As the Baylor scandal loomed over the university, many began losing faith before Matt Rhule’s hire. After his hire, recruiting took off, many around the university began singing his praises, and those outside remained skeptical. Anyone who thought that Matt Rhule wasn’t a great hire for Baylor’s situation has been effectively silenced after his opening press conference at Big 12 Media Days.
In response to a question about his increased recruiting, Rhule responded: “I think any person that’s considering coming to Baylor and coming to be a part of the football program should ask, you know, tell me about what’s happened and tell me about the progress that you guys have made. Those are frank and open discussions because, to be quite honest with you, I’m proud of what we’re doing.”
He continued: “Not just the education that we’re doing, because that’s so important, but just the culture that I think we’ve established to have kids that are doing the right thing in the classroom, to have kids that are doing the right thing off the field. So all I do, as we get into recruiting, I tell people, you know what, just come visit us. Come meet the kids. Come meet the guys on our team. You decide if you want your son to be a part of this culture that we have.”
The decision to take this schedule head-on and insert comments on character where they weren’t 100% applicable drove home a message: Matt Rhule is changing Baylor, and that change is being felt across Texas. He’s not hiding from the scandal, he’s addressing it and will continue to address it as something that’s a part of history, both in the elements that it should be remembered so that it isn’t repeated and that it’s in the past.
Matt Rhule might not win a game in his tenure at Baylor. It’s not probable, but it is possible. However, he’s already a winner in the books of many for taking this ugly situation head-on, and pushing Baylor to be better.
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