Baylor athletic director Mack Rhoades is worried the school’s internal strife could impact the search for a new football coach.
Jim Grobe was hired as the team’s interim coach in May after Art Briles was fired following the revelations that Baylor had mishandled accusations of sexual assault by members of the football team.
Grobe’s team is 6-2 in 2016. Given that he inherited a returning coaching staff (sans Briles) that will likely be looking for new jobs in 2017, Baylor is likely looking at a full rebuild of its staff for next season.
“I worry that it will,” Rhoades said on ESPN Central Texas on Tuesday about the impact the school’s issues could have on a coaching search. “I don’t think it has to date at this point in time. I still firmly believe that this is a great institution. Unbelievable institution of caring people that want to do the right thing. Again, we’ve made some mistakes when it comes to athletics. I think this is a great football job. Coach Briles had a part, a big part in making it a great football job. Demonstrated you can win here. Great facilities. All of the resources — great conference. All of those things necessary for somebody to come in and be successful.”
In addition to Briles, the school parted ways with athletic director Ian McCaw and president Ken Starr. Baylor’s vice president in charge of public safety is still with the school. Baylor’s former Title IX coordinator alleged he said that some rape accusers were mentally ill and told her not to put anything in writing “again” in a July meeting.
The ex-coordinator’s allegations came out in a “60 Minutes Sports” piece last week. That same week, Baylor went public with an open letter vowing to be more transparent as it tries to repair its image.
This is the second tumultuous situation Rhoades has navigated in two years as an athletic director. Rhoades was the athletic director at Missouri in 2015 when the football team staged a protest in solidarity with other protests at the school.
Speaking of the assistant coaching staff, Rhoades also said the coaching staff knows he’d have preferred them worrying about last week’s game vs. TCU instead of sending out a statement in support of Briles Friday evening.
“I’ll say this, I’d rather them be focused on whatever they need to be focused on that Friday night than the tweet … and they know that.”
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