DALLAS – In the last 24 hours, things have been said that would generate the texting short hand of ‘SMH.’
The head shaking at Big 12 Media Days continued Tuesday. Baylor interim coach Jim Grobe will probably wish he was someone else (Al Groh?) after reading the transcript (which, unbelievably, referred to him as “Jom” Grobe throughout) of his 20 minutes at the podium here at the Omni Hotel.
Baylor was on the schedule in Day Two with Grobe, quarterback Seth Russell, offensive lineman Kyle Fuller and defensive back Ryan Reid on hand for interviews. But for the second day in a row, the Bears’ off-filed issues and on-the-record comments grabbed the attention.
Grobe, who was called by former Baylor coach Grant Teaff on the night that Briles was dismissed in late May, is taking over a program at a school in turmoil. Some of his comments didn’t exactly calm the waters.
- “We talk so much about changing the culture. That’s not the deal with these players at Baylor. I think most people understand this.The majority of our kids are great kids. I mean great kids! It’s a shame when a few guys can really hurt a large group of people in such a devastating way, really.”
- “The problems that we’re dealing with at Baylor or have dealt with at Baylor to this point are probably problems at every university in the country. I hate to say every one, but I’m guessing most universities are having some of the same issues we’ve had at Baylor. You can make a call as to whether you think Baylor was too strong in the way they dealt with it. Unbelievably, I’ve had people tell me they don’t think they dealt with it strongly enough.”
- “We’ve had some misbehavior on some kids’ parts, and it’s been hurtful to so many people.”
- “(When asked about retaining assistants from Briles’ staff and changing the culture): “Well, I have to push back, again, and tell you that is not a culture at Baylor University. We don’t have a culture of bad behavior at Baylor University.”
- “(On the team’s depleted roster) “Of course we had some misbehavior kids. So that takes us down to 70 scholarships.”
On Monday, interim president David Garland, a man placed in a near-impossible and unfamiliar situation, was tap-dancing on land mines Monday after the news conference to introduce new athletic director Mack Rhoades.
“There is no more information to really give out,” he said in reference to more details regarding the Pepper Hamilton report. “And I know that may be hard to believe. The information would be more salacious details, and I’m just not going to do that.”
It has become clear that there is no formal, written report from the Philadelphia law firm that conducted an independent investigation on campus. However, the question of the involvement of football assistant coaches who have been retained on Grobe’s staff.
“The university, I think, did a great job in terms of looking at all the facts,” Rhoades said. “They made a decision that that staff remains in place. I support that decision. I look forward to getting to know them.”
During his 45 minutes at the podium Monday, even commissioner Bob Bowlsby talked himself into a trap. While what he said might be true, saying it made some cringe.
“It almost goes without saying that when you combine alcohol and drugs and raging hormones and the experiences of 18- and 22-year olds, it’s probably unrealistic to think that these kinds of things are never going to happen,” Bowlsby said. “But we certainly want to make sure that from the center we do everything we can to ensure that they are minimized, if not eradicated.”
Probably it’s best for all involved that media days wrapped up Tuesday afternoon.