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Kim Mulkey, the head coach of the women’s basketball team at Baylor University, had strong words for parents who were concerned about female students’ safety on campus.
After the women’s team clinched the Big 12 regular season title on Saturday, Mulkey used her postgame speech to defend her school, which has been under fire for a sexual assault scandal under former football coach Art Briles.
“If somebody is around you and they ever say, ‘I will never send my daughter to Baylor,’ you should knock them right in the face,” Mulkey said as the crowd cheered. “Because these kids are on this campus. I work here. My daughter went to school here and it’s the damn best school in America.”
Her players then told her to drop the mic, which she did.
After the speech, Mulkey defended her comments to the local media.
“I’m just tired of hearing it,” she said. “I’m tired of people talking on it on a national scale that don’t know what they’re talking about. If they didn’t sit in those meetings and they weren’t a part of the investigation, you’re repeating things that you’ve heard. It’s over. It’s done, and this is a great institution, and I would send my daughter here, and I’d pay for anybody else’s daughter to come here.
“I work here every day. I’m in the know, and I’m tired of hearing it. This is a great institution. The problems we have at Baylor are no different than the problems at any other school in America, period. Move on. Find another story to write.”
On Sunday, Mulkey told espnW that she felt “horrible” about the post game remarks.
“I hate that I used the remark about punching them in the face,” Mulkey said. “That was not literal. I was trying to make a point, to be firm in what you are saying back at them. I’m not a violent person. I apologize for the poor choice of words.”
She continued: “My point was, ‘Please don’t paint, with a broad brush, the women at Baylor. I didn’t think about what I was going to say I looked at my players, and the little girls and the women who are cheering for them. And I spoke with a lot of emotion. Not only do I sympathize with victims, I am angry about the way the victims were treat at this university. It is horrible, horrible anytime someone does not take care of a victim. Even one sexual assault is too many. Nobody is dismissing what happened here. I want us to get to the bottom of it.”
In late January, another woman came forward claiming she had been raped by former Baylor football players. That lawsuit alleges 52 rapes by 31 Baylor football players between 2011 and 2014.
Saturday’s game also marked Mulkey’s 500th career win.