Don't Worry, Baylor Fans — Receiver Who Beat Dog Will Play in Big XII Opener
Baylor University on Tuesday announced it had suspended wide receiver Ishmael Zamora for three games for beating his dog, two weeks after video of the incident became public. The games Zamora will miss make up the team's non-conference schedule: Northwestern State, SMU and Rice.
He'll still suit up for Baylor's Big XII opener at home against Oklahoma State.
Two weeks ago, video surfaced (warning: It's not pretty) of Bears wide receiver Ishmael Zamora beating his dog with a belt and kicking the pup. The dog, cornered by Zamora against a wall, can be heard yelping.
In addition to his suspension, Zamora, who is from Alief, must give up his dog, the Waco Tribune-Herald reported. He also has been charged with a Class C misdemeanor, which can carry a $500 fine. Baylor is also making Zamora complete 40 hours of community service. He has since apologized to his teammates.
The university deserves credit for actually punishing Zamora (an interesting 180, considering the school failed to initially punish football players accused of sexual assault).
But a three-game suspension is a joke, especially considering Zamora will be able to practice with the team during that time, the Tribune-Herald reported.
During the sexual assault scandal — where an independent report found Baylor administrators discouraged rape victims from reporting assaults and in one case retaliated against a victim — coaches and administrators displayed a remarkable, collective tone deafness. In late May, after the Board of Regents fired head coach Art Briles and decided to remove Kenneth Starr as president and make him chancellor (that's punishment?), Starr copped to the charade and resigned from the university days later. Baylor officials also said they cleaned house in the athletic department.
So, now all the bad eggs are gone, then? Maybe not.
In statements this week, interim coach Jim Grobe and Athletic Director Mack Rhoades said they don't condone what Zamora did. Good. Hard to vouch for a guy who pummeled his dog and allowed someone to film it.
But when you're trying to shake a reputation as a winning-comes-first program where players get off light for committing crimes, why not err on the side of actually punishing Zamora? Clearly, players have yet to get the message that they will be held accountable for their actions (Waco TV station KXXV first got the video because one of Zamora's brainiac teammates shared it on Snapchat, and a student who received it called police).
Why not do what many, including Tribune-Herald columnist Trey Gregory, advocated and kick Zamora off the team?
Baylor football culture, it appears, has not changed as much as the university has promised.