Listen

Baylor Scandal, Dodgers Surge: The Week In Sports

Aug 22, 2015
Originally published on August 22, 2015 10:46 am
Copyright 2019 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

And it's now time for sports.

(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC)

SIMON: Well, that was a good trade. Just three weeks after he was traded from the Milwaukee Brewers to the Houston Astros, Mike Fiers threw a no-hitter for his new team last night. He blanked the LA Dodgers. But the story in college football is grim. A Baylor defensive end was sentenced to six months in prison yesterday for sexual assault. What did Baylor know, and when did they know it? Howard Bryant of espn.com and ESPN the Magazine joins us now from the studios of New England Public Radio. Howard, thanks so much for being with us.

HOWARD BRYANT, BYLINE: Good morning, Scott.

SIMON: And let's ask, please, about the case in Waco. Sam Ukwuachu has been sentenced 180 days, sexual assault. It's only part of the story though.

BRYANT: Well, it's - the story is really the university, Baylor University, knowing that here was a player who had had this issue, and they did nothing. They - there's a - he said...

SIMON: He was tossed off the Boise State...

BRYANT: He was tossed off the - of the Boise State team, yes. He was a player at Boise State and was dismissed from the team and then transferred to Baylor. And now you have a he-said-he-said back and forth between Baylor Coach Art Briles and the coach at Boise State, Petersen - former coach, who's now at Washington - about how - about what they knew. And Petersen is adamant that - he told ESPN yesterday that he told Baylor, told Briles, everything about Ukwuachu's past. And Briles had previously said that they knew nothing, that the University told them nothing, that he had simply had some problems and was depressed over his former girlfriend. But the story is much deeper and much darker than that. And it goes back, once again, to how much do these universities want to know? It goes back to the things that we talk about constantly, about the talent trap of having people with ability and having the rules not apply to them and having the schools not want the rules to apply to them because they're good players. And once again, now you've got a player who is facing 20 years. He got 180 days in jail but 10 years felony probation. And once more, these universities have a responsibility to the other students and to the women who were involved in this as well. There's more to life than football, and there's more to this than just their talent. And it's - Ken Starr has promised an investigation. I think he knows a little bit about investigations (laughter), being the Lewinsky Whitewater guy from a bunch of years ago. So I really feel like this is something that these universities are not going to be able to get away with. But they keep getting away with it, and it's very sad.

SIMON: Let's switch to baseball if we could. Chase Utley was traded from the Phillies to the Dodgers this week. Does this mark the passing of an era?

BRYANT: Oh, sure it does. And I think it's a good era in Philadelphia. Let's not forget the Philadelphia Phillies were the losingest team in the history of baseball. They were founded in 1883. They've won two World Series. One was in 1980, and the other was with this group in 2008. You had Chase Utley and Ryan Howard and Jimmy Rollins and Cole Hamels, and three of them are gone now. And Ryan Howard's the only one that's left. But I think that it's a good salute to Philadelphia. It's a tough baseball town, and I feel like...

SIMON: Oh, I'll say.

BRYANT: (Laughter) It's a very tough baseball town.

SIMON: They threw no-hitters in Philadelphia, right?

BRYANT: That's right. But if you're a baseball fan, a generation of fans got to see some winning baseball in Philly. And that core group - we talk about numbers and players, but it's nice to see that some players - the kids bought some jerseys and the players were still wearing them. And that's what baseball should be all about.

SIMON: ESPN's Howard Bryant, thanks so much.

BRYANT: Thank you. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.