In Waco, Baylor may be considering a self-imposed bowl ban, according to the Fort Worth Star-Telegram. The report claimed the athletic department officials were recently advised to move in this direction by the law firm representing Baylor in its ongoing NCAA investigation; which might now be looking to cite the school with a “Lack of Institutional Control” violation.
If Baylor was to heed the advice, it would most likely be a one-year bowl ban, and would be for this season.
This would be much harsher a sanction than Baylor officials had apparently been anticipating in the wake of the sexual assault that created massive upheaval at the university two years ago:
Baylor’s original hope had been that the NCAA’s investigation into Title IX infractions, specifically pertaining to sexual assault complaints, would result in a similar scenario that happened at the University of North Carolina and it’s academic fraud scandal; that case resulted in no sanctions despite the school essentially admitting to university-wide academic fraud.
According to the Star-Telegram though, the NCAA may have changed its mind after speaking with former president Ken Starr, former athletic director Ian McCaw and former head coach Art Briles. The NCAA is expected to complete its investigation within the next two months.
However, to refute those claims, Baylor released a statement calling the report irresponsible.
“It is irresponsible to report that Baylor is considering a football bowl ban for the 2018 season when in fact the NCAA investigation into the prior football staff and previous athletics administration remains active and ongoing. Additionally, it is premature to speculate as to what the University’s sanctions will be at this point in time.”
It may be nothing, but it may be something. Baylor’s statement doesn’t exactly say the report is not true. Of course, this also assumes Baylor would even be bowl eligible. The Bears won just one game last season, and while they should be improved, they are still expected to be near the bottom of the conference this season.