Baylor Football: What’s Next For The Athletes?
- Updated: June 2, 2016
It’s not a great time to be a Baylor Bear. With all that has occurred at the University, I’m not here to dig the knife in any deeper. What has happened at Baylor has led to an absolute mess of a situation, leading to Art Briles and what seems like everyone else in charge to be axed. Baylor has hired personnel specifically assigned to righting the ship in the athletic program, but it’s too little too late for the football program, as all the damage has already been done.
Regarding the football program, the events that have taken place at Baylor have set the program back 10 years. The punishments that could be on the horizon could be very severe, and the Death Penalty shouldn’t be completely ruled out, though very very unlikely.
In the middle of all of this, Baylor football is losing a lot due to the firing of Art Briles, possibly including and good portion of the incoming Freshman class, as 7 recruits who were expected to enroll at Baylor on the 30th have not just held off but requested their release from their National Letters of Intent. The 7 are the following: Patrick Hudson, JP Urquidez, Jared Atkinson, Kameron Martin, Parrish Cobb, Devin and Donovan Durvernay.
Since they have requested release, Baylor can release them with no penalty, but has the power to make restrictions on where the players are able to sign upon release, such as nowhere in the Big 12 or the state of Texas.
However, it was reported on June 1st that Baylor would not be allowing their incoming Freshman to be released from their NLIs. Baylor has 30 days to answer to all 7 players’ requests, and no doubt will the parents of the recruits go public with their issues if Baylor holds their ground.
With Devin Duvernay, Baylor did not send in his NLI, causing the NCAA to declare his NLI ineligible, allowing Duvernay to sign freely with any other school with no restrictions. The interesting issue is with his twin brother Donovan. Donovan’s NLI was sent in by the University, causing Donovan to be stuck unless Baylor releases the recruits from their NLIs. Devin and Donovan were recruited as a package deal, so it’ll be interesting to see the development with that situation as well.
With the remaining 6 unreleased, we should find out in due time what the future holds for these athletes. If Baylor holds them to their NLIs, then all 6 could transfer out as soon as possible and sit out the required year.
Not only does the Briles firing affect the recruitment of past classes but also Baylor’s future classes, as the 2017 class, which was already off to a slow start, lost all but one commitment, most notably QB Kellen Mond. Recruiting for the 2017 has been damaged almost beyond repair, and could affect future classes if Baylor can’t find a key replacement for Briles after the 2016 season.
Baylor is already in national news, and if they want to avoid scrutiny in the near future, they need to consider letting the incoming recruits out of their NLIs. Though it might set the football program back a few years, the issues at Baylor now are far more important than football. All steps should be taken to ensure the situation is handled appropriately and leaves no stone unturned. Whatever is necessary to fix the scandal at Baylor should be done with no hesitation. It’s going to take a lot to right this ship, but so far the necessary steps have been taken. Now it’s about fixing the future of the players, the program, and most importantly the students of Baylor.