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Saturday Late Night with OBF

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Regent Emeritus Drayton McLane COMES TO THE DEFENSE OF ART BRILES.

SMU v Baylor Photo by Tom Pennington/Getty Images

Before we get to the game highlights, these slideshows catch a glimpse of military appreciation day at McLane Stadium. From ODB and OBF a sincere thank you to all our verterans. We appreciate your service and sacrifice.

John Westbrook Honored

Walter Abercrombie brings us this video from the Baylor B association honoring former Baylor running back John Westbrook who made history as the first African American to play a down of football in the Southwest Conference.

John Werner from the WacoTrib brings us more on John Westbrook.

During his short, vibrant lifetime, John Westbrook ran for lieutenant governor of Texas, served as pastor for a huge Baptist congregation in Houston and gained a reputation as a gifted orator and humanitarian.

He packed a lot of life in 36 years.

But his most notable achievement might have come during his sophomore year at Baylor when he became the first black athlete to play in a Southwest Conference football game.

On Sept. 10, 1966, Baylor coach John Bridgers put Westbrook into a nationally televised season-opening game against Syracuse. The Bears were on their way to a 35-12 win over the No. 7 Orangemen when Westbrook came in during the fourth quarter and popped off a nine-yard run on his first carry.

Watching the game on TV from his home a few blocks from Baylor Stadium, 7-year-old Walter Abercrombie saw a whole world of possibilities open up before his eyes.

“I thought ‘Wow, he’s going into the football game,’” said Abercrombie, who went on to become Baylor’s all-time leading rusher. “It wasn’t a very significant role, but I thought at the time it could be me one day. I might be able to go to Baylor. As a young kid, it ignited my imagination that a little black kid in South Waco could become a running back and play on TV and in front of large crowds and get cheered.”

1966 Football’s Reunion Celebrated

Baylor’s 1966 Football Team makes fifty year re-union. Baylor Bears dot com has this story.

Coming to Baylor in the fall of 1966 as a highly touted blue-chip recruiting class that stacked up with the mighty Texas Longhorns, they were confident that the Bears were going to the Cotton Bowl for the next four years.

“But, it never materialized,” says John Mosley, who coach John Bridgers described as “the best player to ever come out of Elkhart, Texas.”

From those lofty expectations and high hopes, the Bears won just four games combined in their three years on varsity, finishing with a winless 1969 season under first-year head coach Bill Beall.

“If anything, we built a lot of character together going through those last couple of years at Baylor,” said Richard Stevens, an offensive tackle from Dublin, Texas, who played six years with the Philadelphia Eagles. “I’ll always cherish that.”

Apparently, they all do.

Last weekend, more than 20 players from that original class gathered for a 50-year reunion, going to Baylor’s season opener last Friday and then a luncheon on Saturday at the house of 1969-70 letterman Jim Sartain and his wife, Debbie.

“What’s amazing is that after 50 years, no one had really changed,” said Joel Allison, a Baylor Regent, the longtime CEO of Baylor Scott & White Health and proud member of the ’66 Baylor “Cubbies.” “We hadn’t seen each other for a long period of time. And at an event like that, it’s like you never were away. You just get right back to where we were in 1966.”

Baylor vs. SMU Game Highlights

Baylor Post Game Interviews

Visit Our Daily Bears Sunday for Mark’s thoughts on today’s game along with other links.

Post Game Interviews with SMU

Chad Morris

Ben Hicks

News That’s Not Football (and maybe not even recent)

And in other news, here’s Friday’s Baylor Athletics update video.

Volleyball

Baylor volleyball makes a clean sweep to close out Friday’s Seminole tournament in Florida. From Baylor Bears dot com, which also has stats and game details and highlights):

Baylor volleyball (6-4) knocked off the Little Rock Trojans (3-6) and the Florida A&M Rattlers (2-7), winning both matches in straight sets to close out the final day at the Home2 Suites Seminole Invitational.

Soccer

Baylor Soccer fell 1-0 to Samford in Double Overtime on Friday. KXXV 25 has the story, stats and notes.

Baylor soccer dropped a tough 1-0 double overtime match at Samford on Friday evening at Samford Track and Soccer Complex. The Bears (5-2-0) fought hard for 106 minutes but were unable to find the back of the net against the Bulldogs (2-2-2).

BU had a Raegan Padgett goal called back on an offside call in the 21st minute and missed on a good chance in the 96th minute as a two-on-one break by Padgett and Lauren Piercy led to a high shot by Piercy. Samford ended the match in the 106th minute on a long shot by Allie Lourie that bounced off the left post and in for the golden goal.

“We had two games last week where we were able to put one away at the end. Tonight we didn’t. That’s the game of soccer. We played well enough to win but give credit to a really good Samford team. They battled. It was two really good teams going after a win. I’m proud of our progress so far this season, and now we have a quick turnaround Sunday at Auburn.” – Head Coach Paul Jobson.

Auburn Women’s Soccer hosts Baylor Sunday at 2:00 p.m. CT. The match will air on ESPN3. AlabamaNews dot net brings us this pregame article:

Fresh off a win to open up conference play on Friday night, Auburn is set to host Baylor for its final non-league opponent in the regular season on Sunday afternoon. Kickoff is slated for 2 p.m. at the Auburn Soccer Complex.

The Tigers (4-3-0) ride into the matchup after a 2-1 victory over Vanderbilt to begin SEC action. Brooke Ramsier converted a penalty and Kristen Dodson secured the game-winner in the 74th minute to guide Auburn to victory. Dodson now has two match-winners on the season and is tied for third in the SEC in that category.

Baylor (5-2-0) will be a new opponent for the Tigers, as the teams will meet for the first time in series history on Sunday. Auburn holds an 8-7-4 mark against teams currently constructed in the Big 12 Conference all-time.

DRAYTON MCLANE and ART BRILES Interviews

Drayton McLane

Baylor University benefactor and Regent Emeritus at Baylor, Drayton McLane interviews with KWTX TV calling for patience, understanding and more information.

On Friday however, McLane, a 1958 Baylor graduate who served on the school’s board of regents for 18 years and as chairman of the board from 1988-2006, and who’s now a regent emeritus, praised Briles as a man of high integrity and Christian values and applauded KWTX for its reporting.

“I thought that represented a story that had not been told. And I think more details need to be brought forth and we need to be more open with the public of what the real issue was and how the board reached these decisions that they did,” he said.

He says more information needs to come to light because “we need to come to better conclusions.”

McLane, as a regent emeritus, is allowed to attend board meetings, but may not vote.

Because of a scheduling conflict he says he heard only a few hours of Pepper Hamilton’s oral presentation to the board and says he did not know about Briles’ termination until after the university announced it.

“I have not been privileged on the (Pepper Hamilton review) in knowing really what they say the issues are. I just know Art in the times I have dealt with him. High integrity, Christian values that he expressed to me and I heard that constantly at the University of Houston. Boy, they were brokenhearted when he left to come to Baylor.”

“I didn’t have the knowledge the board had so I can’t speak on the issue of Pepper Hamilton, but I just think the entire story needs to be unfolded in what the real issues are. The victims, the young ladies, but there are others at Baylor that this has been very difficult for.”

“It’s sad, the victims, boy, my heart is broken for the victims, all the people that were involved,” McLane said.

“This has been very difficult for everybody. Difficult for the board and for the leadership at Baylor University and so we need to come to a conclusion--a fair conclusion that helps resolve this and determine how we can move forward.”

McLane said his relationship with Briles started back when their professional careers crisscrossed while Briles was the head coach at the University of Houston and McLane owned the Houston Astros.

He says the Art Briles the media has portrayed in their coverage of the scandal is not the Art Briles he knows.

Art Briles on “Game Day”

ESPN aired an interview with Art Briles today on Game Day. Fox Sports brings us what he said in it’s entirety without any of the ESPN slant or condescending commentary we’ve grown accustomed to. I wonder if this coupled with Bruce Feldman’s being relegated to “sideline commentary” at today’s Baylor vs. SMU game marks a shift in the direction the narrative will be taking.

Finally, Rinaldi wrapped up the interview with a few more, quick questions.

He asked Briles what responsibility he feels for the actions of his football team.

"I feel responsibility. I do. These players are part of our program. They representative of our program. When they do wrong, it reflects on me, and our university. So I do feel responsibility."

What did he, Briles lose, after being terminated as Baylor's head coach?

"What did I lose? I lost some of my soul quite honestly. I always lived my life for other people, the people that love me and respect me and honor me. When that gets altered or damaged that hurt. The things, my mother and father [who both died in a car crash in 1986]. I've been doing that since I was 20 years old, trying to uplift their name. That's critically important to me.

And finally, Briles was asked what he believes the "Briles name"means to people now.

"I don't know. I hope it means honor, integrity, passion and care. It means it to me."