Everything isn’t better in Texas

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Simply put, some things are always bigger, better but many times badder in Texas.
There’s America’s Team, the summer heat and humidity, tasty barbecue restaurants, filthy rich oil families, the springtime floods...and oh yes, college football scandals.
The latest mess at Baylor reminds me of another scandal involving a Texas university back in the mid-1980s, one that developed a slush fund to pay its football players beginning as early as the mid-1970s.
At the time my parents were living in Dallas, so I basically got weekly updates on the whole fiasco.
Remember, this was way before the internet and before all the different TV channels existed.
Southern Methodist University, led by football coach Ron Meyer, began to dominate college football out of nowhere, much the same as Baylor has done in recent seasons.
In their previous lives both teams were pushovers. Both teams never had an identity. And it’s obvious now that both teams and programs never respected college athletics.
Therein lies the problem.
Reports say Baylor officials and coaches were aware of sexual assault allegations against their players, but to protect a winning product on the field, chose not to investigate or pursue them.
In my mind, what happened at Baylor and what happened also at Penn State makes SMU’s problems look pretty vanilla. How do you compare giving money to a player or to a potential recruit, against allegations of personal violence? Both are obviously wrong, but it’s like apples and oranges.
Former Dallas WFAA-TV sports anchor Dale Hansen (who previously worked in Omaha) was the one who investigated the SMU scandal and nailed them to the wall. He produced evidence of the slush fund that Southern Methodist officials simply couldn’t deny.
What ultimately followed was the death penalty for the football team during the 1987 season, the school then unable to field a squad at all during the 1988 season.
SMU has never been the same, and maybe never will be in my lifetime.
Could the same thing happen in Waco?
I say it not only could, but definitely should. The NCAA needs to drop the hammer hard. It needs to eliminate the Baylor football program, at least for the near future, but it also needs to hold whoever knew of said abuses accountable.
Why should the football coach or his assistants walk away without any ramifications? If they knew a crime was committed and didn’t report it, aren’t they just as guilty?
Shouldn’t all those involved be held to a higher standard?
Is it a coincidence that there’s another huge scandal in Texas? Hardly. Egos are big down there, money is bigger, and winning is king.
Sadly, just like roughly 30 years ago, that winning got in the way of sportsmanship. It got in the way of honestly, of integrity and of pure human decency.
Heads should roll.
DAVE BRADLEY can be reached at advertising@ hamilton.net

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