It's Time to Circle the Wagons

Face it, Baylor University Athletics has taken a hit. Some sportswriters across the country seem to take every opportunity to use the latest combination of events to suggest even extreme and outlandish penalties such as expulsion from the Big 12. But it's not going to be sportswriters to determine what Baylor University does from here on out. No, it's going to be much closer to home - it's going to be the alumni and the fans - they're going to have to step out on faith one more time.

There is not a whole lot we can do about basketball at Baylor University right now. It is certainly taking hits and is bound to take more. Players are making decisions to leave, while some already have. There is no coach, there is no athletic director, and who knows what other changes are imminent.

We can also expect disappointments in attendance at basketball games this coming season. Oh, the Baylor faithful will still show up, some of them, and most likely some faithful students who want to support their classmates, but as the number of transfers increases the anticipation of seeing anything remotely competitive in Baylor basketball decreases.

But there is really nothing fans or alumni, at least at this point, can do about basketball. However, there is something we can do.

We have a completely new football coaching staff at Baylor University. That is certainly no secret. Coach Morriss has already addressed alums in Houston and the Dallas-Fort Worth areas about his football team and coaching staff. He feels pretty good about where they are right now.

Based on that, wouldn't it be appropriate to put our faith in this new staff and focus our support on football right now?

Yeah, sure - you've put your faith in coaches before and especially in this last case with Dave Bliss, gotten burned and burned badly. And that was totally unexpected and totally unforseen, but this football coaching staff and this football team had and has absolutely nothing to do with any of that.

These players have certainly done nothing to betray your faith and trust in them. This coaching staff has been open and forthcoming about the program and only ask that you be positive.

Now, it's our turn. We as "the Baylor faithful" have to step out on faith one more time. It doesn't matter that we've stepped out time and time again and gotten burned time and time again, especially in football, but what else can we do?

The time for "show me you're better and I'll support you" is a luxury we just cannot afford right now. We can't selfishly be opposed to who the opponents are, or what offense we're running, or who's at quarterback, who's at running back, or who's at middle linebacker. We've got to go out and prove to the country that we are going to be a viable force in the Big 12 and we are going to right this ship, and we are going to be competitive . . .

But do you know what? We've also got to prove it to ourselves. Like was said before, we don't have the luxury to wait until things turn around before we lend support. We're going to have to step out on faith, extend our dollars as well as our hearts and put ourselves in Floyd Casey Stadium. When those kids of ours come out of that tunnel for that very first game, they need to know that we have faith in them. They need to know that all the hard work they've put in for the past five years, four years, three years, two years, one year, or even one summer hasn't been for nothing. And, they need to know it then, not weeks from now.

If you don't step out on faith and don't show up to support the team in that first game, then basically, you are saying you don't believe the coaches when they say they really think they can be competitive. You don't believe the players when they say they can win. What you're doing is taking out your frustrations of many years of football results that just didn't meet your expectations, and you're saying that you have no faith left, that you're so tired of being disappointed, and you just can't get up for it any longer. In other words, you're ready to quit - ready to quit on the team and ready to quit on Baylor.

Don't believe that? A very close friend of mine has supported Baylor faithfully for many, many years - since the early 70's. He's been a loyal member of the Bear Foundation, he's been a season ticket holder forever, but no more. His son has a girlfriend who will be attending Texas A&M this fall. I just heard a couple of days ago that he's bought season Aggie tickets. He didn't attend a single Baylor game last fall. I guess he'll attend one now.

It's your call. You can circle the wagons and fight back, or quit. It's going to be your decision.

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