There a lot of maybes in the Baylor case. Maybe someone should have been up front about this from the start: we gave someone who we knew was at the time at least to be considered a "troubled player" a second chance, and know it. Maybe, if they didn't know it, they should have asked more. Maybe the minute anyone at the university realized the player in question was under investigation for sexual assault should have been the time to put the prospective player and your relationship with them on pause pending the outcome of the trial.
Maybe that player and the accuser shouldn't have been in the same classes after the investigation started. Maybe she shouldn't have been the one who had to move her schedule. Maybe someone should have thought of this. Maybe someone didn't want to think of this, or maybe everyone just turned just far enough to the side to only see exactly as much as they wanted to see. Maybe your internal investigation of the whole thing was, to say the least, shoddy and piss-poor.
Maybe a paper in the area should have looked into it. Maybe another administrator should have asked a question or two about it. Maybe the accuser shouldn't have had her scholarship reduced in light of the situation she was going through at the time. Maybe Phil Bennett, the defensive coordinator, should have asked a question or two, especially since he's the guy who said Ukwuachu was looking like he was
going to start returning despite being on trial for sexual assault at the time of his comments. Maybe someone should have figured all this out ahead of time at a university level.
Maybe we should just stop trusting coaches altogether. Maybe even if Art Briles is accommodating and has a great accent maybe he is still a coach. And maybe the first priority for a coach will always be winning and maybe, just maybe, that's going to override everything else. Maybe he didn't know, and maybe he did, but even in service of ignorance maybe that's not enough to excuse everyone in an institution half-turning away from the ugly fact of an alleged sexual assault that just became a convicted sexual assault.
Maybe don't put yourself in a position where another coach has to air out your laundry to save their own house from the stench. Maybe don't do that to a coach who isn't even at that school anymore, and has nothing to lose by telling the truth.
Maybe, even in a haze of the kind of privileged ignorance that can surround the head of an organization, he should just say something this simple: whatever happened, we fucked up. Not "mistakes were made," not "we'll improve our processes," but something that simple: We. Fucked. Up. (Maybe not in those un-Baptist words, but certainly that sentiment.)
Maybe a complete admission of fault and error of culpability, without reservations, for the football program's role in this will be enough to make it something less than a stain threatening to unwind a lot of the positives surrounding what is otherwise as good a moment in history as Baylor football -- and the university as a whole-- has had. Maybe don't hedge on what Petersen told you specifically or not and retreat into the legalities of a statement. Maybe just full up get super cowboy-like, put on your best twang, and stop a buck dead on the desk of the head coach, even with the problem being one obviously larger than just the football program.
Maybe do that for the women in the stands who cross the river to watch your football games. I dunno. Maybe do that now.