Baylor's hired a man with an impeccable name to replace a man who'll never again have a good public reputation. Jim Grobe, most recently the head coach at Wake Forest from 2001 through 2013, takes over Art Briles' staff for the 2016 season amid a university-wide sexual assault scandal.
Baylor needs as many people like Grobe as it can possibly hire. Our Wake Forest site says, years after he stepped down following a 4-8 season, that he has "unquestioned high character." "From a character standpoint, Grobe is as good as it gets," wrote Bruce Feldman. "I have never met a more humble major college football coach," tweeted the AP's Ralph Russo.
Grobe, the former eight-year chairman of the American Football Coaches Association's Ethics Committee, once wrote this after suspending eight players:
Every decision we make in our football program and throughout our Athletic Department is with the future and well-being of Wake Forest and our student-athletes at heart. Winning is VERY important but it will not be pursued at the expense of our integrity. Our players need a reminder sometimes that their commitment to football extends beyond the practice field. We want our players to look back years from now and know that they were more important to us than winning a football game.
So, yes. Universally recognized good dude, and good dude who once took the freaking Demon Deacons to the Orange Bowl with an ACC championship.
Is he the long-term solution for Baylor?
Even with a few astounding seasons, his 110-115-1 career record at WF and Ohio looks more like 1990s Baylor than 2010s Baylor. You'd think the 64-year-old with no major Texas connections would have to go 9-3 or better to get a serious look. That's not far-fetched with this roster, though, which is by far the most talented he's ever had.
Ideally, he captains a sinking ship toward something like shore without anyone getting further embarrassed. As in, he does not pull a John L. Smith. Hiring an interim from outside the staff is a small luxury you get when your head coach is fired before the season, not during it.
We'll see about 2017 and onward once this blazing mess is docked in December, basically.
Next, Baylor must either fire some assistants immediately or explain things in detail immediately.
"[Baylor-Grobe facilitator Grant] Teaff said he expects Grobe to attempt to keep Briles’ assistant coaches on board this season," per the Waco Tribune. That's despite the official report on BU's failings in the Briles era including repeated, vague references to "coaches" interfering in sexual assault investigations.
While it's possible that those "coaches" were already gone, since the investigation covered multiple years, Baylor must clarify which coaches share Briles' blame, and then it must fire any who remain. It must do so very soon. Otherwise, the public has every reason to question how many dirty hands remain.
(Grobe just walked in the door. If Grobe retains the whole staff, hopefully after examining the facts from within, it would still be on Baylor to explain why.)
The fact that AD Ian McCaw resigned Monday night after the Grobe hire does suggest Baylor's not quite done cleaning house.
It doesn't fix the matter of recruiting, but no damn-near-June hire could.
The entire 2017 class appears to be in the process of clearing out, and today's the day we find out how many 2016s won't make it to campus. Rebuilding the 2017 class will be partly the job of Grobe's staff, but mostly up to whoever arrives in December to slap something together on the fly. Having two months to find 20 athletes in Texas who want Power 5 scholarships isn't the hardest thing in the world, even with NCAA murmuring.
And it doesn't fix many of the most important things.
The entire university needs to hire people from diverse backgrounds with reputations like Grobe's, and it needs to set the gold standard for how to handle claims of violence against women. An orderly football season can help restore some cheerful vibes, but that's about it.
Oh, right, Ole Miss has some car-loans-and-test-grades stuff going on. Here's a ranking of every NCAA allegation against the Rebels by zestiness, and here are the light punishments Ole Miss is giving itself.
Houston Nutt's happy most of the Rebels' allegations aren't about his staff ... other than, you know, the biggest one.
Big 12 QBs are now having a jet ski trick passes duel. Yes, continue.
Here's Ole Miss' QB throwing a football dang near 80 yards.
The 1981 Playoff, when multiple teams from Pennsylvania and a team from South Carolina might all make the field.
How do you recruit after a scandal? Bud podcasts about it.
Add Texas A&M to the list of schools sending Mike the Tiger well wishes in their mascots' names.
"Georgia apologizes for giving Ludacris $65,000, condoms and 2 bottles of his own cognac."
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