Baylor has hired Mack Rhoades as its new athletic director. He’ll take over the job after a big shift in athletics leadership at the university in the wake of a sexual assault scandal, and how it handled sexual assault reports.
Rhoades comes to the job from the University of Missouri, where he spent a rocky 15 months – Mizzou’s president and head football coach both stepped down during that time, although for different reasons.
Rhoades will have plenty on his plate at Baylor. Besides pending legal trouble, NCAA sanctions, and a coaching search, many are calling for a culture change at the school – particularly in its athletic department. Brice Cherry, sports editor at the Waco Tribune-Herald, says after the shakeups, fans and alumni are waiting to see what changes Rhoades will make.
“All along the way they’ve wanted to see what’s next,” Cherry says. “And now they’ve filled a very significant hole with that athletic director position.”
He says Baylor has cracked down on discipline in the wake of the scandal.
“I’ve already talked to coaches at Baylor in various sports who have told me that things are a lot tighter over there now,” he says. “Where things that would not go through the compliance department before, like maybe just an argument between two student-athletes … now something just as innocuous as that is being sent to compliance.”
Cherry says another big part of Rhoades’ job will be working on repairing Baylor’s reputation.
“(He’ll be) kind of trying to promote the idea that there’s still good kids at Baylor, there’s still a lot of good people,” he says. “He’ll be a big part of trying to create that culture. And people who have known him at Houston, UTEP, Akron, they have really, really high praise for him.”
Listen to the full interview in the audio player above.
Post by Alexandra Hart.