Baylor U.'s sports troubles leak into school's religion debate
When Weblog last talked about Baylor University, President Robert Sloan was about to face off against critics who accuse his ambitious Baylor 2012 campaign of being some kind of fundamentalist ploy.
Sloan seems to have emerged from that meeting relatively unscathed, and Provost David Jeffrey got in a good dig at Sloan's detractors by subtly suggesting that they, not he, were the fundamentalists. "I know something about fundamentalist institutions," he said. "They're anti-intellectual, parochial places that resist change at all costs. They do not share qualities with the Baylor of Robert Sloan."
However, more recent Baylor news has potential to create more serious problems for the college, its president, and his efforts to make it "the finest Christian institution of higher learning on this planet."
The body of basketball player Patrick Dennehy was finally found Friday. His former teammate, Carlton Dotson, has been charged with murder.
But Dennehy's family is further complicating the situation, saying Baylor basketball coaches violated NCAA rules, such as paying for his tuition and living expenses when he wasn't on his scholarship. Baylor coach Dave Bliss has denied the allegations, and the school has set up an inquiry panel made up of members of the law school.
In today's New York Times, columnist Selena Roberts suggests that these and other sports troubles suggest a problem with the school's character. "How could this God-fearing university find itself in the middle of a murder investigation involving two gun-toting players who may—or may not—have been part of a corrupt program?" she wrote. But Roberts's efforts to paint Baylor as the Elmer Gantry of higher education ...1