The opening paragraph of Chip Brown’s article regarding Ken Starr’s eminent ouster ought to be enough to tell you Baylor’s problems go much deeper than President Starr:
The three dozen members of the Baylor regents board are preparing to blame Starr - not football coach Art Briles - for failed leadership during the ongoing scandal over how the school handled reports of rape and assault made against five BU football players - two of whom (Tevin Elliott and Sam Ukwuachu) were convicted of raping Baylor co-eds, sources close to the situation told HornsDigest.com.
If you were to ask me six months, or hell even six weeks ago, my thoughts on the removal of Ken Starr, I would have said ‘no way.’ Despite the fact that two football players who were subsequently convicted of rape and sentenced to multiple decades in prison, I would have said Starr isn’t the problem.
[McCrary: Baylor has Seen Better Days]
Honestly, part of me wants to think he still isn’t, but he’s a big factor in the problem. I’ve written before about how the adults need to be the adults when the young adults want to be children. And while Baylor coach Art Briles, I think, is absolutely the person who needs to be fired, Starr should not have turned a blind eye to what was happening in his athletic department.
Starr should have taken notice in 2014 when Tevin Elliot was sentenced to a 20-year prison term for the rape of two women, and accused by up to five. If that weren’t clear enough, Starr should have taken notice in 2015 when Sam Ukwuachu was convicted of raping a soccer player.
[Terrill: The Blame for Baylor]
But really, Starr should have taken notice in 2009 – shortly after being installed as president – that something was amiss in the athletic program. I won’t pretend to know the reporting structure at Baylor or any athletic program, but it’s hard to image the president wouldn’t have at least heard a whisper of a rape allegation coming out of the athletic department, much less on the money-making football team.
Starr’s history as a former federal judge and independent counsel should have been the impetus for him to clean up the athletic department and put Art Briles and athletic director Ian McCaw on notice, but it doesn’t appear he did.
It’s amazing that Starr, a man who was able to secure impeachment proceedings against former president Bill Clinton, can’t cleanup rape at what is really, a small-time college in Texas. If we were talking about the man who removed Richard Nixon from office, I guess I wouldn’t be that bothered, but we’re talking about the dude who made ‘blowjob’ and ‘cum-stained dress’ everyday vernacular in 1999.
This is the guy parents entrust the safety of their daughters to; who fails those parents because football is more important than safety.
Mr. Starr talks about how ‘great’ Bill Clinton has become in his ‘redemptive’ years post-White House, but what has Ken Starr done to redeem himself? Absolutely nothing, and if anything he’s made matters worse for what little respect some of the populous had for him.
[Merenbloom: Baylor and Art Briles Live Off of Redemption]
Ken Starr certainly isn’t the biggest problem at Baylor, but for someone who served as a judge, independent counsel and president at a large university, he’s certainly the face of failure in 2016.
Baylor’s board of regents should immediately take the steps Starr wouldn’t. Terminate Starr completely, then follow that up with the termination of athletic director Ian McCaw and Art Briles. None of those moves are popular, but someone has to take responsibility when others won’t.
E-mail Damien at firstname.lastname@example.org and follow him on Twitter @damienbowman.
Photo: Baylor University