PRUETT COLUMN: Baylor needs to release recruits

Published 8:33 pm Saturday, June 4, 2016

Baylor recruit Devin Duvernay got lucky this week.
Port Arthur Memorial Kameron Martin is still waiting to hear the same news Duvernay learned on Thursday. Duvernay is free to sign with any other university after Baylor announced the school failed to turn in his National Letter of Intent to the Big 12 offices.
Martin, like several other incoming freshmen, are still on hold as Baylor ponders whether to give the signees a full release. Baylor needs to release these young men if the university truly wants to start doing the right things.
Duvernay got lucky. Martin has not so far. The school has a reported 30 days to say yes or no to Martin’s request for his full release.
It is something the school needs to do. This is not your normal coach-getting-fired-after-a-losing-record situation.
The coach also did not leave for another job. Art Briles was fired because it is being reported that he, along with several other school officials, covered up sexual assault accusations made against Baylor players.
Baylor can also decide if it will lift a ban that prohibits any other program to contact the recruit. Parents do not want their kids being a part of this program.
Marion Harris, Martin’s mother, said in a story posted on she doesn’t feel comfortable sending her son off to be in “that type of environment.”
“I didn’t raise him like that,” Harris told ESPN. “Whether the allegations are true or not, there’s too much going on there. I’m sending him to school for an education and not for all the extra problems there are [at] Baylor. I don’t think Baylor is the fit for him.”
Martin also described the story how he does not want to be a part of the program in Waco even after it was announced Jim Grobe takes over as interim head coach in place of Briles.
“I’ll tell you like I’ll tell him: I’ve heard a lot of good things about him, but it’s not about the coach,” Martin said to “I don’t want to be around that environment.”
Young men like Martin deserve better. Little did these guys in their teens know what was going on behind their backs in Waco when they decided to sign with the Bears in February.
If Martin had known this day was coming, it is quite obvious he would be getting ready to head to Austin instead of being caught up in the Baylor fiasco.
Baylor was Martin’s top choice because of the loyalty expressed by Briles and the entire Bears’ staff. He turned down his childhood dream of playing at Texas.
Briles and the Baylor program is now upside down and there is a chance he is stuck for a year if the Bears do not grant him his release.
“We just want Baylor to do the right thing by releasing all of us,” Martin said to ESPN.
It is hard to imagine Baylor not doing the right thing in this situation, but then again, look at what they have done so far.
If the university wants to take the first step toward turning things around in Waco, it should allow young men who had zero to do with any of this to be free of the environment they no longer want to be a part of.

Gabriel Pruett: 721-2436. Twitter: @PaNewsGabe

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About Gabriel Pruett

Gabriel Pruett has worked with both the Port Arthur News and Orange Leader since 2000. A majority of the time has been spent covering all aspects of Southeast Texas high school sports. Pruett's claim to fame is...being able to write his own biographical information for this website.

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