Mulkey tells Bay­lor fans to hit back

Northwest Arkansas Democrat-Gazette - - SPORTS - Com­piled by Jeff Halpern

Bay­lor women’s bas­ket­ball Coach Kim Mulkey came out swing­ing Satur­day night af­ter the Bears clinched the Big 12 reg­u­larsea­son ti­tle.

At least one me­dia mem­ber said Mulkey should stop throw­ing hay­mak­ers and go back to her cor­ner.

But Mulkey, an ul­tra­suc­cess­ful coach and win­ner of two NCAA cham­pi­onships, ad­dressed fans at the Fer­rell Cen­ter with mi­cro­phone in hand af­ter an 86-48 vic­tory over Texas Tech, her 500th vic­tory at Bay­lor.

Mulkey, 54, de­fended the school, the ad­min­is­tra­tion, and any­body in­ter­ested in hav­ing their chil­dren at­tend the Waco, Texas, univer­sity in wake of non­stop con­tro­versy that has erupted from ac­cu­sa­tions of sex­ual as­sault against its foot­ball play­ers.

So far, Art Briles (foot­ball coach), Ken Starr (school pres­i­dent), Ian McCaw (ath­letic di­rec­tor) and Ti­tle IX co­or­di­na­tor Patty Crawford have lost their jobs, and it can’t be easy for Mulkey to sell the Bay­lor pro­gram to a prospect’s par­ents, de­spite her record of 500-94 dur­ing the past 17 years.

Mulkey turned what was sup­posed a cel­e­bra­tion of a mile­stone vic­tory into a des­per­ate plea for peo­ple to stand up and de­fend Bay­lor, to lace up box­ing gloves if nec­es­sary, es­pe­cially if they hear some­body say they would never send their daugh­ter to Bay­lor.

“You knock them right in the face,” Mulkey told Bay­lor fans.

She went on to call Bay­lor the “best damn school in Amer­ica” and in­sisted “the prob­lems we have at Bay­lor are no dif­fer­ent than the prob­lems at any other school in Amer­ica.”

Gary Par­rish of CBS Sports. com was of­fended by Mulkey’s out­burst.

“Sim­ply put, she’s wrong on both points,” Par­rish wrote, “be­cause A) Bay­lor is not the ‘best damn school in Amer­ica’ by any way such things are mea­sured, and B) lit­er­ally no other school in Amer­ica has prob­lems like Bay­lor’s prob­lems.

“She said she’s ‘tired of hear­ing it’ and that peo­ple should ‘move on [and] find an­other story to write.’ That’s an un­be­liev­able pub­lic state­ment that’s ig­no­rant to the fact that what the rest of us are tired of is hear­ing men and women in po­si­tions of power at Bay­lor tell every­body to move on and stop wor­ry­ing about all of the sex­ual as­saults that al­legedly in­volved Bay­lor stu­dent-ath­letes.”

AP/TONY GU­TIER­REZ

De­spite win­ning her 500th game at Bay­lor on Satur­day, Coach Kim Mulkey ap­pealed to fans to stand up for the school.

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