This is what parents and potential recruits should know about Baylor women's basketball coach Kim Mulkey: The players are less important than the program and less important than Mulkey. At least that much was apparent in former player Brittney Griner's recent interview with ESPN The Magazine and espnW.com.
According to Griner, she made clear she was a lesbian when originally recruited by Mulkey to play there.
"I was like, 'I'm gay. I hope that's not a problem,' " Griner said she told Mulkey at the time, "and she told me that it wasn't."
We now know it was a problem.
And it was a big enough problem that Griner was told she needed to keep quiet about her sexuality for four years in order to protect the program. Although out to friends and the team, Griner didn't come out publicly until last month after her college eligibility was over. She is now preparing to play for Phoenix of the WNBA.
"It was a recruiting thing," Griner said during the interview with ESPN The Magazine and espnW. "The coaches thought that if it seemed like they condoned it, people wouldn't let their kids come play for Baylor."
According to ESPN, Baylor's student handbook lists homosexuality under the category of "sexual misconduct." So you have to wonder why Mulkey thought it was in the best interest of Griner to even have her play for Baylor after she came out during the recruiting process. Or maybe Mulkey was only thinking of what was in the best interest of Mulkey when she recruited Griner to play for a university that does not accept homosexuality -- and then told her it was OK to be gay as long as Griner didn't say anything publicly about it.
It certainly raises some questions for those considering playing for Mulkey in the future:
If you are gay, would you want to play for a coach who says being honest and open about who you are is bad for the program?
If you are gay or straight, would you want to play for a coach who would seek to withhold the truth from your parents about the sexuality of the players on her team in order to get you to commit to playing there?
And if you are a parent, would you want your child to play for Mulkey either way?
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