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Baylor sold its soul to the devil for gridiron glory


You spend enough years being beaten down in the Texas bloodsport of college football and it can warp your worldview.

Baylor was a historic nobody, trod upon by the powers in the state and region. It was the butt of jokes. It had no bragging rights. The Bears once went 50 years between Southwest Conference championships, from 1924-74, and had 14 straight losing seasons from 1996-2009. Alums took their rhetorical lumps and had their egos bruised at social gatherings, in the office, on message boards, and most every autumn Saturday.

When you have been down that long and fortunes suddenly change, as they did for Baylor in 2010, the winning feels so good that you never want it to stop and you sure don’t want to question how it’s happening. The giddy sensation that accompanies 10-win seasons and a Heisman Trophy and the chance to finally whip Texas and Oklahoma – that’s a powerful drug.

Baylor got hooked on winning.

It stopped caring about the corrosive side effects of recruiting many questionable characters who could ball out on fall Saturdays. It averted its gaze from violent players who raped women, who beat women, who beat other students. It failed to take significant action against those players – sometimes with the help of the local police. It allowed a criminal subculture to exist within a part of its football program. It left their victims feeling helpless and used, collateral damage in the quest for gridiron glory.

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Additional reading: Police records detail several more violence allegations against Baylor football players

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