The Bears are in the Top 10 and a contender for the Big 12 title, but lately Baylor is making headlines for all the wrong reasons. Last weekend they had a bye, but still found themselves the talk of the town after their passing game coordinator was spotted on the Tulsa sideline during their game against Oklahoma.
Oklahoma head coach Bob Stoops was understandably annoyed at the situation during his weekly press conference.
“I don’t know what he was doing here,” Stoops said Monday. “It’s something that needs to be dealt with by our people and the Big 12 office.”
The NCAA is still determining what, if anything, they’re going to about it, but Baylor is taking some preemptive action. They’ve suspended levy for the first half of their game against Oklahoma on November 14th.
“The opportunity for Coach Lebby to scout a future opponent by being on the sideline of a conference member’s opponent is inconsistent with the principles and expectations of the Big 12 Sportsmanship and Ethical Conduct Policy,” Big 12 commissioner Bob Bowlsby said in a statement. “I appreciate the action of Baylor athletics director Ian McCaw in addressing this matter and accept the University’s self-imposed penalty.”
Lebby maintains that it was a lapse of judgement on his part, but a simple mistake. He was there visiting his friend, Tulsa head coach Philip Montgomery, and didn’t realize it was against NCAA rules.
Still, accident or not, a half-game suspension is a pretty weak. At the very least he’s guilty of extreme ignorance, and it’s a violation of a pretty fundamental rule. It didn’t occur to him when walking across OU’s campus teaming with tailgaters donning crimson and cream that, ‘hey, this might be a bad idea’?
It’s also worth noting that Oklahoma could be the toughest game on the Bears schedule after the deluge of player attrition TCU has suffered the last month. Still, what’s there to gain that Baylor couldn’t see on tape? Well it turns out, quite a bit.
“Some of the things you can’t get on film, the cadence, if the quarterback’s hard counting, maybe checks at the line,” An unnamed Big 12 assistant coach told Campus Rush. “Defensively, if they’re making calls, what they’re doing.”
Briles has said that it was unethical for Lebby, who’s also Art’s son-in-law, to be on the sidelines and has apologized to coach Stoops. Whether or not it was intentional though, is up for debate, and a half-game suspension isn’t exactly going to ease anyone’s suspicions.