clock menu more-arrow no yes

Filed under:

Daily Bears Report 4/9/2017- Matt Rhule Interview

New, comment

Track & Field wins 8, lady Bears look to WNBA draft, softball keeps slugging, football keeps ‘cruiting, baseball, tennis, golf, acrobatics & tumbling and scandal and more.

USC v Baylor Photo by J Pat Carter/Getty Images

Today’s Events

Lady Bears Basketball

Director of Athletics Mack Rhoades said seniors Khadijiah Cave, Nina Davis, Alexis Jones and Alexis Prince “have left an unbelievable legacy,” while interim President Dr. David Garland said, “this was the best darn team in the country and the champions of our heart.”

This year’s team finished 33-4, set 16 school records and two NCAA all-time records and made it to the Elite Eight for the fourth straight year before falling in overtime to eventual national runner-up Mississippi State, 94-85.

Reminding the crowd of how hard it is to win a national championship – the Lady Bears won it all in 2005 and again in 2012 – Mulkey said, “We will continue to play for championships at Baylor.”

“The passion I have is not for me,” she said. “My passion is for these young ladies to experience what I’ve experienced.”

Sharing team MVP honors were 6-7 sophomore post Kalani Brown and the 5-11 Davis, who picked up the award for the third straight year. Brown led the team in scoring (15.4), rebounding (8.2) and blocks (2.0) and ranked second nationally in field goal percentage (67.9).

“I told Kalani, ‘Play like a bear, not like a teddy bear,” associate head coach Bill Brock said of the WBCA All-American and first-team All-Big 12 selection.

A two-time consensus All-American who took on a lesser role as a senior, Davis was described as the ultimate team player. She averaged 13.6 points and 5.6 rebounds per game and became just the fifth player in program history to tally over 2,000 points (2,433) and 1,000 rebounds (1,074).

“How in the world do you describe Nina Davis if you’ve never seen her play,” Mulkey said. “I’m not going to tell you she’s got the prettiest shot, but it goes in. So why am I going to mess with it?”

#Baylor Lady Bears get ready for the WNBA draft #Sicem

Track & Field

Football

#Baylor Spring Practice #10 Matt Rhule interview #SicEm

Many observers questioned if he could pull together a solid class since the Bears had just one commitment – Stafford defensive back Jalen Pitre – when Rhule became Baylor’s coach in December.

Rhule and his staff not only found much needed recruits at positions across the board, the class is highly regarded since it’s ranked No. 32 nationally by Rivals.com.

Four of those recruits graduated from high school early to enroll at Baylor in January including Pitre, Lake Travis quarterback Charlie Brewer, Abilene running back Abram Smith and Cypress Ranch wide receiver R.J. Sneed.

“They should be at the prom right now,” Rhule said. “They should be sitting in home room right now. They are really mentally and physically light years ahead of where you would think a kid in that time frame would be. I think the biggest thing is those are really high-character kids.”

Baylor Football: Tenth Spring Practice Recap [2017]

Softball

Baylor Softball: Highlights vs. Iowa St. (Sat)

Baseball

Tennis

Baylor Tennis (W): Highlights vs. SMU

Rico Gathers

Former #Baylor Basketball player Rico Gathers From hardwood to the gridiron #Sicem

Jonathan Motley

College Basketball Awards-#Baylor's Jonathan Motley-Karl Malone Power Forward of the Year #SicEm

Golf

Acrobatics & Tumbling

Baylor A&T will close out the regular season with a road meet at Azusa Pacific on April 11 and then return to Azusa, Calif., for the NCATA National Championships April 27-29.

Scandal Fallout

The group of BU alumni, donors and past regents formed amid controversy over Baylor’s questionable handling of sexual-assault cases and governance decisions. And now it has backed state legislation that would use Tuition Equalization Grants to strategically strike at embattled Baylor leadership.

Admittedly, Bears for Leadership Reform chose a bizarre way to do this, calling on regents to support the legislation. That’s like asking Syrian President Bashar al-Assad to support transparency regarding his use of chemical weapons. But then requests for transparency over many months have come to little while matters have worsened.

“Every week we’re seeing new accusations, new leaks,” BLR President and major Baylor donor John Eddie Williams said. “It’s a drip-drip-drip of bad news with no end in sight. We find ourselves in a situation where we have a Texas Rangers investigation [of Baylor] in Waco, we have Title IX investigators [from the U.S. Department of Education’s Office for Civil Rights] on campus, we have the accreditation agency looking into issues at Baylor, we have several bills in front of the Texas Legislature calling for open meetings and then we have lawsuits where the depositions and discovery should begin soon and even more lawsuits possible on the horizon.”

The Legislature’s creation of the Tuition Equalization Grant in 1973 was warmly welcomed in communities with private, religiously oriented institutions of higher learning. This taxpayer-funded financial assistance sought to level the field so students of modest means seeking to attend expensive private schools could better afford the cost. Yet this grant understandably troubled some. While private schools across Texas were more than happy to accept taxpayer money, they remained exempted from the state’s public-meetings law, coincidentally passed by legislators the same year they created TEGs. While public colleges and universities have had to demonstrate considerable transparency in such areas as trustee meetings, their private equivalents are allowed to skirt such scrutiny.

Now ongoing calamity at Baylor is fueling a gutsy legislative proposal to end closed governance meetings there and elsewhere. That can’t make Baylor too popular among private universities. As shrewdly written, the bill requires such transparency only of Baylor — Texas’ oldest continually operating institution of higher learning — and University of the Incarnate Word in San Antonio, which just happened to fall within the legislation’s narrow and punishing parameters. But that could well change.

Last month’s Senate Higher Education Committee hearing was ostensibly focused on state Sen. Kel Seliger’s bill demanding private universities and colleges accepting more than $5 million annually in Tuition Equalization Grants have governance meetings open to the public — in short, Baylor and UIW. However, the hearing quickly became an inquisition over Baylor’s handling of its sexual-assault controversy, all directed at its interim, low-key president, David Garland, whose explanations were peppered with nervous reminders he was not privy to the Pepper Hamilton law firm’s now-infamous oral presentation of its investigation to regents. He mentioned he was on sabbatical during much of the time in question.

From the outset, Seliger has made clear his legislation is all about Baylor regents’ reluctance to furnish sufficient accountability for their actions in matters directly involving students and public safety. Criticism focused not only on regents’ May 2016 decision to remove a winning head football coach, athletic staffers and a popular president after the Pepper Hamilton report but also on whether other officials contributing to the scandal were still working on campus. Key thrust: Regents’ closed-door meetings had contributed mightily to Baylor’s widening problems.

Steppin’ Out Day

More than 2,000 Baylor Students were out and about the Waco area for service projects Saturday. Story with Video by Channel 6 KCEN TV’s Kurtis Quillin at KCEN TV dot com.

It was part of Baylor’s "Steppin' Out" Day.

Baylor students build a prayer garden, put on an Easter egg hunt, and took part in Keep Waco Beautiful projects.

At Tennyson Middle School, they painted lockers, helped organize the library, and took care of more extensive gardening. Laura Lilley, a Tennyson Middle School teacher talked about how nice it was for the students to help.

“Just to have a great group of Baylor students who don’t seem to have a stop button doing whatever they can to help,” she said.

The students said it’s all a part of keeping with Baylor’s mission.

Baylor Student Emma Beaird said part of being in a caring Christian community is investing the Waco community outside of Baylor.

“So we’re really glad that we’re able to pour into the local Waco community,” she said. “Get outside of Baylor and really serve in places that need service.”

The events purpose is to enhance student awareness, interaction, and collaboration with the community.

For Baylor Student Haley Fenn, she said they live in a community that really supports them as a university so it is really nice as a student to get to know the Waco community.