Baylor has been in a tough spot for a few months. Through the university’s own fault, just the idea of thinking about its sports programs can give one the willies. Considering many other bigger, far more important aspects of possible institutional immorality have dominated recent headlines, it makes sense too.
It has been easy to look at Baylor’s situation as a whole and think that its football and basketball programs are going to suffer greatly, because people don’t want to be associated with the school.
Yet, here we are, only a few months removed from the year’s biggest college scandal, and the Baylor basketball program has landed Jordyn Adams, a well regarded prospect out of the 2019 recruiting class.
As a player, no one actually knows how good or great Adams will be — he’s only a sophomore in high school. Projecting his skill set today would be like asking what the weather will be three Thursdays from now — it’s too soon to have an educated opinion on the topic.
It’s still an important commitment, though. It has ramifications in the land of perception.
Baylor, it appears, can still recruit at a relatively high level despite it being in the middle of a scandal that would otherwise burn other programs to the ground.
Does this mean that Baylor’s basketball program is going to move forward unscathed from its university’s misgivings? Of course not. It is only one commitment for a few years down the line. Many variables are still in play, including Adams potentially changing his mind at some point, but it is certainly a positive sign.
After all, the alternative is not landing any recruits; the top high school players in the nation could look to Baylor and see a wasteland mired in more red flags than a socialist get-together.
While the sample size is very literally a singular commitment for 2019, that does not appear to be the case here. Instead, Scott Drew has apparently figured out a way to continue his daily business — which he is very good at — while avoiding the potholes most assumed would be waiting for all of Baylor’s sports programs after a post-sexual assault scandal.
This might be like comparing apples to aliens, but Baylor’s football program has seen some of the negative impact of the entire ordeal. Ticket prices are plummeting, recruiting has been spotty, and the future of its program as a Big 12 power is very much in doubt.
Maybe that has something to do with people more directly connecting the dots of the scandal to the football program and how Art Briles handled everything — though it appears to be an ENTIRE university issue that’s not limited to college football — but it’s a testament to Drew that he’s steering the ship in the right direction.
Obviously, it is worth noting that in the grand scheme of things, the sports aspect of Baylor’s recovery is the LEAST important part. This is not to put the basketball program on a pedestal or make it appear as the more important part of this process.
Only time will tell how this all plays out, but if you’re a Baylor basketball fan, it appears there’s very little to worry about in terms of the dark cloud of scandal.
The Baylor Bears basketball program is very much intact.