There's a noticeable oddity among today's college basketball box scores: The Baylor Bears, a nationally ranked Division I team, beat the hell out of the Huston-Tillotson Rams, an NAIA team that has a few Division I schools on its schedule, but has no real business playing against the big boys. The motivations behind the Baylor game are truly strange, though, involving a bizarre movie concept and a 56-year-old man wanting to suit up and play for the team.
According to Baylor's director for athletic communications, the game was originally scheduled in the hopes that it would be featured in a movie about Ken Carter, the man whose life story was the inspiration behind the movie Coach Carter. This second movie was meant to feature a scene in which the real-life Carter, at age 56, would play for the Rams in a game against Baylor. Here's how Baylor explained the idea to Yahoo:
"There was a plan for [Carter] to play for Huston-Tillotson this year at age 56," [director for athletic communications David] Kaye said via email. "There are plans for a second movie, and Baylor provided a big-time college opponent to feature Huston-Tillotson playing against in the movie."
Kaye said Baylor initially agreed to host the game as a favor to Carter and because coach Scott Drew thought it would be a fun experience for his players to appear in a movie. Baylor honored its contract to host the game even though Carter's plan to play for Huston-Tillotson fell through and no movie footage was filmed.
So, are NAIA teams just allowed to do whatever the hell they want? One would assume there would be some sort of eligibility rule preventing a team from running a random old man onto the court in an actual game, but who the hell knows? Also, that sounds like a really dumb movie.