Sports Addict

A weblog by Denton Ramsey

Tag: Art Briles

Open-Letter Request to Baylor University

A Heartfelt, Open-Letter Plea to Baylor University: For Justice, Transparency, and TRUTH
Commentary by Denton Ramsey,

I say this with all the love in my heart, but I refuse to sit idly by and quietly any longer.

I cannot, WE CANNOT, ALLOW the ongoing INJUSTICE to continue in silence at Baylor University.

Despite the awful tragedy and the resulting firings — along with corresponding “campus corrections” following review of the University’s mishaps and mishandlings that none of us need to relive — I am begging for brutal honesty and JUSTICE for all parties involved.

Columnists and writers from Houston to Dallas to halfway across the world were quick to judge and dismiss Art Briles as a liar and a con.

Well, today I quit sitting in silence — and I loudly and proudly stand in Coach Briles’ corner.

The irritating injustice in the entire handling of the Briles situation — and in using him as a scapegoat to the deeper issues in play — most notably by the Baylor police department and their complete mishandling of those rape cases, MUST be re-evaluated.

What irks me the most — bearing the reason behind cover-up speculations by many loyal Baylor supporters — is the FAILURES (and almost apparent sworn secrecy) for a single law enforcement official to be held accountable for any misdoings, especially now that Coach Briles has been terminated.

This University, so selfishly “proud” of their IMAGE, their football team, and their state-of-the-art facilities, would not even HAVE such luxuries if not for the VERY MAN THEY USED — yes, USED — as a doormat for denial and a forced-blame firing; the firing of a man who fully embodies not only the morals and values, such as honesty and integrity, that Baylor “claims” to embrace, but Briles also truly LIVES BY EXAMPLE.

And THAT, justice seekers, speaks louder than words — and portrays the love-centered lessons of Jesus Christ better than any member of this sorry board of regents and hypocritical higher-up officials and administrators could ever DARE TO DREAM of resembling.

The silence by this University — and the zipped-lips stance by authorities and officials who refuse to be held accountable for their utter disregard for TRUTH — is sickening.

And their silence screams of a guilty conscience that embodies evil, not love.

Enough is enough; it’s time for answers.

Baylor fans, students, and alumni deserve better.

They deserve to know the TRUTH.

And in a heartfelt plea, as a former Baylor student, a die-hard fan, and a passionate writer seeking justice, I ask that the University stop their silence and answer the avoided questions.

Release the truth, the FULL TRUTH — regardless of how appalling it may be, and likely is.

And give your team, your students, your faculty, your alumni, your city, your conference, and your school’s questioned-character the answers so desperately needed, desired, and deserved for full and honest closure in this awful chain of events that occurred on this campus.
Denton Ramsey, the creator, columnist, and host for the show “Channeling Changes: The Power of Positivity,” may be reached via email at or Subscribe to the Channeling Changes podcast on iTunes and YouTube, and follow the show on SoundCloud at The official site for the show may be found at


BAYLOR VS. KENT STATE RECAP: Freshman Florence Near Flawless, Bears Beat Golden Flashes 31-15

BAYLOR VS. KENT STATE RECAP: Freshman Florence Near Flawless, Bears Beat Golden Flashes 31-15

By Denton Ramsey, Bleacher Report Featured Columnist

WACO, Texas — Baylor true freshman Nick Florence, along with an unbreakable defense and special teams, helped lead the Bears (3-1) to a 31-15 victory over the Kent State Golden Flashes (2-3) on Saturday evening at Floyd Casey Stadium.

Despite the downpours and an early 7-0 deficit, Florence — the Bears third-string quarterback — went 20-of-27 in the passing department for 216 yards while also compiling 60 yards on the ground with two rushing touchdowns in his first career start.

“He’s very confident, intelligent, poised, and aware and those are all qualities of a good quarterback,” Baylor Head Coach Art Briles said. “He’s not afraid to get dirty, dive around and create something. He did exactly what we thought he’d do. He was very efficient and intelligent and that’s exactly what he did.

“The way he handled himself the last two days, you could tell he was really grasping everything and understanding and was delivering the ball well. I felt if it was drier a little earlier we could have done a few more things because Nick is very accurate with the football, but we were still able to make a couple of runs and we got the win so that’s all we were concerned with tonight.”

For Florence, sophomore receiver Kendall Wright was again a key target for the Bears offense — racking up 125 yards on nine catches.

“It [getting the win] is awesome,” Florence said. “It is a great feeling. It is what we needed to do. There was no question in my mind whether we were going to win that game. We were going to do whatever it takes. It was sloppy at times and a lot of that is my inexperience and making mistakes. Our defense made plays and our offensive line made plays and our running backs and receivers made plays. That is what you do to get a win.”

Defensively, Baylor picked up two key interceptions and caused three Kent State fumbles (recovering one) in a strong secondary; while special teams played a large part as well with two blocked field goals (both by senior defensive lineman Jason Lamb) and a blocked extra point (junior defensive tackle Phil Taylor).

“We [the defense] could have done a lot better,” Lamb said. “I don’t know the final stats at all, but I know we gave up too many yards. The good thing from that is when it really came time to buckle down and prevent them from scoring, we were able to do that. We really gave up more yards than we wanted to and that is something we are going to have to work on this week.”

Sophomore running back Jared Salubi also has a solid outing for the Bears, garnering 64 yards on 17 carries with a touchdown en route to a 16-point Baylor win on a stormy Saturday in Waco.

“We know how to keep people there through the game,” Briles said. “We weren’t going to let them go home early. It was a good, tough win. I was really proud of our guys, I thought they showed a whole lot of character and were very resilient and really tough minded. I thought they battled, relieved and overcame. From that standpoint it was a big win and I learned many years ago that there is no such thing as a bad win, they’re all great.

“It’s a big win for Baylor; I thought they did a good job making a statement about our program and our effort and our attitude, and we have to continue to get better as a team. We have a long way to go but we are taking steps forward, not backward and that’s the encouraging part.”

Briles’ Bears return to the gridiron for Big 12 play on Saturday, Oct. 10, in Norman, Oklahoma — as Baylor faces the Sooners (2-2) in a televised game (locally on ABC) slated to kickoff at 2:30 p.m.

“Like I said last week, it’s hard to define confidence,” Briles said. “I’m not worried about confidence quite honestly, I’m worried about production. What we’ve got to do is give them a good plan and go out and perform and produce and with that maybe some confidence will come. But if you don’t believe in yourself, no one else will. As soon as you step on the field you should be confident and if you don’t, you shouldn’t be out there.”

Denton Ramsey may be reached via email at

BAYLOR VS. KENT STATE PREVIEW: Bears aim to bounce back after key injuries, host Golden Flashes Saturday on FSN

BAYLOR VS. KENT STATE PREVIEW: Bears aim to bounce back after key injuries, host Golden Flashes Saturday on FSN

By Denton Ramsey, Big 12 Fans Baylor Correspondent

WACO, Texas — The Baylor Bears (2-1) return to action on Saturday, Oct. 3, at Floyd Casey Stadium to host the Kent State Golden Flashes (2-2) in a game slated to kickoff at 6 p.m.; the match-up is also scheduled to be televised regionally on FSN-Southwest.

With a wave of injuries occurring last weekend against Northwestern State (quarterback Robert Griffin, defensive back Mikail Baker, and former-backup QB Blake Szymanski — who has been named the starter in Griffin’s absence), Coach Art Briles and the Bears must now battle back.

“First and foremost, our concerns go to them and their families,” Briles said. “Then you break it down from a football standpoint and the good thing about Robert and Mikail is that they’ll get an extra year back because their injuries were early enough in the season.”

For Griffin and Baker, that means one more year of eligibility.

“In Mikail’s case, he’ll have a sixth year and Robert, this will be his redshirt and he’ll have three more after this,” Briles said. “You look at the picture and figure out if you want to look at it good or bad and that’s the good side of it. Syzmanski hurt his shoulder trying to score in the third quarter and he’s day-to-day. He’s better today than he was yesterday and he was better yesterday than he was Sunday. If he gets in a little bit of work this week, he’ll be ready to go Saturday.”

One thing remains certain — these Bears are not about to give up and will fight until the very end.

“The way we look at it is that we’ve had a couple of family members that have been side-tracked for a little bit but what we’ll do is we’ll rally up, we’ll fight and we’ll compete — because that’s what you do as a player, it’s what you do as a coach and it’s what you do as a program,“ Briles said. “And we’ve got a job to do and we’re going to do our job.

“Our guys, they’ll adjust. And they’ll fight. We’re going to dial it up, we’re going to fight hard, for Robert, for Mikail, for A.B. [Antareis Bryan, who is out with broken foot] and then for the rest of these guys on this football team and for this University — that’s what we’re going to do.”

For the Baylor Nation, the quest to be bowl-bound still remains — and the Bears will get a chance to showcase their talent to the nation this Saturday against Kent State on FSN.

“We’re not going to come walking out of the dressing room Saturday, we’re going to come charging out,” Briles said. “We’ll be coming out with an intent to make a statement.”

With Griffin looking on from the press box [a precaution to prevent the injured QB from getting hit] and Briles taking care of business on the sidelines, look for the Bears to do just that — as Baylor aims to bounce back with a big win before Big 12 play begins next weekend in Norman, Oklahoma.

Denton Ramsey may be reached via email at

SPORTS ADDICT: Griffin through 2012, or return in ‘09?

SPORTS ADDICT: Griffin through 2012, or return in ‘09?

By Denton Ramsey

Believe it or not, Superman could return sooner than expected.

It’s only a slight possibility, but it’s better than nothing.

Robert Griffin continues to amaze me, regardless of whether he returns this season or remains in Green & Gold through 2012.

Just a day after being told he’d be out all season, it looks as though there’s a slim chance that Griffin could return later this season.

According to a story published in Tuesday’s Waco Tribune-Herald, Griffin may postpone surgery until after the season ends — leaving the door open for an early return to Baylor’s football team.

Coach Art Briles told the Waco newspaper that Griffin’s rehabilitation will be monitored over the next two weeks prior to a decision being made to have surgery at that time or postpone it until after the season.

At the very least, Griffin should be able to obtain a redshirt season under the NCAA’s current “medical hardship” guidelines — which states that players are eligible for a medical hardship if they haven’t played in more than 30-percent of a team’s games.

Should Superman push for a return in 2009, or have the surgery and stay on board through the 2012 season?

Regardless of Griffin’s decision in a couple weeks, he’s a Baylor Bear for life — and I believe he’ll bounce back without a problem.

Many in Waco may be praying for a BU miracle and a Griffin return to the gridiron in ‘09, but it may truly be best for Griffin to just redshirt this season and help guide the Green & Gold team through 2012.

In addition, the timing of Mikail Baker’s injury will also allow the senior kick-return specialist to return next season as part of Baylor’s 2010 squad — give the defensive back one more year to don a BU jersey.

Only time will tell, but Briles and the Bears are planning on moving forward without Baylor’s star quarterback — naming Blake Szymanski the new starter, with the coaching staff being hopeful the senior QB can play this weekend at home against Kent State.

We’ve got a special team and a special coach.

And we’re only going to be getting better…

Denton Ramsey may be reached via email at

SPORTS ADDICT: Bears backs are against the wall, but they can still reach their goal…

SPORTS ADDICT: Bears backs are against the wall, but they can still reach their goal…

By Denton Ramsey

The Baylor Bears might be down a couple guys, but football is still a team sport and they can and must bounce back from the latest breaking news.

Yes, Robert Griffin and Mikail Baker are both out for the season.

Yes, it will hurt. And yes, they’ll both be in our prayers.

But our season isn’t completely down the drain.

This is where true champions show what they are made of — like the Houston Rockets without Yao Ming or Tracy McGrady and a young and energetic bunch of guys forcing seven games against Kobe Bryant and the L.A. Lakers.

The Baylor Bears have both team chemistry and a great coach — two essentials for a situation like the one at hand.

Let me say it again — we can and must bounce back.

Griffin and Baker wouldn’t have it any other way; trust me.

Baylor Football is more than just Art Briles; they are more than just Griffin and company; they ARE the Baylor Bears — a real team from top to bottom.

Now, it’s time to show the world what we’re made of.

We may be down for the count, but it won’t be long ‘til we’re back up and swinging.

These Baylor Bears are special. And I hope and pray that nothing can stand in their way.

It’s going to be an uphill climb, but I believe that THESE Bears are up for the task…

Denton Ramsey may be reached via email at

BAYLOR 68, NWSTATE 13: Bears destroy Demons, improve to 2-1

BAYLOR 68, NWSTATE 13: Bears destroy Demons, improve to 2-1

By Denton Ramsey, Big 12 Fans Baylor Correspondent

WACO, Texas — Robert Griffin truly must be Superman.

Griffin, playing injured after taking a hard hit in the first quarter, helped the Baylor Bears (2-1) destroy the Northwestern State Demons (0-4) in a landslide victory, 68-13, on Saturday evening at Floyd Casey Stadium.

“At first I was just thankful that he was able to get back on the field,” Baylor Head Coach Art Briles said. “I knew the way he got hit that he was bent up a little bit and for him to come back and play showed a lot of guts and determination, which he always shows. He performed tremendously well and got our guys going. We’ll have to wait and see what the final analysis is but we’re just glad he got to get back out there and play tonight.”

Although Griffin’s season-ending injury is now part of today’s breaking news, it was information that Briles and the coaching staff were still unaware of at the conclusion of Saturday’s victory.

“When it happened the pain was a 10, but going back out there it was probably a four or five,” Griffin said. “I knew I had to get back in the game no matter what was wrong with me. Coming off the field I didn’t think I could go back in, but once I got off the field and started jogging I got some stability back and was fine.”

For Griffin, returning to the gridiron was really never a question or a doubt.

“I take pride in being a quarterback and that’s what quarterback’s do,” Griffin said. “Some run away from getting hit and sometimes you have to get hit to make a big play, and that’s just part of being a quarterback. I know that I can’t harp on that and just have to get back out there and lead my team.”

And that’s exactly what he did — garnering 226 yards in the air on 13-of-19 passes for three touchdowns, as the Bears battled back from an early 7-0 deficit and never looked back — chasing daylight in a 68-13 rout.

“The team performed really well,” Griffin said. “The defense played really well, and as an offense we came back and put a lot of points on the board and executed. The offensive line dominated the line of scrimmage, so we were making big plays. The running backs ran well and receivers caught the ball.”

Regardless of Griffin and Makail Baker’s season-ending injuries, the Baylor Bears put on a show for the home crowd on Saturday evening at Floyd Casey Stadium.

“Well in my opinion, it’s hard to define confidence,” Briles said. “Reality and confidence are two different things. You may be confident you’re writing a good story, but someone else may not view it that way. It’s all what is in the eye of the beholder. We understand we didn’t play real way last week and the outcome did not come out in our favor. Having a win tonight got us another win and what we’re going to try to do is go out and win against Kent State next Saturday.”

As Briles said, the Bears return to the gridiron next Saturday, Oct. 3, in a Floyd Casey Stadium match-up with Kent State — in a game slated to kickoff at 6 p.m.

Currently, backup quarterback Blake Szymanski is listed as “day-to-day,” but Briles and the coaching staff are hoping he’ll be ready for Saturday.

“Blake is mature; he is weathered; he is a veteran and he understands,” Briles said the day-after the Bears victory. “When he is on the field we have a pretty good indication of what the outcome is going to be because he pays attention and he is knowledgeable. He can get things done from an offensive standpoint. When he gets on the field we expect good things to happen. He is a good player.”

Following Saturday’s game with Kent State, the Bears begin Big 12 action on Saturday, Oct. 10, at Oklahoma.

Denton Ramsey may be reached via email at

BAYLOR VS. NORTHWESTERN STATE PREVIEW: Bears look to get back on track by casting out the Demons…

BAYLOR VS. NORTHWESTERN STATE PREVIEW: Bears look to get back on track by casting out the Demons…

By Denton Ramsey, Big 12 Fans Baylor Correspondent

WACO, Texas — The Demons of Northwestern State (0-3) probably could not have chosen a worse time to visit the world of the Baylor Bears (1-1).

Baylor will host Northwestern State on Saturday, Sept. 26, at 6 p.m. at Floyd Casey Stadium as the Bears aim to get back on track after a lackluster performance last weekend against U-Conn.

“It [the loss to Connecticut] was definitely eye-opening,” Baylor senior center J.D. Walton said. “We came in thinking we were just going to roll through them and keep on moving with our goals that we had set. We were a little over confident, a little too cocky walking into the game thinking we were just going to get it. We definitely learned from our mistakes and we are never going to start acting like that again. The seniors are going to be on top of stuff.”

Come kickoff on Saturday afternoon, Art Briles’ Bears have one goal and one goal only in mind: winning the game at-hand.

“They [Northwestern State] had a tough opener at Houston,” Briles said. “They had some turnovers that really hurt them in the second week and the game against North Dakota last week was a battle till the end. They are getting better on both sides of the ball. They’re improving and they’ll be tough, we know we have our hands full.”

Regardless of the game plan, the Green & Gold team — the players that go out there and make it happen — are ready to take care of business.

“As seniors, we have a big part when it comes down to it,” Baylor senior linebacker Joe Pawelek said. “Coaches are going to give us schemes and plans and as players we have to execute them. Whether it is in the locker room or on or off the field, we have to step up and help them do that.”

For the coaching staff — as well as the rest of the Baylor Nation — Saturday’s game with the Demons will hopefully show an improvement on both sides of the ball.

“It’s not necessarily about easing the pain; what we’re trying to do is improve as a team,” Briles said. “We are trying to grow and understand situations that we get involved in from a players’ standpoint and a coaches’ standpoint. Pain has memory so that’s with us but we have to grow as a team and find our determination, execution and drive.”

In a little over 48 hours, the Bears aim to put that pain in their past as Baylor aims to keep on trucking — especially with Big 12 Conference play seemingly right around the corner.

“Conference is coming and we know that,” Baylor junior safety Byron Landor said. “We know teams are going to be ready for us. You know, teams heard the hype or whatever you call it so we just have to take it one day at a time and one game at a time. No more bye weeks, so every week we have to participate, play, play well and learn our teams. Learn what we need to learn and learn from this game because like I said in three weeks we will be in conference.”

Denton Ramsey may be reached via email at