Baylor being Baylor

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Feb 15, 2017
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#1
So not only did they cancel on Houston less than 24 hrs before the game, they canceled because they had suspended an OL man that then put them below the min 7 OL men limit.
So Basically they didn’t want to play at risk of losing to Houston with some starters out.

sounds like chicken sh-t move to me, gaming the system
 

Rob B.

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#2
In case anyone wants to follow along....


Baylor, Houston and the cancellation complications that aren’t going away




By Max Olson 1h ago

13


Houston was ready to hit the road. The Cougars had a 72-man travel roster of players fired up to get their season started. The program performed 175 COVID-19 tests on Friday morning. All 175 came back negative. Five buses awaited their departure. Their equipment truck was already parked at McLane Stadium in Waco.
The team was scheduled to board the buses and leave campus at 4:15 p.m. They were in the middle of meetings at around 12:15 when Houston coach Dana Holgorsen found out. Baylor had called off the game.
It took just three weeks of this season for the first Friday cancellation involving a Power 5 team to occur. Sure, it was just a nonconference game, one that was hastily scheduled in the first place. But how it went down just might foreshadow several issues the rest of the college football world will confront in the weeks ahead.
So what really happened? Well, it’s complicated.
Baylor canceled the game midday Friday after determining a shortage of offensive linemen made it impossible to safely play the game. The Big 12 requires its teams to have at least 53 players available to play and at least seven offensive linemen, four interior defensive linemen and one quarterback. Baylor athletic director Mack Rhoades has acknowledged one of those positional standards wasn’t met but has declined to cite which one.
Fox Sports analyst Joel Klatt was in Waco on Friday for a scheduled production meeting with Baylor coach Dave Aranda when the cancellation was finalized. During a radio interview Monday, Klatt revealed that Baylor was down to six available offensive linemen that day.
For both sides, the cancellation was a deeply disappointing setback. The reason Baylor had called Houston in the first place to set up this Sept. 19 game was that both teams had already dealt with postponements that had prevented their seasons from starting on time. At Baylor, the mood after this latest cancellation was one of dejection. At Houston, it was more frustration and anger.
On Monday, Holgorsen said he’s ready to move on to the next first game and has put the Baylor cancellation behind him. “It’s 2020 and we’re used to this crap,” he said, “so we’re gonna get ready to go play North Texas.” But he did offer one parting shot, one frustrating detail that was hard to get past on Friday.
“You know, I don’t know how it gets to 22 hours before the game,” Holgorsen said. “We’ve had four games canceled, so we’re kind of used to that. How it gets to 22 hours before the game, I don’t know. I mean, there’s a reason why our conference and the Big 12 test three times a week. So I would think that our opponent kinda knows where they’re at just like we kinda knew where we were at.”
What Holgorsen is alluding to is something that’s sure to arise again over the course of this unpredictable season: transparency. Why wasn’t Houston aware of Baylor’s offensive line issues until Friday?
The Bears performed testing on Sunday, Wednesday and Friday. The two programs had medical calls throughout the week to share updates. Houston athletic director Chris Pezman got no warning about any concerns on Baylor’s end until he received a text message from Rhoades on Thursday night. The next day, Baylor backed out. And that left many at Houston feeling blindsided.
As one Houston source put it, “If we knew we had a problem, we would’ve been transparent and said we’ve got some positives, we’re maybe short on offensive linemen, we got this conference deal that may sneak up on us on a position, here’s where we’re at.”
Pezman didn’t hide his frustration in the statement the school sent out Friday. His message: Houston did everything right. Baylor didn’t. “We’re extremely disappointed for our student-athletes, coaches and staff. They all have consistently done the right thing and worked tirelessly to be prepared for this game,” Pezman said. “We appreciate their dedication to adhering to not only the American’s testing protocols, but the Big 12’s as well. With our student-athletes’ commitment to doing the right thing, we remain ready to play.”


Rhoades appeared at Aranda’s weekly Monday news conference to try to set the record straight. The challenge for any athletic director who will face this predicament, though, is the limitations on what he’s allowed to share and what he’s willing to share. One clarification he addressed from the start: The Big 12’s positional requirements do not make a cancellation mandatory. Baylor had a choice. They could’ve gone through with the game if they felt it was safe to do so.
“Obviously we didn’t think that was the case,” Rhoades said. “We felt like by falling below the minimum on one of those position groups, we were putting our student-athletes at risk in terms of a health and safety situation.”
Rhoades said Baylor became aware of the problem at that position on Thursday when it received the results of its Wednesday testing. As he described it, roughly half of the players who were unavailable at that position were due to positive COVID-19 tests. The other half were ruled out due to contact tracing. Players who test positive are held out for a 10-day isolation period. Their close contacts must quarantine for 14 days.
Did Baylor uphold its obligation to be transparent with its opponent in the lead-up to the game? Rhoades argues he did. For most of the week, he did not believe the game was in jeopardy.
“Certainly Monday, we felt very good about it. Tuesday, we felt very good about it,” Rhoades said. “Wednesday, we felt pretty good about it. And then all of a sudden Thursday, we weren’t so sure. And that’s when we reached out. So I think we, Baylor, have been extremely transparent and up-front. I’m grateful to the way Louisiana Tech handled it with us and I think and hope we did the same with Houston. And, you know, we would expect the same of any opponent that we’re playing. So we’re gonna continue to be transparent and give as much of a heads up as you possibly can.”
But there was one way Baylor could have played Houston: It could’ve reached the Big 12’s threshold of seven offensive linemen. Rhoades and Aranda didn’t divulge this on Monday, but Klatt did. Baylor had one lineman suspended for the game. Aranda could’ve chosen to lift that suspension to save the game, but according to Klatt, the first-year head coach felt doing so would have set a bad disciplinary precedent.
“He could have gotten to the threshold if he were to unsuspend one of their players, and he was unwilling to do that,” Klatt said in an Outkick radio interview. “He said I’m not gonna do that, I’m not gonna unsuspend a player on my first game as I’m trying to build something here. I thought, you know what, that’s pretty commendable for Dave Aranda.”
Aranda was asked Monday in an interview with SicEm365 Radio about his philosophy on the importance of upholding decisions like suspensions, even if reversing them would allow the team to play.
“I would stick to whatever the rules were and whatever we believe in and whatever we said before,” Aranda said. “And so I think there’s always going to be situations that arise, and I think this was one of them. There have been a few situations that have come up lately where right away I think to myself, ‘Hey, this is all about who we are.’ It’s bigger than whatever it is. Sometimes it hard to see past that, but it’s bigger than this. This is about who we are. And I think getting those things right all the time is important, but I think especially early.”
Could Baylor still have found a way to play through its shortage at that position? It’s tough to say when we don’t know how many starters were unavailable, but Aranda ultimately felt that was an impossible ask. “I mean, if you were talking maybe a first quarter, possibly,” he said. “But in terms of the whole entire four-quarter game and all of it, you just didn’t see it.”
That raises the question of whether Baylor will have enough linemen to play its Big 12 opener against Kansas this week, especially if several linemen are out 10 to 14 days. On that front, Aranda is optimistic. He’s expecting to get “about five players” at the impacted position group back during the week. And he hopes they don’t lose any more during their next two rounds of testing this week.
Baylor’s misfortune, too, was losing players at the one irreplaceable position. If the Bears had been missing a few too many receivers or linebackers, the game would have gone on as planned.
The conference position requirements were established specifically because moving defensive linemen to the offensive line isn’t a realistic solution. For Big 12 coaches, managing numbers up front has been a challenge thus far. “It’s probably, of the groups on the field, probably the toughest one to not have continuity with just because those guys have to be in such sync,” Oklahoma coach Lincoln Riley said. The effects of running low on linemen, Texas Tech coach Matt Wells said, are more far-reaching than most might realize. It’s not just that unit’s chemistry and communication that gets compromised. The defense is also going to struggle to effectively prepare for a game if too many offensive linemen are missing.
“If you’re down around that number, the obvious statement that you don’t have scout team offensive linemen is pretty true,” Wells said. “It affects the way you practice quite a bit if you get down to those numbers in an offensive line room.”
Perhaps the cancellation could’ve been avoided had Baylor not lost as many linemen to contact tracing. Rhoades raised that issue Monday. Primary contacts must self-quarantine for 14 days as a precaution, no matter how many times they’ve tested negative.
“That’s the conversation everybody’s having, quite frankly,” Rhoades said. “That’s the conversation the Big 12 is having. That’s the conversation I’m sure the SEC is having. That’s the conversation that the ACC is having. We’re all having that conversation about is there a way here in the future that you can test out of that? And you’ve seen certainly the Big Ten and the Pac-12, part of coming back to play for them is this daily testing of all their student-athletes. But it remains to be seen whether or not anybody will be able to test out of the 14-day. And as of now, nobody can.”
These are tense times for both Baylor and Houston. Their players are tired of practicing and building up hope for games that get called off. Their months of hard work and sacrifices have made this season possible, but their games keep falling through. Aranda does not take that lightly.
“I felt embarrassed,” he said. “I felt, you know, I look back at what I could’ve done better right away. I felt like I let guys down, I let our players down.”
This year’s Baylor-Houston game likely cannot be salvaged. Pezman says he considers the game canceled, not postponed. Rhoades said he still intends to make good on their agreement for a home-and-home series that will get played before 2030. The tensions probably need to simmer before these sides reconnect to work out those dates.
But this much is clear: The stakes are going to be greater if and when the Big 12, ACC, SEC and eventually the Big Ten are forced to work through these postponement issues in the middle of league play. The rescheduling challenges wouldn’t be the only obstacle here. There will naturally be disputes. Aggrieved teams — and their fan bases — will want answers about the legitimacy of their opponent or their conference calling off a game. And that’s especially true when those decisions are made on Fridays.
The Big Ten’s strict shutdown standards (5 percent of a roster) and 21-day quarantines make it all the more likely it will run into these issues even with the arrival of daily rapid testing. And we’ve already seen how unpopular decisions are handled in that conference.
The hope is these programs can continue to make progress toward reducing the spread. But it’s still going to take a lot of trust from both sides to get through a week and all the way to kickoff. And when things go wrong, there are going to be some mad coaches, staffers and players left to reckon with their frustrations.
“We feel like we got robbed of the chance to go win a game,” the Houston source said, “because the other team didn’t think they can win.”
 

CocoCincinnati

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Feb 7, 2007
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#3
Hmm interesting. So if the game wasn't played, then technically this O lineman has not served a suspension yet, meaning that he should be suspended for their next game. So they could have let him play vs Houston then suspend him vs Kansas which he should be anyway.

Can't really criticize a coach too much for not lifting a suspension, saying it is bad for discipline. But if the coach considers the Houston game the suspension, he gives up that high road.
 

Duke Silver

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Hmm interesting. So if the game wasn't played, then technically this O lineman has not served a suspension yet, meaning that he should be suspended for their next game. So they could have let him play vs Houston then suspend him vs Kansas which he should be anyway.

Can't really criticize a coach too much for not lifting a suspension, saying it is bad for discipline. But if the coach considers the Houston game the suspension, he gives up that high road.
Or he had guys out and knew he would lose. Then he "suspended" a lineman. Just to get out of the game and not get his ass kicked.
 
Jul 25, 2018
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#6
I guess I don't get why the protocol is rigid & requires 14 days, even with multiple negative tests. If a guy tests positive, then tests negative 2 or 3 times in a row, how do they know it wasn't a false positive to being with?