Under fire, Baylor assistant leaves program

July, 19, 2011
7/19/11
9:58
AM ET
We don't know the status of the NCAA's investigation into Baylor assistant Mark Morefield. The NCAA began investigating Baylor's program last October, timing that proved somewhat embarrassing for Baylor coach Scott Drew, who was forced to deflect questions about the investigation in the full view of Big 12 media day. As is the case with all NCAA investigations, things are kept quiet until any notice of allegations is sent to the school. Until that happens, we won't know exactly what the status of that investigation is.

We do know this, however: Morefield is no longer a coach at Baylor, according to CBSSports.com's Jeff Goodman. Baylor has announced a replacement for Morefield, former Midwestern State and Abilene Christian coach Grant McCasland, as Morefield is leaving to "pursue other opportunities."

It's not exactly difficult to put two and two together; Morefield's decision to leave almost certainly stems from reports that he sent at least one threatening text message to recruit Hanner Parea, a high-profile Columbian recruit who narrowed his choices to Baylor and Indiana before choosing the Hoosiers last fall. The timing of Parea's decision came after Morefield reportedly sent dozens of text messages to Parea's high school and AAU coaches, one of which threatened Parea with revocation of his visa if he did not decide to play basketball at Baylor.

Again, we're still waiting on that NCAA report, and that can take some time, so we won't know the extent of the damage until that happens. But if Baylor has decided to part ways with Morefield now -- or even if Morefield has decided to leave on his own accord -- it's fair to see this as pre-emptive damage control for when that report does come down. Which implies at least some level of damage may be in play. Stay tuned.

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