuachu transfer to Baylor following that impressive debut?

I could be wrong, but I have heard nothing that suggests that grades were an issue. No indication that I can see suggests that he was homesick to return to Texas.

There is, however, a little matter concerning Ukwuachu and yet another female while still in Boise.

In most other stories regarding the Ukwuachu case, including this one, it’s stated that he simply transferred to Baylor following his outstanding performance at Boise.

It’s important to remember that this player was kicked off the team for reasons that were completely unclear, at least to those beyond the Broncos inner circle.

John Werner of the Waco Tribune quoted Ukwuachu with the following in May of 2013 regarding the reasoning behind his relocation:

"It was a personal issue that I don’t want to go in depth with. But it wasn’t a big issue. A minor problem occurred and the coaches decided I needed to get a fresh start with somebody else."

Again, nobody ends up being booted off a football team if it wasn’t a big deal.


Given the findings of the jury in this case, and the recommended eight-year sentence, it seems like it was a rather big deal – and it was.

Fast forward two years and three months, and we now get this from Tommy Witherspoon, again with Waco Tribune:

"Records from Boise State filed in the case show that Ukwuachu, who reportedly was drinking and using drugs, and the woman were involved in a dispute. Ukwuachu broke a window and cut his arm, requiring medical treatment and prompting a Boise police investigation. It is unclear from the records if that incident triggered Ukwuachu’s dismissal from the Boise State team, where he started the final 12 games as a freshman and had 35 tackles, including 16 solo tackles, and 4.5 sacks as a defensive end."

No, it may not be clear as to whether or not this incident led to the ousting at Boise, but given how things unfolded in Waco, it’s looking like a really strong bet.

So, the question now is what Baylor head coach Art Briles knew after his much-speculated initial discussion with then-Boise State head coach Chris Petersen, now head coach at University of Washington.

This is like a bad tennis match, with both sides claiming no responsibility for a decision that obviously backfired for both individuals.

Either Peterson wasn’t completely forthcoming with his assessment of Ukwuachu’s dismissal, something that’s incredibly unlikely.

Or, Peterson told Briles the truth and advised that he proceed with caution, which Brile’s apparently didn’t.

Briles is a self-made Texas football coach if there ever was one having coached high school football for many years with great success – you don’t reach Baylor because to just cue up video tapes of upcoming opponents, right?

It’s doubtful we’ll ever really know what the conversation consisted of, but we do get a picture of what was likely to have taken place.

Perhaps most shocking, at least to me, is what exactly was going on with Baylor president Ken Starr. If you’ll recall, this was the same guy who prosecuted a consensual affair between then-President of the United States Bill Clinton and intern Monica Lewinsky.

I would have thought that Starr would have been all over this case like a starving tiger on a piece of meat.

But no.

The initial report of Ukuachu’s actions generated little, if any, real interest from the university. Yes, winning football games matters, especially when you just went 11-2 and barely missed the college football playoff bracket just nine months ago.

This might explain why Jane Doe, as she’s legally referred to, has hired some heavy hitting attorneys to take this matter further.

No matter what Baylor accomplishes on the field this season, it’s hard to imagine that there’s going to be anything more than a collection of losers to discuss in the fallout of this matter.

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