Baylor made the decision to shut down media availability today and until next week when the Bears begin preparing for the first game of the season. Perhaps that was a good idea as Sports Illustrated has reported one coach from the SEC made the decision to steer clear of Sam Ukwuachu back in 2013 due to an explanation of Ukwuachu’s off-field troubles while at Boise State.
According to a report from Sports Illustrated‘s Thayer Evans, former Florida head coach Will Muschamp entertained the possibility of recruiting Ukwuachu as he was transferring from Boise State. Muschamp changed his mind, allegedly, after being informed by Boise State officials of Ukwuachu’s alleged violence toward his girlfriend. This would be the same sort of information of which Baylor head coach Art Briles has said he had no knowledge.
From Sports Illustrated;
Florida considered taking Ukwuachu in May 2013, but then-Gators coach Will Muschamp decided against it after a Boise State athletic department employee detailed Ukwuachu’s troubles with a girlfriend, according to two former Florida athletic department employees.
That included the former freshman All-America defensive end’s alleged physical abuse of his girlfriend and an allegation that Ukwuachu put his fist through a window while drunk at the couple’s home, one of the ex-staffers said. (Ukwuachu was not charged in either incident.)
“There was no way,” one of the former Florida employees told The Inside Read of Ukwuachu. “[Muschamp] wouldn’t touch him.”
Ukwuachu ended up at Baylor in 2013 but never played a game for the Bears. Last week Ukwuachu was found guilty of raping a Baylor soccer player and sentenced to 180 days in jail and 10 months probation. In response, Baylor has announced it will open an internal investigation into the university’s handling of Ukwuachu. Briles said former Boise State coach Chris Petersen (now at Washington) did not disclose any information about Ukwuachu’s violent past, although Petersen has said he provided as much information as possible to Baylor’s staff.
Muschamp is now the defensive coordinator at Auburn.