Texas Monthly summed it up well: “Baylor is having a moment.”
In just the last week, Baylor has graced the cover of Sports Illustrated, been featured in the Sunday New York Times, and learned that quarterback Robert Griffin III will grace the cover of EA’s NCAA Football 2013 video game.
The SI article came out first — a 10-page story in the Feb. 27, 2012, issue titled “Baylor Rising.” The lengthy feature covers not only Baylor’s rise in athletics, but also our goals for academics as well. In addition to the obvious subjects (RG3, Director of Athletics Ian McCaw, President Ken Starr), the story also quotes such individuals as Dr. Larry Lyon, BA ’71, dean of Baylor’s graduate school, and Dr. Kevin Pinney, chemistry professor, about what the Bears’ athletic success means for the university as a whole. If you read one link in this whole post, it should be this story.
Just a few days later came the NYT feature. Titled “Baylor’s Athletic Program Hits the Big Time,” the story takes a slightly different tack on the same subject, talking to some big names from the Bears’ past: legendary sportswriter Dave Campbell, BA ’50, longtime head football coach Grant Teaff, and Olympic gold medalist Michael Johnson, BBA ’90.
Then on Monday, Baylor’s Heisman Trophy winner returned to campus for a special announcement. Early in the day, Electronic Arts announced that Griffin would be featured on the cover of this fall’s NCAA football video game. That afternoon, surrounded by Baylor students looking on, EA photographers held a lengthy photo shoot with Griffin in the middle of Fountain Mall; one of those photos will be selected for the cover of this year’s game.
(All this also came just a few days after RG3 was announced as the newest member of the Adidas family. Griffin’s image filled the front page of the international sports apparel company’s website for several days, and Adidas began running this commercial starring the former BU QB.)
President Starr often calls athletics the “front porch of the university,” in that it gives the world a glimpse of what Baylor is all about and invites them in to learn even more. This week has been a prime example of that.
Sic ’em, Baylor athletics!