Since I hit enter on the tweet announcing Ian McCaw as Liberty’s newest Athletic Director at 2:07PM on Monday afternoon, I have been inundated on social media, e-mail, texts, and phone calls from fans, alumni, and others voicing their dissatisfaction with President Falwell’s latest headline grabbing decision. I understand your frustration. It’s not fun trying to defend your alma mater in the court of public opinion. Many of you have maybe even stopped trying.
Before we vilify Falwell and/or McCaw, take a deep breath.
Since when were we so concerned about what everyone else thinks or has to say about us? Liberty University has always prided itself in being “politically incorrect since 1971.” The very mission of our school goes against the beliefs and opinions of the mainstream media.
No, I’m not saying we should be shouting joyfully on University Boulevard about the hire, but I am cautiously optimistic that President Falwell and his aides did their proper due diligence.
Was McCaw perfect in all of his actions at Baylor? Obviously not. An investigation found McCaw, among others, failed to report an alleged gang-rape by five members of the Baylor football team against a female athlete to the university’s judicial affairs office. The investigation found a “fundamental failure” to enforce federal laws, including Title IX and the Violence Against Women Act, according to the Waco Tribune-Herald. This shows he had incredibly poor judgement in this situation, and he should face the consequences. He resigned from his post at Baylor, is that enough punishment?
I’ve yet to hear anyone from Baylor say anything negative about McCaw, either publicly or to me privately. Damien Sordelett of the Lynchburg News & Advance received several quotes from individuals at Baylor that praised their former Athletic Director.
Liberty was asked why it would hire McCaw after what happened at Baylor. The university responded by saying, “If he made any mistakes at Baylor, they appear to be technical and unintentional, out of line with an otherwise distinguished record.” The statement went on to detail all the due diligence the school took before hiring McCaw before saying, “We are completely satisfied that Ian McCaw is a good man and a great athletic director.”
We can certainly expect that McCaw has learned from his mistakes at Baylor, and he will do everything in his power to ensure nothing like that happens under his watch again. If it does, he won’t get another chance at a Division I school.
Is Ian McCaw the right man for the job at Liberty? Only time will tell, but I’m willing to give him a chance.