The introduction today of Baylor’s incoming athletics director, Mack Rhoades, included the expected platitudes about change and doing things the right way—less than two months after Baylor admitted it willfully made life hell for students who reported they had been sexually assaulted, especially (though not exclusively) if it involved a football player. Baylor promised to change, but kept just about everyone who was a part of the football staff while the failure to actually investigate was going on.
Interim president David Garland can get away with saying that Briles’s staff is full of “good” and “honorable” men because Baylor took the unprecedented step of having the law firm investigating its handling of sexual assault deliver an opaque oral report that didn’t name names, and left no written report that could some day be subpoenaed or leaked. Garland went on to add that the lackluster investigations, including having a separate system for athletics which the federal government has explicitly forbid, was just a problem with training.
At one point, the new athletic director said things would be cleaned up at Baylor because he has daughters.
Former university president Ken Starr (yes, that Ken Starr) under whom all this happened, also has daughters. Former head football coach Art Briles also has daughters. Former athletic director Ian McCaw also has daughters. Do daughters ensure Rhoades will take campus rape seriously? Just as much as it ensured that Starr, Briles, and McCaw took campus rape seriously. But those ladies sure will come in handy for recruiting!
And, yes, everyone except those who have already left, can stay. That includes Briles’s son, an offensive coordinator with the team, and Briles’s son-in-law, who also is a coordinator and whose wife said her father was the victim of a “media witch hunt.” Here is the reasoning given today:
It’s that last part that rings especially hollow. Nothing new will be uncovered because Baylor has from the start spent so much time burying the details of what happened. It’s epitomized by the decision to not produce a full report on who, exactly, engineered a system that shoved aside women who said they had been assaulted while getting football players back on the field. The truth won’t come out—because Baylor has made sure of it.