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Baylor Bayloring Part K-9: Dog Abuse

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Baylor University: moral infancy redefined.

Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports

Starting Baylor WR Ishmael Zamora was caught beating his dog.

If you don't want to watch, the 6-4, 220 pound wide receiver repeatedly whips what appears to be a pit bull or pit bull mix across the face with a belt multiple times as hard as he can, each blow accompanied by the dog crying out in extreme distress and pain.

The nine second video ends with Zamora kicking the dog to the ground, followed by another belt shot.  An unnamed teammate videos the event quietly.  There's no attempted intervention, no "Hey Ishmael, lay off man."  The act wasn't spontaneous. The video's intent was to capture a dog being beaten and Zamora is so oblivious he doesn't even comprehend he's committing a crime on video.  The dog's offense was having an accident in the house. Zamora later mentioned that this was his attempt to discipline him.

Animal abuse is sickening enough, but consider that the links between animal abuse and child and family abuse are well established.

A survey of pet-owning families with substantiated child abuse and neglect found that animals were abused in 88 percent of homes where child physical abuse was present (DeViney, Dickert, & Lockwood, 1983). A study of women seeking shelter at a safe house showed that 71 percent of those having pets affirmed that their partner had threatened, hurt or killed their companion animals, and 32 percent of mothers reported that their children had hurt or killed their pets (Ascione, 1998). Still another study showed that violent offenders incarcerated in a maximum security prison were significantly more likely than nonviolent offenders to have committed childhood acts of cruelty toward pets (Merz-Perez, Heide, & Silverman, 2001).

How will someone who will whip their dog across the face with a belt repeatedly and kick it to the ground handle a hysterical two year old on three hours of sleep?

The incident occurred in late June and the Baylor football program was informed.  Zamora practiced with the team starting in early August with no penalties, but now that the video has surfaced, Jim Grobe had this to say:

The June incident reportedly led to a Class C misdemeanor charge and an up to $500 citation. According to Tribune-Herald reporter John Werner, Zamora was expected to be one of the school's top receivers during the upcoming football season. "We’re not going to tolerate it," Bears Coach Jim Grobe told the newspaper. "He’s going to be disciplined by a bunch of people. The city is going to get a piece of him, and the university doesn’t take it lightly. There will be some sanctions from the university. From an athletic department standpoint we’ll do some things. Hopefully, it’s a teaching moment and a learning experience for him." Zamora is still practicing with the team, according to reports. Grobe said, however, that his "playing status" will be impacted by the event. "We haven’t decided exactly what we’re going to do," the coach said.

Is Grobe's one year contract an actual thirty pieces of silver?

Grobe is whoring his once good name to a school that's so lost their moral compass looks like a etch-a-sketch.

Let's be clear: Grobe wasn't going to do anything, but now that there's a public video, the public relations machine is scrambling and Baylor has to pretend they give a damn.  Same chapter, different verse.  They're still not proactive and they're still incapable of basic moral or ethical decency without significant external prompts that force them to go through the bureaucratic motions of caring about anything beyond riding the Flutie effect.

Check a calendar.  It's August 19th.  The incident occurred in late June.  And Jim Grobe hasn't decided "exactly what we're going to do" yet.

Zamora isn't the only one who doesn't understand how real discipline works.

Recall that Jim Grobe emphatically asserted at Big 12 media days in mid July that there is "no culture of bad behavior in Waco."  Later, he said he meant the current football roster.  A roster that featured Rami Hammad and Ishmael Zamora in his starting 22.  Hammad had a felony stalking and assault accusation and Zamora was already charged in an animal abuse investigation.

When people or institutions repeatedly act out, I usually ask myself: stupid or evil?  The answer is almost always stupid.

We're starting to move past stupid now, aren't we?