Since Friday, Baylor and its key members of its leadership have secured the lid to the Sic Em Bears Bunker tight. Head coach Art Briles was scheduled to talk to the media on Tuesday, but that appearance was “surprisingly” cancelled.
The earliest he is expected to talk to the media again is next Monday. On Tuesday, Sports Illustrated ensured there will be more to talk about, and more claims to answer (deny).
On Tuesday, Sports Illustrated ran a report that in 2013 the University of Florida did not want to accept then Boise State transfer Samuel Ukwauchu because of his history in Idaho that included violence against his ex-girlfriend, which he did deny.
(For a little humor and additional fun to what is a great rivalry: The top part of this report includes a story about TCU Heisman hopeful, Trevone Boykin).
Premium content for only $0.99
For the most comprehensive local coverage, subscribe today.
In 2013, then Gators head coach Will Muschamp, according to sources, did not want to take a risk on Ukwauchu.
“There was no way,” one of the former Florida employees told The Inside Read of Ukwuachu. “[Muschamp] wouldn't touch him.”
Baylor did. Last week, Ukwauchu was convicted of raping a Baylor women’s soccer player in 2013. He remained on campus taking classes on scholarship despite an indictment. The immediate aftermath of a scathing report from Texas Monthly and his conviction has not been pleasant for Baylor nation.
This bit of information puts Art Briles’ claim that he had no knowledge of Ukwauchu’s domestic violence troubles in a bad light. Last Friday, Briles insisted that then Boise State head coach Chris Petersen did not tell him about Ukwauchu’s problems, to which Petersen said in a statement he did.
If Will Muschamp was aware of Ukwauchu’s violent past, why wasn’t Briles? This report does not implicate Briles, but it does not look good. Briles may be telling the truth, but this type of report suggests information was out there was to be gained. If Florida knew, and ran, why didn’t Baylor?
Will this sort of information make into the internal investigation that Baylor President Ken Starr has approved?
If one of the reasons Ukwauchu’s wanted to transfer and leave Boise State was because he was depressed and homesick, as Briles said he was told by Petersen, why did Ukwauchu look into transferring to Florida when he is from Pearland, Texas? A quick look at Google Maps and Florida is a bit further away from home than Waco.
When asked by The Seattle Times, Petersen declined to further elaborate on his original statement. He told the Seattle Times when asked to clarify his conversation with Briles: “I really appreciate that question because I think it’s an important one. But I don’t have anything more to add than what my statement was. I really don’t. This is about our football team and that’s really where I’m at on that whole thing.”
Well, as long as he appreciates the question that’s all the matters.
According to the SI report, Boise State was clear to Florida on Ukwuachu’s problems at Boise. Baylor has issued multiple pages of documents obtained from Boise State that clearly state Ukwuachu had no discipline issues; the origins of Ukwauchu’s arrival is whether Briles knew, and now is lying, or he knew and he didn’t care.
Per the SI report: “Ukwuachu also wasn't completely forthcoming with Florida about his relationship with his former girlfriend, the former Gators athletic department employee said. But the Boise State athletic department employee was clear about Ukwuachu's issues, according to the former Florida staffer. Said the ex-Florida official: “There was absolutely no doubt.”
This was not the news Baylor, and its head coach, wanted to hear.