Weekend Update with MCM: May 19, 2013

USA TODAY Sports

Everything Baylor Athletics from the weekend of May 19, 2013.

As the writer of a blog related strictly to Baylor Athletics, and not the policies/views/politics of the University at large, there's a story out there that I simultaneously want to talk about openly and want to disregard completely. Not because I hate the subject or don't think we could talk about it here rationally, but because I don't want to open things up in a way that will be detrimental to our University as a whole. There are a number of people who have taken this story and ran with it in ways I don't agree with, pushing me towards commenting, and those people are both within and without the Baylor University community.

I am, of course, talking about the story from ESPN yesterday about Brittney Griner, a story probably precipitated by widespread speculation about what kind of effect Griner's openness might have on Baylor's larger polities. Apparently, our coaching staff, led by Kim Mulkey, told Griner to keep her sexuality as close to a secret as possible while she was at Baylor. From what I understand, she wasn't told to lie, if asked, or deny, if accused. Instead, they asked her not to share that she was homosexual out of fear that the blowback could harm the program. This news has led some to slander Baylor as a whole, saying our policies are outdated and our coaching staff full of bigots, while others have actually responded with anger at Griner, asking why she threw her old coaches under the bus.

Without getting too far into the politics of the situation, something I honestly and earnestly do not want to discuss here, I will say that I disagree completely that Griner or Baylor ever possessed any negative intent toward the other. Baylor University has loved Brittney Griner since the day she gave her pledge to us, and she is one of the most popular athletes in the history of our school. In turn, Brittney Griner, by all accounts, loved her time at Baylor tremendously. Even if you read the ESPN article looking for it, as I did, I don't see how you can interpret her words as a slam against Baylor at all.

Like I said, I don't want this conversation to get too big because this is a board about Baylor Athletics, not one about politics, religion, or anything else related to the debate in our country about homosexuality. But I'm also not going to pull a Kim Mulkey (too soon?) by saying you shouldn't talk about those things. I just don't think this is the place, generally. For my piece, however, I strongly believe that Mulkey was not only protecting her program, as was expressed in the ESPN piece, but her player, as well. It is entirely plausible to me that Mulkey knew this issue would come to the fore eventually and wanted to ensure it did so after Griner left the college game. Neither Griner nor Baylor needed that to happen during a season or while she was still wearing the green and gold.

I'll be watching to see how Baylor responds to this story/issue/situation, if they respond at all. The implications of a coach making this kind of decision for recruiting reasons-- reasons that I can tell you from experience are completely valid, there is at least one major university in Texas that dealt with this issue in the past few years with their WBB program-- are interesting, to say the least. I could see Baylor trying to get out in front of the idea that we are actively working to keep the sexuality of our students, regardless of what that sexuality is, under wraps. But I don't work in PR and don't want to, so I'll leave that to the professionals.

That said, here's everything else.

Baseball Takes Series Finale at Texas Tech, 15-8 - Baylor Bears Official Athletic Site - BaylorBears.com
Baylor salvaged the last game of the last Big 12 regular season series as the Bears erupted for a season-high run total in a 15-8 win over Texas Tech on Sunday afternoon at Rip Griffin Park.

Softball Stays Alive With 8-4 Win Over Arizona - Baylor Bears Official Athletic Site - BaylorBears.com
No. 18 Baylor (41-16) got an eight-strikeout performance from Heather Stearns to go along with 11 hits to stave off elimination with an 8-4 win over Arizona (33-26) Saturday night in College Station.

2014 NFL Draft: Five defensive prospects who could emerge - CBSSports
The top-tier senior prospects like Taylor Lewan, CJ Mosley and Anthony Barr are well known, but there are several potential breakout candidates on the NFL radar

All-Time High 86 Baylor Student-Athletes Earn Degrees - Baylor Bears Official Athletic Site - BaylorBears.com
In graduation ceremonies held at the Ferrell Center on Friday and Saturday, May 17 and 18, an all-time high 86 Baylor student-athletes from 15 sports earned their bachelor's (82) or master's degree (4).

Congratulations, graduates! Thank you for everything you did for Baylor University! We are proud of each and every one of you for your accomplishments on and off the field of play.

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