Friday, May 27, 2016

Same stuff, different day

This was about bottom lines, in the end.  Nothing else. It was about what men (and, yes, women, too) will do in service to the revenue stream, what they will ignore or pretend isn't happening because the revenue stream is all, high-end college athletics long ago abandoning the fiction that it's part of the larger university mission.

No, sir. High-end college athletics is a separate entity now, an engine of commerce only. And that especially pertains to football, the mightiest engine of commerce there is.

And so no praise today for Baylor University for "doing the right thing" by firing football coach Art Briles and demoting Ken Starr (yes, that Ken Starr) from university president to chancellor and law instructor. Baylor did not do this because it got a sudden attack of conscience, or because of some newfound sensitivity for the victims of the alleged sexual predators on its football team. It did this only because the cascade of revelations was threatening to hurt the football program.

In other words: Same motivation, different day.

The same instinct that led Baylor to pervert its own process regarding sexual assault allegations -- why would members of the football staff be allowed to interview alleged victims of the football team, unless it was to convince them to shut up? -- led it to purge Briles and demote Starr. And even at that, how does Ken Starr get to keep drawing a paycheck?

This was, after all, an institutional failure not just of athletics but of the university's policy regarding sexual assault on its campus. And the responsibility for that goes straight to the top. So how is Starr not on the street, too?

(Quick aside: What splendid irony this is. Ken Starr, who made his rep chasing Bill Clinton to the ends of the earth because of Clinton's sexual misconduct, presiding over sexual misconduct -- rampant sexual misconduct, apparently -- at Baylor. Seems his outrage over Monica Lewinsky's exploitation was not transferrable to Baylor. Clinton, after all, was only the President of the United States, not a football powerhouse in Texas.)

In any case, you could lose a bundle betting Baylor's actions yesterday indicated it had seen the error of its ways. More like seeing it got caught red-handed protecting the revenue stream, same as any other corporate interest.

Bidness is bidness, after all. Everything else is just everything else.

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