Is it Time to Give Baylor’s Football Program the NCAA ‘Death Penalty’?

In the wake of Baylor’s sexual assault scandals, some are calling to suspend the program for at least a year.

By Leah Scarpelli & Alex DailyJune 8, 2016 10:34 am| ,

Clear eyes, full hearts, can’t lose?

Sexual assault scandals at Baylor University have a lot of Texans – especially Bears fans – rethinking a few things about college athletics. Richard Parker, a columnist for the Dallas Morning News, says is it’s time for the NCAA to impose the so-called death penalty on Baylor football – that is, suspending the program for a year or more. While others have said the Baylor team should police itself on the issue, or have called for the Big 12 to expel the school from the conference, Parker says that isn’t enough.

“Neither of these, if history is any guide, tend to really work out,” Parker says. “Conferences don’t tend to do that kind of thing, and Baylor has proven, at least in my opinion, to be pretty sloppy at policing themselves.”

He argues that the NCAA has grounds to impose the “death penalty” under Title IX, which provides equal access to education without discrimination on the basis of sex. He says that teams have been punished for more minor offenses, like cheating or recruiting violations.

“Breaking the law,” he says, “particularly when it comes to violent felonies such as rape, is far more egregious than, say, a recruiting scandal.”

More importantly, he says, it sends the message that this behavior will not be tolerated on college campuses, where a majority of students are women.

“I think that not punishing Baylor to the fullest extent possible – and again, we’re not talking about arresting anybody, we’re not even talking punishing the school, we’re talking about punishing the football program – if that can’t be done, I think that sends a chilling message to some 200,000 female college athletes, not to mention the millions and millions of women who attend universities.”

Prepared for web by Alexandra Hart.