(KWTX) Candidates whom Baylor interviewed in the search for a successor to former head football coach Matt Rhule were “given a preview of what they could be getting into,” as the conclusion of the NCAA’s investigation of the program looms, Sports Illustrated reported Friday, citing unnamed sources.
The sources told the magazine that “the case against Baylor is major.”
Baylor announced on Jan. 16 it had hired LSU Defensive Coordinator Dave Aranda to succeed Rhule, who left Baylor to join the NFL's Carolina Panthers.
The university received a formal notice of allegations from the NCAA in the fall of 2018 and they included a lack of institutional control and failure to promote an atmosphere of compliance.
Former Baylor head football coach Grant Teaff, who headed the National Association of College Coaches for 21 years after leaving the university, said at the time he was concerned.
“What the NCAA does can be very devastating to the university and so that's why our university must be prepared and fight these charges and prove that the charges are incorrect,” he said.
The NCAA probe was launched after a scathing report from a law firm commissioned to review the school's handling of sexual assaults involving athletes.
After hearing the Pepper Hamilton law firm’s report, the school’s board of regents voted on May 26, 2016 to fire head football coach Art Briles, reassign Chancellor and President Ken Starr and suspend athletic director Ian McCaw.
Four days later, on May 30, McCaw resigned saying he needed to step down in order to help the university heal and move forward.
McCaw is now the athletic director at Liberty University in Lynchburg. Va.
Starr resigned from his position as chancellor on June 1, saying it was a “matter of conscience,” and he wanted to be able to speak freely, though as KWTX learned, he did have an agreement with Baylor not to disparage the university as terms of his settlement.
He severed all ties with the university in August 2016.
Briles eventually landed a job coaching a semi-pro team in Italy and in May 2019 the Mount Vernon ISD confirmed it had hired him as Mount Vernon High School’s head football coach.
A lengthy KWTX investigation revealed that the law firm fumbled in its investigation, according to university insiders and secret recordings of meetings with athletic staffers obtained by KWTX, which suggest that the firm’s investigators came to Waco with an agenda to purge members of the football program and had a racial undertone in their line of questioning.
KWTX first reported, and the board later confirmed that no Baylor football players were interviewed in the months-long investigation.