Stop me if you've heard this before, but a school that quickly rose to athletic prominence is now facing punishment for a myriad of recruiting violations. This time it's the Bears of Baylor, who were found by an NCAA probe to have racked up nearly 2,000 impermissible phone calls and text messages to recruits over the course of the past few years.
Programs from football to equestrian were involved, but most of the violations took place on the men's and women's basketball teams in 2007 and 2008. It's all minor stuff—text messages during non-recruiting periods, more phone calls than were allowed, minor payments to recruiting serves—but the NCAA is considering these "major violations" simply because there's so damn many of them. The NCAA could tack on more sanctions, but in the meantime Baylor has self-imposed some punishments: a couple lost scholarships here, a few less recruiting visits there.
The 42-month investigation began with the recruiting of Brittney Griner, who was the recipient of some of those impermissible contacts. So there's a temptation to go with the "cheaters do prosper" narrative here—Baylor hoops, both men and women, were able to recruit, build, and win, all while the NCAA was toiling away through a thankless combing of phone records. But here's the best indication of just how goddamn long this thing dragged on. Many of the violations involved a text-to-email service called Teleflip, which a school compliance officer mistakenly told coaches was acceptable. Teleflip was launched, thrived, lagged, and went out of business all in the two-year span Baylor was committing these violations. An entire dotcom bubble swelled and popped in the time it took the NCAA to even start spinning its detective wheels.
And then Baylor sports managed to commit an additional 405 violations after the investigation started. Say this for the Bears: they get their money's worth.
Baylor faces possible sanctions [ESPN.com]